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It’s no mystery that many people enjoy order and symmetry. When everything’s in its proper place, it makes us feel good and scratches a deep inner itch that some of us weren’t even aware of before. On the flip side, if there’s even a small error in an otherwise extremely neat landscape, it can end up thoroughly annoying us.

To show you what we mean, our team at Bored Panda has compiled this list of photos where nearly everything is organized neatly, but something is ever so slightly off. We’d love to just go through the screen and adjust things until they’re perfect because these mistakes are making us uncomfortable. Scroll down to take a peek at the pics below and be sure to upvote the ones that annoyed you on a fundamental level.

Bored Panda got in touch with Anthony Smith, LMHC, who shed some light on why human beings enjoy symmetry and how, for some people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Tourette's syndrome, and perfectionistic personalities, it can become an obsession. Read on for our full interview with Smith, a licensed mental health counselor with 22 years of experience in Massachusetts and the host of the ‘Up and Running’ blog on Psychology Today.

#1

The Way My Mom Watches TV With Things Obscuring The Screen

The Way My Mom Watches TV With Things Obscuring The Screen

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According to Smith, the host of the ‘Up and Running’ blog, people have an innate tendency to prefer symmetricality. This can be found in many areas of human life, as "evident from the fact that architecture and artifacts around the world, spanning the eons, are more often than not meticulously symmetrical."

The licensed mental health counselor continues that "we are symmetrical beings, and further, symmetricality is even in music composition, poetry verse arrangement, and any askewness is likely to be quickly recognized. How fast are many to run and straighten a picture?"

#2

People Whose Desktops Look Like This

People Whose Desktops Look Like This

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LakotaWolf (she/her)
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is me. You do not want to see my desktop right now XD I have like 6 spaces left. I'll clean it up, I swear! >_>

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However, at times, this desire to see and create symmetry everywhere can get out of hand. "For a more pervasive form of the need for symmetry, as in OCD, where things must be particularly arranged or otherwise ritualized, for instance, it could be assumed that it is part of keeping things controlled," Smith explained to Bored Panda.

"Consistent arrangement provides a sense of predictability, which lends itself to control. On a more subjective level, the compulsion to constantly neatly arrange things in one's environment might provide a sense of control, perhaps compensation, for the flurry of out-of-control anxiety that is their internal landscape."

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The expert said that other researchers have suggested that while symmetry is a common symptom across OCD, "some sufferers are prone to primarily experiencing obsessions of symmetricality." Here, an obsession for people with OCD means intrusive thoughts, images, and impulses that provoke anxiety and are nearly impossible to suppress.

#5

This Teacher Doesn’t Erase The Board Fully And Continues To Use It

This Teacher Doesn’t Erase The Board Fully And Continues To Use It

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Stephanie Did It
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's how you knew on Day 1 of the new school year, if the teacher was cool or a psychopath

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#6

This Neighborhood I Saw On Google Maps Really Hits Me Hard

This Neighborhood I Saw On Google Maps Really Hits Me Hard

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"Further, there is some evidence this apparent subtype has a heavy genetic contribution," he said. Smith shared with Bored Panda what these researchers have said: "Specifically, one study found a significant association between the symmetry symptom dimension and the 2R allele of the DRD4 VNTR polymorphism, subsequently suggesting that this symptom dimension may represent a more homogeneous subtype of OCD with a genetic etiology. [31]"

According to the host of the ‘Up and Running’ blog, when it comes to most things psychiatric, both nature and nurture are at play here: "Nature cocks the hammer, and experience pulls the trigger/dictates when and how a genetic predisposition is expressed."

#7

This Chandelier At A Restaurant I Ate At Bothers Me So Much

This Chandelier At A Restaurant I Ate At Bothers Me So Much

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#9

Quality Control Must Have Had The Day Off When This Was Created

Quality Control Must Have Had The Day Off When This Was Created

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Smith notes that OCD and Tourette's syndrome often co-occur, especially in males and there is a lot of research done on their link to symmetry.

"Tourette's is considered a neuropsychiatric complication, but is perhaps more neuro than psych, provided it is more of a movement disorder. Given OCD and Tourette's frequently co-occur, and disorders often 'play well together' it could also be a matter of this neuro-abnormal contribution of want for symmetry influencing obsessions," the mental health counselor said.

#12

911 - I'd Like To Report A Crime

911 - I'd Like To Report A Crime

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Šimon Špaček
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How? I understand when there is wrong color brick, that makes sense (it is laziness), but this? To do this you have to cut 3 other bricks and that is not something you do accidentally.

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Full disclosure, Pandas, yours truly is definitely the type of person who gets annoyed when there’s a glitch in the Matrix and something ruins otherwise neat and symmetrical projects.

The odds are that many of you reading this right now also got slightly frustrated by the photos in this list, too. That’s because human beings find symmetry familiar and soothing, on a fundamental level. Life is messy enough as it is without people laying down tile patterns wrong!

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According to ‘How Stuff Works,’ symmetry is built into many parts of nature, from animals to plants and even the structure of a snowflake. Symmetrical patterns are what our minds are used to recognizing, so they seem ‘natural’ to us. On the other hand, asymmetry can often be seen as a sign of illness or danger in nature.

#13

I Put The Manhole Cover Back, Boss

I Put The Manhole Cover Back, Boss

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#14

Found This In Louisiana

Found This In Louisiana

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Kimbowa
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some people only look at the details and never see the big picture.

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#15

It’s Like They Want Me To Have An Aneurysm

It’s Like They Want Me To Have An Aneurysm

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James016
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think the Monk DVD box set was the same, one of them was slightly out of alignment on purpose.

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“Symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in. The search for symmetry, and the emotional pleasure we derive when we find it, must help us make sense of the world around us, just as we find satisfaction in the repetition of the seasons and the reliability of friendships. Symmetry is also economy. Symmetry is simplicity. Symmetry is elegance,” physicist Alan Lightman writes in ‘The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew.’

The BBC points out that looking at symmetrical photos, whether of buildings or even someone’s meal, can calm us down when we’re feeling stressed and tired. We find order soothing and beautiful.

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“Spending time looking at these feeds can be therapeutic,” Dave Mullen, the founder of the ‘Geometry Club’ Instagram account, told the BBC.

#16

Just Re-Pave The Damn Road At This Point

Just Re-Pave The Damn Road At This Point

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DC
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fellow Motorcyclists will know - these are really dangerous in the summer, because that stuff melts. On a halfway-liquid road, you can't transmit forces like on an intact, so this does lead to preventable accidents. Taxes paid related to vehicle possession and usage are enough to demand not to be preventably endangered by the bad state the road surface is in and the unfit attempts to repair. We shouldn't do this. We shouldn't accept it being done, but make the road require a repair that is out of reach for this stupid method!

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#18

The Way This Pizza Has Been Cut

The Way This Pizza Has Been Cut

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Though many of us enjoy looking at symmetrical photos, it doesn’t mean that this desire for order translates into every other aspect of our lives. For example, someone who gets mad when they see someone else placing furniture off-center might not apply the same rules in their own home.

At the end of the day, people thrive in different home environments, and some of them seem messier than others. What matters, however, is that you’re comfortable with the way things are organized because it’s you who has to live with these systems at home.

Chicago-based psychologist Dr. Bethany Cook told ‘House Beautiful’ that people find comfort in the predictable because it creates a sense of safety. “Organizing your living space means you know where things are without searching, and this feels safe,” she explained, adding that you’ve gone too far in keeping things tidy when you start sacrificing your mental health.

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#20

Someone Thought It Would Be Funny To Do This At The Corner Of Every Page Of This Notebook

Someone Thought It Would Be Funny To Do This At The Corner Of Every Page Of This Notebook

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“Are you yelling at your young kids because they did what kids do and made a mess? Are your relationships, work, or hobbies suffering because you spend so much time tidying?” the expert pointed out some things to be aware of.

Meanwhile, professional counselor Rebecca Phillips, from Texas, said that tidying and organizing our homes can work as a physical outlet for when our own minds feel chaotic. "When our thoughts feel muddled, organizing our physical surroundings gives a sense of control,” she said.

#23

Where My Fellow Office Workers At?

Where My Fellow Office Workers At?

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#24

Ended Up Putting Pepper In My Pasta... Why Is The Pepper White And The Salt Black?!

Ended Up Putting Pepper In My Pasta... Why Is The Pepper White And The Salt Black?!

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However, as New York psychotherapist Natalie Capano told ‘House Beautiful,’ this neatness at home might only be superficial. “Organization can be an illusion that we have our life together, when in reality there are big issues just underneath the surface. Some people believe that their home represents their life, so if their pantry is perfect, their relationships must be, too,” the expert noted.

“Not everyone prefers an organized lifestyle, and that is just fine. Organized chaos works for some people, and this can feel as good to them as a neat and orderly space can feel to others.”

#25

I Am Forced To Look At This Every Time I Get Up

I Am Forced To Look At This Every Time I Get Up

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Bear Hall
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just keep your eyes closed till you reach vertical position. Apply duct tape if necessary.

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#26

This Apartment Building

This Apartment Building

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Bear Hall
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The next earthquake will take care of it one way or the other.

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#27

My Sister Cut A Cake And I’m About To Kill Her

My Sister Cut A Cake And I’m About To Kill Her

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We’d love to find out which of these photos annoyed you the most, dear Pandas. Were there any pics that you genuinely wished that you could make things more neat and tidy? How do you feel about perfect symmetry being ruined by someone’s blunders? Scroll down to the comment section to share your thoughts.

#28

I Was High In The Road And Was Not Sure If It Was The Weed Or Not So I Took A Picture For Later

I Was High In The Road And Was Not Sure If It Was The Weed Or Not So I Took A Picture For Later

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#30

These Lights

These Lights

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Em
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I weirdly like them. Reminds me of whack-a-mole or something.

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#31

When You Play The Sims But Forget To Rotate

When You Play The Sims But Forget To Rotate

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#33

How The [Hell] Does This Happen?

How The [Hell] Does This Happen?

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#34

My Friend's New Front Door

My Friend's New Front Door

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Bear Hall
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even the pathway is off. Like they didn't look up before they finished it.

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#35

But How?

But How?

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#37

At My Closest Train Station. I Think I Need To Move

At My Closest Train Station. I Think I Need To Move

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#38

Okay What The Hell

Okay What The Hell

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Brenda
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8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At least put a plant or something on it so people know that it's there!

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#40

Why?

Why?

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Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.