Annoying, The Science of What Bugs Us
I'm reading a really good book right now that confirms what I have already suspected ~~ I am not neurotic. It turns out there is an actual science to what annoys us. Fingernails on a blackboard, a fly buzzing around us when we are trying to sleep, a noise in the background while we are trying to concentrate, those annoying cell phone calls we all have to listen to while other folks chatter away ~~ even the person next to us in the movie theatre who nervously keeps jiggling their knee up and down ~~ these annoyances all have basis in science. Who knew?
My next door neighbours annoy the h*ll out of me. They're in their mid-20s, but they dress and act like four-year-olds. Every night they're outside in their backyard playing some childish game, I'm not sure what it is, but it involves wooden containers and hacky sack balls. Every time one of them scores a hit, they all hoop and holler, and the women scream and whistle ~~ you'd think the Canucks had just won the Stanley Cup. It's so annoying.
There is even a scientific reason why spouses annoy each other. "With spouses, we know that our partners know our hot buttons, and it's even more annoying when our partners bring them up".
Intentionality of action may factor significantly in the annoying quotient. A door slammed by the wind is way less annoying than a door slammed by an angry spouse. This intentional 'pushing too hard' isn't limited to adult relationships. "Kids do this a lot with their parents, and parents with their kids'. Children will deliberately not clean up their rooms, will drink milk directly from the container, and will not hand in their homework as a way to annoy a parent who sets a curfew too early or refuses to raise an allowance. Many of these annoyances will be overlooked when there is a commitment in a relationship and will be exaggerated when there is not. Growing annoyance can be a sign of trouble to come." ~~ Annoying, the Science of What Bugs Us
One of my co-workers coughs ... constantly. It sound exactly like a dog barking ~~ also an annoying sound. Another co-worker scrapes her chair back and forth against the side of her desk, sounding exactly like fingernails on a blackboard. *shudder* It drives me crazy, however, after reading this book, I'm glad to know that I am perfectly normal in being annoyed by these things that otherwise seem insignificant. It's science. Apparently there is even a scientific explanation as to why we are annoyed with listening to other folks' cell phone calls. The human brain is progammed to hear both sides of a conversation, and it doesn't 'compute' when it can hear only one side, thereby annoying us. Interesting.
Now I am heading off to work, and because it's raining I have to wear my jacket, my boots and carry my umbrella ~~ in the middle of July. It's so annoying...