Why Am I So Annoyed with Everyone?

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The recent 16th season finale of IASIP is one of the best reviewed episodes of all time because of Glenn Howerton’s performance in “Dennis Takes a Mental Health Day”. The scene above sets the tone for the gauntlet of interactions that the character has as he navigates what has become a typical day in America. Although Dennis is a caricature of who we feel like from time to time, there are many who struggle with the same relative emotions with nearly everyone they come in contact with. This doesn’t just involve baristas and TSA personnel, but coworkers, friends, and family, even one’s own children. Given that you’ve performed an online search for “why am I so annoyed with everyone?” you are likely included in this group. However, your search also indicates a recognition that chronic annoyance is a disruption in your life, and that you’re ready to end the cycle. Below is a look at why you may constantly feel the way you do about others, and what can be done to correct it.

Underlying Issues that May Cause You to Find Everyone so Annoying and What You Can Do About It

A Cultural Foundation of Annoyance

A body of work titled Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us by NPR.org’s Joe Palca and Science‘s Flora Lichtman provides some interesting insight into why many Americans feel the way you do about others. It comes down to the fact that Western culture has placed significant value on the sense of ‘self’. If you, like many of us, have been raised to view yourself as an individual first, you see yourself as a single, independent unit who seeks control over your environment. When you are not able to control your environment, which includes how others interact with or navigate around you, you become annoyed.

There’s nothing innately wrong about our American culture placing value on the individual, but it does lead to frustration for some more than others. Common annoyances that most of us can agree upon can have a more detrimental impact on a person with an especially individualistic outlook. If you frequently find that others nearby you (in line at the cafe, etc.) talk to “too loudly” amongst themselves to the point that it alters your mood for the entire day, it’s a problem. If you are so deeply bothered by someone standing “too close” to you on the subway that you lash out at them, it’s a problem. If have trouble controlling your temperament because coworkers, friends, and family are constantly asking for your help, it’s a problem.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world where a culture of community over the individual self is fostered, annoyance with one another is less common. Research shows that Japanese, African, Latin-American, and many southern European cultures stress the importance of interdependence which has a direct impact on how they interact with one another. Conversely, modern (versus indigenous) American culture underscores independence.

If your issue is indeed the result of a culturally dictated and learned behavior, steps can be taken by adjusting your way of thinking. For instance, cognitive restructuring is a technique that has been successfully used to help people change the way they think, which can be employed to relearn your (as applicable) culturally-dictated reactions to others in your environment. This form of therapy can replace cognitive distortions (your feelings of annoyance) with more balanced thoughts about a given person or group of people. Counselors who specialize in cognitive behavioral health (CBT) can assist, so be sure to talk to a care coordinator to initiate positive change.

Mental Health Conditions Associated with Frequent Annoyance with Others

As Americans we may all have a comparatively stronger sense of self that can lead to annoyance with others. However, a large number struggle with mental health conditions that are associated with feelings of irritability. Being frequently annoyed is a symptom of the following disorders:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Depression
  • Chronic stress
  • Bipolar disporder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Gambling disorder
  • Gaming disorder

If you have been diagnosed with, suspect that you may have, and/or have a family history of any of the above, therapeutic intervention may be required. Speak to a care coordinator to find out if you may be struggling with any of the above issues.

Why Immediate Intervention is Required

Feeling annoyed with everyone all of the time can be, well, annoying. However, it’s more than an inconvenience in your life as it can also alter the way your brain works when you look at people, which includes those you care about most.

A study conducted by University of Southern California found that when someone annoys us, we tend to feel less empathy towards them. It’s one thing to feel less empathy for an irritating (as you may see it) stranger who hurt themselves and could use your assistance, but another when it’s a friend of family member who struggles with a bad circumstance and may depend upon your compassion.

Whether from a personal social/familial circle or larger societal perspective, a loss of empathy is a bad thing. Take action today by reaching out via the contacts provided below.

Get Help for Your Feelings of Annoyance and Irritation

CALL +1 (877) 426-4258


Email [email protected]

Why Am I So Annoyed with Everyone