Being mildly annoying

Most people who are annoying know, on some level, that they are annoying.  I mean, social or cultural differences aside, people with annoying habits, when they really think about it, know they are annoying.

All things being equal then, all that should need to happen is for all the ‘sniffers’, ‘clickers’, ‘grunt-oddly-as-they-typers’ and ‘non-flushers’ think about their actions and then most of them would stop being annoying.  There will be one or two who wouldn’t because they are inherently bad, or thoughtless, or think they are making a point about water-conservation, but most people would stop.


Wrong.  Most people know they are annoying already.  Do you honestly believe that Janine doesn’t know people find her conservative, mildly racist, and extremely sanctimonious ‘inspirational quotes’ that she has pinned to her desk cubicle annoying?  Do you think Ignatius thinks you care about how his team played on Saturday, and if you do, enough for him need to explain every on-the-field action in great detail?

Have you been huffing paint-thinner?

If you think the Janines, the Ignatius’ and everyone else who has mildly annoying foibles doesn’t know they are annoying then you must be.

Hand it over. Solvent abuse is bad for you.

The reason Francine emails everyone baby pictures isn’t because she actually thinks you care about her baby, it is because she derives pleasure from the fact that she is mildly annoying you.  She knows you can’t really say anything because the annoyance is so mild.

Francine is on to something.

If Francine’s particular pleasure was hiding around a blind corner of the office and hitting people who came past with a fire extinguisher, her fun would be over pretty quickly: what she would be doing would move from being ‘mildly annoying’ to being a ‘serious assault’ and even if she found it fun, a stop would be put to it.  However, by sending you pictures of her baby doing, lets face it, pretty average stuff she can annoy you today, tomorrow, and the next day.

Being annoying is fun, and if you can’t beat them – and without being a totally unreasonable bell-end you can’t – you should join them.


Car Stegosaurus: Whoever did this knows the key to annoying people. It’s annoying to have this done to your car, but not in such a way that if you went on and on about it having happened people wouldn’t tell you to “Get the fuck over it”

I am an extremely annoying person.  Now, none of my annoying traits are, in themselves, all that serious, but taken as a whole spending any extended period of time in my company is far worse than being sconed on the head with a stainless steel bottle of pressurised fire retardant.

 Annoying words

Annoying noises are too easy, and in today’s ‘everyone getting easily wound up world’ are becoming rapidly criminalised.  Where once you could sit at your desk, sipping at a cup of tea, and after every mouthful make a satisfied “ahhhhh” sound, today you’d be told to “shut the fuck up”.

Belching, drumming your fingers, and making ‘drum’n’bass break-beats with your mouth as you read’ have now moved from being ‘mildly annoying’ to being things people feel fine about calling you on.  Not just moaners; normal people as well.

However, if you constantly use a word incorrectly in a sentence, especially an unusual word, people will feel as if they will offend you if they correct you.  No-one likes a know-it-all and all that.  When someone asks you what you are having for lunch, and you respond with “Maybe I’ll ennui over to the Chinese place”, you aren’t being a dick but if the person you say it to knows what ennui means, you know you will be winding them up.

Make it a verb, or an adverb – this way you will get to use it a lot, and make it a word that you think makes you sound clever – it will annoy intelligent people all the more.  Annoying intelligent people is way more fun than annoying the malfeasant.

 Asking people the same thing all the time

Nothing annoys a people more than you constantly asking the same thing over and over again.  It shows the target that you either never listen to anything they say or that they have somehow befriended, or been forced to work with, a moron.

If you know your friend hates the TV show Community, which is understandable when you get to season four, ask them every three hours how they liked the latest episode of Community.

If your colleague once showed you how to do something in Excel make sure you keep approaching them every day to show you again, and again how to do the same thing.  Make sure you thank them and smile politely too.

 Singing, whistling and clapping

Annoying noises aren’t entirely out, you just have to pick and choose them.  The key is to veer away from the stomach-churning and obviously unhygienic emissions and veer towards noises that indicate you are excited or happy.  These noises, in many ways, are more annoying.

If someone loudly breaks wind and expels a peppery eye-burner it is pretty annoying, but only for the time it takes for said expulsion to dissipate.  Not only that, you have socially acceptable recourse to reprimand them and tell them to either vacate the room, light a match, see a doctor, or all of the above.

You will be suitable vindicated.

If, however, the same person were to come bounding into the room clapping, giggling at nothing, whistling, and saying everything in a sing-song voice they aren’t really doing anything most social situations would deem wrong.

Unless you are at a funeral, or three-seconds earlier everyone was informed Ignatius lost a testicle in a scrum over the weekend, being happy is not something you can be reprimanded for.

The thing is though, whistling and making gleeful clapping noises is extremely irritating,  most people who think they can sing actually couldn’t carry a tune if you gave them a big bin-bag to carry it round in, and people who gormlessly laugh at everything are awful to spend any time around.  The problem is, you can’t acknowledge how annoying these traits are without first acknowledging you are not as happy as they are.  Society, especially the blanded-down and subtly tranquilsed world of the workplace, values positivity above all else. Game, set and match, annoying jerk.

Novelty things

A t-shirt with a pun on it, a cartoon poster with a man saying ‘does my bum look big in this?’ and a USB toy that plays ‘Camp town Races’ every time you clap near it, which you will be doing quite a bit from now on, are basically like coming up with a pretty poor, middle-of-the-road joke and saying it over-and-over again to anyone who sees you, reads the poster or comes into ear-shot of your computer.  Unlike repeating a pretty poor, middle-of-the-road joke however, it doesn’t actually require any effort on your part to tell said joke.  It can reach, and thus mildly annoy, everyone who comes in contact with you.

The thing is, this list isn’t exhaustive.  There are many ways to mildly annoy people; think of some of your own.  Remember, it is hard to get angry at someone who is always smiling.  And doesn’t fart that much.


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