As humans, making our way through this big crazy world, we are all a bunch of imperfect weirdos. Like, we can totally master the office smile that hides the “I hate this work” mood you’ve been dragging for the past you've-lost-count-kinda years.
But if, for whatever reason, someone blocks your way on the way to point B at a busy street, or worse, is painfully slowly dragging their feet right in front of you, you burst into uncontrollable anger. And that poor person, unknown to them, has become your nemesis.
This is just one of many scenarios that trigger our bad selves without much rationality. And people shared so much more in this thread when Redditor Baconbear36 posed the question “What is something that makes you unreasonably angry?” What followed was a bunch of illuminating stories, and hey, it’s honestly very relatable.
Recipes that start with an essay about the author.
I don't need to know your f*cking life story, Jessica, I'm trying to figure out how to make fried chicken.
I've been scrolling for 15 minutes, is there actually a recipe on this damn page?!
To find out just why we get irrationally angry about small things, and how to control it, Bored Panda reached out to Helen Marlo, a licensed clinical psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst who provides psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and consultation. Helen is also a Professor of Clinical Psychology and the Department Chair at Notre Dame de Namur University.
“We often get irrationally angry about the small things because these small situations may be temporary and easier to confront, control, or solve. When we get angry at the small things, we address and emote at easier and safer things,” Helen said.
Anti maskers. Wear the f***ing piece of cloth or go somewhere else
Daylight savings time. There is no reason to change times twice a year, every theory about why it’s good has been debunked and I hate it.
But it turns out that “We may fool ourselves into feeling like we are having a voice or addressing our stressors yet, in reality, we remain insulated and protected from directly facing more painful, traumatic, or complex issues that we push out of consciousness.”
The psychologist warns that “the more we push the important stuff out of consciousness—and not deal with what is going on in our lives—the more we find ourselves getting angry at smaller, less threatening things.” Helen explained that “we are often unconscious of how the small things that lead to anger are often connected to more meaningful emotions, memories, thoughts, sensations, and images.”
She continued: “This inner material makes up our personal, psychological complexes which are associated with intense experiences and relationships. They need very little provocation to be activated.”
People with trolleys chatting in the middle of the aisle, while blocking it for everybody else.
People who say freedom of speech as an excuse for being an asshole. Yes, you are allowed to say it, but you don't have to.
Turns out that unraveling what these reactions are about is not that simple, and it requires us to “face our defenses and be mindful and aware of the issues, which is psychological work,” Helen told us.
Meanwhile, things that make us more seriously angry usually have to do with something more complex, emotional, meaningful, personal, and complicated. “We often have competing thoughts and feelings about these situations—that is, we feel in conflict about them and they may be related to our wounds or traumas.” Helen explained that “often, the situations that make us more seriously angry are challenging for us to avoid, escape, influence, or control.”
When people litter out their car windows. Especially cigarette butts.
People talking on their phone in public or break room at work on speakerphone.
When asked why we don’t normally get that sudden, overpowering burst of anger when dealing with these situations, Helen said that it comes down to the fact that they “are often difficult to resolve so our psychological defenses kick in to help us manage the ongoing stress and anxiety and continue functioning.”
She continued: “For example, we may consciously deny, minimize, suppress, repress, or even dissociate the big stuff.” However, the psychologist warns that this style of coping cannot be sustained and eventually catches up. Moreover, “It may result in irrational anger towards seemingly small things.”
When people are famous for existing or being rich. Other people have to work to get places, meanwhile Trisha McMoney gets red carpet treatment simply for being born to tax dodging a**holes who think poor people are a plague
People who enter the bus/train/whatever without letting other people out first. I get it, you don't want to miss your ride, but it won't leave while others still exit.
If we cannot deal with stressful and angering situations, we can at least control our behavior around it. When asked how we can learn to be in a better relationship with our anger, Helen said “by first, noticing when we are having an exaggerated or heightened reaction, especially to a situation that seems small.”
Such heightened reactions can signal to us that we are vulnerable and need to pause to become more conscious and mindful in that moment, she argues. “When angry at something that seems small, the anger can feel autonomous, like it has a mind of its own, and we can feel out of control. This is a clue that we are in a psychological complex and not in good, conscious relationship with our anger.”
When a group of people walk next to each other on a sidewalk taking all of it up and not moving out of the way when you approach. I just started to walk into people.
Loud chewing noises, especially if you're an open-mouthed chewer, double especially if you're also a lip smacker.
Only “when we realize this, it can be a good time to physically move, change one’s physical environment, ground oneself physically, or shift one’s physical position to help break away from the strong emotions that prevent us from being conscious.”
According to Helen, once we are more grounded, we can take the next steps and ask ourselves two basic questions: “'What am I noticing inside me?' And, 'what else might this situation be?'”
“This can help us to connect with the emotions, memories, images, sensations and thoughts that may be swirling around inside during this seemingly small event,” the psychologist explained and added that “This can help us begin to become more conscious of how this small situation may be related to other meaningful issues in one’s life.”
People not using their turn signals. Absolutely enraged.
Bored Panda also spoke to Lise Deguire, a clinical psychologist and award-winning author of “Flashback Girl: Lessons on Resilience From a Burn Survivor” who said that it’s indeed a paradox that sometimes we can handle serious stress, and then completely lose our patience over something trivial. “This reminds me of the poem 'The Shoelace,' by Charles Bukowski:
'...it’s not the large things that
send a man to the
madhouse. death he’s ready for, or
murder, incest, robbery, fire, flood…
no, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies
that send a man to the
not the death of his love
but a shoelace that snaps
with no time left…'"
“I think that people often emotionally prepare themselves to handle big stresses. We know we have something hard ahead of ourselves, and we prepare to handle it. And often we DO handle those big things quite well,” Lise explained.
Force hyped youtubers who just scream around for no reason like idiots
When people tell me I'm shy or quiet. No. I'm simply uncomfortable. I can be very loud and extroverted in a comfortable environment surrounded by people I'm comfortable with, but that's obviously not what I'm doing right now if I'm shy and quiet.
“But then, when one more little thing goes wrong, we just lose our cool. It can feel profoundly unfair, because we are trying so hard to handle big problems, and then that one more issue comes along,” she said.
The good news is that many times, we can handle this anger better with a reset of expectations. “It is good to assume that we may have difficulties, that our plans may not turn out exactly as we hoped. It is safe to assume that people will occasionally misbehave or disappoint us,” Lise explained.
“For myself, for example, I try to build extra time into my schedule, on the assumption that my schedule will not go exactly as I hoped, and that plans frequently go wrong.”
Banks. Why would an institution that almost all people are required to use have shorter hours than an average job.
I cannot give blood just because I am gay. I have been in a monogamous relationship for the past few years so it is not like STDs are going to randomly spring up.
On the other hand, things when put into practice are not always that simple. According to Lise, even when we reset our expectations, sometimes people will still get triggered. “If you find yourself overwhelmed with anger, try to take a break. Give yourself a little time-out. Walk away from the frustration if possible. Get a little fresh air. Do some deep breathing, and while you do it, try not to rehash your annoyance.”
The psychologist reminds us that “Life is aggravating at times, we all know that. Usually with a brief time-out, we can let our little frustrations go and get back to enjoying our day.”
When someone throws in a negative aspect of a life milestone or accomplishment. For example when someone buys a first house, as I recently did. It's something my wife and I have saved a long time for, found the perfect one, and finally have a place to call our own. Some chuckle head throws in how expensive it is and how it's a money pit and how you'll have so much work to do. I'm aware of those things, just be happy for me.
Capcha. Hate having to teach AI what fire hydrants and Stop lights are and it's a robot making sure I'm not a robot.
Youtube tutorials, and the guy starts telling you his life story. Mate I dont give a f***, tell me how to make a omellete
Clicking on a news article and hitting a paywall. The crappy stuff is free for the taking, but oh, you want accurate news? Gotta pay.
Whenever somebody tries to sound like they are more educated on a topic than you yet it’s obvious they only have surface level knowledge of said topic
People who are walking out of a shop and then suddenly decide to stop smack bang right outside blocking the door.
Just move to the f***ing side.
People snapping at me to get my attention. Like literally, when people snap in my face as if I'm a dog or something just makes me so mad
Going outside and seeing other people who are also outside.
Unsolicited phone calls! Stop calling my number and not leaving a message and if I do answer, you hang up! Go to hell, get a real job loser!
Mosquitoes. They're irritating, but I get so angry once I see them flying around, irrationally mad when they buzz by my ear & unreasonably ruin-my-day/night livid if I get bit
Going into the bathroom and seeing one sheet of toilet paper on the roll.
When I flip a book over to read the summary and it's just a bunch of, "'A beautiful story!' -New York Times" crap and so I have to completely flip the book around to find the summary on the inside front cover.
Getting earbuds pulled out of your ears by accident or by someone else.
Poor elevator etiquette. People coming in before those inside exit or are standing right in front of the door when it opens. Drives me CRAZY
When my significant other "soaks dishes" before washing them.
The washing never happens.