Pet peeves.

God there are some things in this world that really grate on me! Being British probably doesn’t help, we do enjoy a little moan now and again. I try not to let these annoyances get to me but it is very hard to control a reaction when I see them. My husband finds it amusing and after five and a half years together, he knows them all off by heart often looking over expecting me to complain.

Here follows my top 5 pet peeves.

In fifth place:

Impractical dressers.

I cannot stand seeing people wearing clothes that do not adhere to the seasons. I just can’t tell you how annoying it is to see someone during the British winter feel that it is appropriate to wear shorts or leave the house without a coat. It confuses me! Why do you think it is going to be hot outside just because you see sun?? If it’s raining, why are you leaving the house in sneakers or plimsolls? You know that they are not waterproof or watertight, you know that within ten minutes your feet will be soaking, so why do it?

In fourth place:

Spitting.

Aaaaarrrgghhh! Hate, hate, hate this with passion! Yes, I understand that footballers do this on the pitch, I get that, but for what reason are random people spitting in the street? I just detest it. I do not want to walk down the road and pass somebody bringing up phlegm, I mean that sound in itself is bad enough, but then to see it fly out of their mouth really takes the biscuit! Eurgh! It’s foul. Use a bloody tissue for god’s sake!

Third place goes to:

Prams. 

Okay, not prams in general, I have nothing against them but older kids in them. I have worked with children for the last seven years, I understand how they develop and what they are capable of. I can honestly tell you that a six year old child does not need to sit in a pram. So why do I see this happening all the time? They are not babies who cannot walk, they are extremely able. I suppose it deems for an easier life, for when that child kicks off, the parent can just place them in their pram. Why not put a dummy in their mouth too?? Wait – don’t get me started, I hate that too.

Another pram-related problem is watching parents overload their prams with shopping whilst their one year old babies toddle behind erratically. It is quite upsetting actually. I think it’s borderline abusive. Get a cab! Or carry your child! Just don’t downgrade them for your bags of shopping. Fine, we all need food but when the prams are filled with shopping bags from discount stores, well that’s the biggest joke!

In second place:

Never-changing celebrities.

By this I mean celebrities who have looked the same for many many years. Ones who are famed for looking a certain way and are holding onto the fact that it made them famous therefore keep that same look for the rest of their lives. God does it annoy me! Embrace the change! I find it both hilarious and sad when I witness it. I feel sorry for them that their only identity is one from thirty years ago. It is a huge pet peeve.

But not as much as my number one:

Sunglasses on the tube.

THERE IS NO SUN ON THE UNDERGROUND YOU IDIOTS!

That basically sums it up.

Hate it and have to bite my lip not to react to it.

I don’t have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation.
Whoopi Goldberg

Am I manipulative?

I would not class myself as manipulative since finding out what this kind of behaviour is. I would however, class some people I know as owning this behaviour. After discovering its meaning, I have been looking out for it this last week and have been surprised to see it in the people around me. Often, you do not know when you are doing it. I cannot admit that I am never manipulative.

Examples of manipulative behaviour are:

  • Guilt tripping – If you really cared about me then you would….
  • Using ailments as an excuse to do something – my back has been hurting all week/I just feel too tired to….
  • Use of emotional bribery – I’d be forever grateful if you could…..

Of course, in certain circumstances, it would be wrong not to have sympathy for these reasons but it is all dependant on how often they use this as an excuse. You may begin to identify that there are specific people in your life that manipulate you constantly.

Mu husband probably sees this behaviour from me. For example whilst walking past some shoes I may like, the occasional “If you want to make me happy…….” might trickle out of my mouth but usually in jest. Sarcasm can be manipulative too. What do they say, “50% of sarcasm is truth”? We trick people into believing it’s a joke, but of course there must be some truth behind it. We wouldn’t say it otherwise.

Children are the key grouping that fall into manipulative behaviour using their position as someone you love and care about to get what they want. Just because they are children doesn’t give them free reign to behave inappropriately. This is when clear boundaries should be set so they understand what is appropriate and effective behaviour.

Adults can be manipulative too.

My father was and I believe my mother has been too. The latter may not be realising when she is.

My father regularly used manipulation to get what he wanted. He played on everything possible: his age, his ethnicity, his culture, his position in society, his job, his illnesses, my lack of empathy. All these things manifested into me feeling extreme resentment towards him.

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.
Joyce Brothers

Am I aggressive?

It’s not the first word that comes to mind if I was to describe myself or even to describe my faults. Aggression is really not in my nature. I cower and run from it, I’m frightened of it and avoid other forms of it. Confrontation is the last place you’ll find me. However, naturally, like any other human, I am capable of having aggression, of feeling it and sometimes, of displaying it too. Mine tends to come out when I’ve been passive for too long, when I’ve allowed annoyances to build up or have been biting my tongue. I explode and the emotion quickly follows. My husband tends to get it the most. He knows that I mean no harm and that it is usually nothing to do with him. Instead the stresses of day to day life and work come out at the strangest of times, especially when neither of us are expecting it.

I swear. It’s quite bad. It shocks him. Nothing too vulgar (even I’m not capable of losing it entirely), but bad enough to take him by surprise.

He gets it.

All those years I was “forbidden” to show anger or frustration. All those years my father berated me for having emotion or feeling hurt. Of course, anger would eventually come out. However, I’m no monster. I am quick to apologise and calm down. I do not want to be his mirror image or fall into his behaviour. I refuse to hold grudges over tiny matters, quickly moving away from the argument with softer, sweeter words.

My aggression was suppressed for many years. My whole family disallowed anger on my part yet they all freely let loose, screaming insults and rage at each other. Perhaps they wanted my innocence to remain but keeping such a basic emotion out of someone’s grasp is unheard of. The mere thought that I was banned from the reality of anger just doesn’t make sense. My mother still cannot take, to this day, my voice raising to a slightly higher pitch. If this happens and I appear bothered by something, she reacts. I am immediately reprimanded for getting angry. Of course, my natural reaction to this is of frustration, that I cannot even breathe in the wrong way and she’s ready to criticise me, and obviously – I get angry! So, she gets what she wants.

Anger is an emotion like any other. Bottle it up for too long and it will explode. Everyone has the right to feel it and to act on it but in a controlled way, without screams and chaos or violence and fear.

We are human after all. You can’t deny me my rights.

To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
Nelson Mandela

Bad manners.

My mother instilled manners in me and my sister. I cannot ever remember my father teaching us this.

My father lacked in good manners. He was not a decent man. On appearance, he seemed polite. His friends respected him as did the community especially the members of his church. He appeared to have impeccable manners.

At home he was entirely different. If he wanted me to do something I was never asked only told. Not once was the word “please” used by him when talking to me. He felt belittled and would call it “begging”. He wanted total superiority over me. If I was in his way, he only had to say one word,

“Move”.

I sometimes responded to it, sarcastically perhaps, and dropped a ‘please’ in there. That infuriated him, I was being disrespectful. I wasn’t allowed to expect politeness from him, I did not deserve it. He rarely said “thank you” either. Why should he? I was there to do what he said, I couldn’t expect his gratitude. Even on birthdays he resented the word leaving his mouth. Usually my gifts weren’t good enough as in later arguments he would throw my generosity back in my face. I was a lousy, heartless daughter who should have been “rewarding” him for doing “such a difficult job” in raising me (his exact words).

I could get over not hearing ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I knew he would never give it. However, as a human being, I did expect him to say one word in particular.

Sorry

Did I ever hear it? Not once. If he accidentally bumped into me or trod on my foot in passing I was told to get out of his way. If he had upset me unnecessarily it would essentially be my own fault and I did not deserve an apology. If I had bad news there was no sympathy or if I was ill, I had brought it on myself.

I could do no right.

Surely, if not as his daughter but a living and breathing human being, I deserved more than he ever gave me?

I always make sure I’m polite to everybody, no matter how they make me feel.

Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people’s bad manners.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.