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Pet Peeves and What They Reveal About Our Personality

Pet Peeves, we all have them and they’ve been talked about for centuries. Did you ever wonder where the word came from and what it reveals about your personality?  In this week’s blog, we dive into:

  • The Meaning of Pet Peeve
  • The Job Interview Question
  • What Pet Peeves Reveal About Your Personality
  • Pet Peeves of Highly Successful People
  • GRIT Pet Peeves

The Meaning of Pet Peeve

The word peeve started out as peevish, meaning “ornery or ill-tempered” and it’s been used since the 1300’s. It was towards the 1900’s that the verbal form peeve came to mean annoy or irritate. Not long after, people began adding the word pet to the beginning to form the phrase pet peeve. Pet, being a shortened version of petty meaning trivial or minor. Thus, your pet peeves are minor irritations.

The Job Interview Question

Pet peeves say a lot about a person. So much so, employers often ask about a persons’ pet peeves during a job interview. The answer helps determine whether they’re a good fit within the company culture. It may also show how easily they are irritated. If they provide a long list of things that annoy them, the perception is they may be an unpleasant co-worker.

The takeaway – choose your pet peeves carefully, at least on the job interview. Avoid negativity, downplay how much your pet peeve bothers you, and let the boss know it never impedes you from doing your work. If you can swing it, provide a pet peeve unrelated to the job, or tailor your answer to the job duties. If the job requires a lot of teamwork, you might say your pet peeve is when a person cannot work effectively in a group and then explain how you’d deal with that situation.

What Pet Peeves Reveal About Your Personality

There’s an endless supply of things that can annoy us. Slow walkers, open mouth chewers, interrupters, know-it-alls, drivers who don’t use a turn signal…the list goes on and on. While we all have a list of pet peeves, typically there’s just one that really sets us off.

Did you know that ultimate pet peeve offers a very unique approach to discovering who you are as an individual? That one thing that makes us crazy, says a lot about who we are. Here’s a list of some of the top pet peeves and what they say about a person:

  1. Drivers Who Don’t Use Turn Signals: You are someone who cares about the safety of others and you get angry when people are so careless to put others in harm’s way.
  2. People Who Chew with an Open Mouth: You are somebody who is very aware of having good manners and find when someone doesn’t, they are usually disrespectful and rude.
  3. People Using Speaker Phones in Public Areas: You value privacy and don’t feel as if anybody should feel the need to have a conversation in front of strangers.
  4. People Who Do Not Wash Hands After Bathroom: You are very health conscious and think hygiene is extremely important. You expect everyone should care about their health as well as others.
  5. People Who Interrupt: You respect other people’s time and believe there is a time and place for everything. You do not have patience for people who interrupt with nonsense.
  6. Spoiled Kids: You believe what people need most is love and tenderness. You feel we should be talking more about the importance of love and relationships over the importance of material things.
  7. People Who Don’t Cover Their Cough/Sneeze: You hate to be a nuisance to others and go above and beyond to make sure you aren’t hindering anyone.
  8. People Who Don’t Respect Personal Space: You’re somebody who can be quite introspective and value your space away from others at times.
  9. Slow Walkers: You’re someone who lives a fast-paced lifestyle and you like to make the most of your time. You don’t like others that slow you down.
  10. Line Jumpers: You believe everyone is equal and cannot stand when others have the impression they are superior to others.

Pet Peeves of Highly Successful People

So, we know our pet peeves speak to who we are. We thought it would be fun and somewhat insightful to see what some of the most successful people have to say about their pet peeves.

  1. President Donald Trump doesn’t want to deal with people who aren’t competent.
  2. Arianna Huffington dislikes people who brag about how busy they are.
  3. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, hates when people throw others under the bus.
  4. Mark Cuban hates when people are lazy.
  5. Yahoo’s ex-CEO, Marissa Mayer wishes tech were more welcoming to women.
  6. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, hates it when women give up their careers because they might have kids.
  7. Steve Jobs despised it when people copied his ideas.
  8. Oprah Winfrey is strongly annoyed by people chewing gum.
  9. Larry Page, the CEO of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), cannot stand chronic negativity.
  10. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia was most offended by bad language stating it shows a lack of manners.
  11. Real-estate mogul Barbara Corcoran is turned off my know-it-alls.
  12. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos has no patience for “groupthink.” He keeps group size to 5 to 7 people to encourage individual ideas over “groupthink.”
  13. Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour does not tolerate lateness.

GRIT Pet Peeves

Just for fun, we asked the GRIT team to share their biggest pet peeves, and here they are:

Julie Lando/President: “Personal – people cracking their knuckles or any other body part – IT DRIVES ME INSANE. Professional – people who are late for meetings or not doing what they say they are going to do.”

Lissa Scott/Creative Director: “When you go to use a stapler and it’s out of staples.”

Abby McGinnis/Client Services Director: “Hmmm…personal? I’d have to say whining…that may not come off well…. How about leaving milk on the counter? Does that sound better? Or, do you want professional? For that one, I’d say it would be continuing to email again and again and forgoing a call that could easily get things done.”

Natonia Samchuck/Public Relations Director: “Mine is spitting. I’m fine with it if you’re brushing your teeth, but I can’t stand when people just spit on the road etc. when they are just standing there. Disgusting!”

Kevin Kresge/Digital Director: “Professional – last minute work with short deadlines. ‘Failure to plan on your part should not constitute an emergency on mine.’ Personal – I’ve got thick skin, if we have an issue, tell me. Don’t tell other people. Also, own your shit. If you screw up, you screw up. Don’t try to hide it. This is a work pet peeve, too, I guess.

Lexi Petry/Senior Graphic Designer: “My dog Henley is family to me and my biggest pet peeve would be people who don’t like animals.”

Pete Hudack/Front-End Developer & Digital Designer: “People who don’t clear the remaining time off the microwave when they’re done with it and people who race to the front of the empty lane when there’s a traffic merge.”

Annie Eagles/Business Manager: “When people ‘double park’ right beside an open parking spot!”

Heather Warner/New Business Development: “Dishonesty, loud eaters and slow walkers.”

Tom Skena/Senior Account Executive: “Braking before putting on the turn signal, not using a turn sign, using jargon, going slowly in the left lane, using ‘we’ in reference to a team you are rooting for, like you played in the game. i.e. We won the game, when in fact the Steelers won the game, euphemisms, and Facebook conversations/discussion/arguments.”

Bethany Slapinski/Senior Account Executive: “One of my biggest pet peeves is loud gum chewers and loud eaters. Something a little more substantial is when people miss commitments.”

Janell Fisher/Project Manager: “When people incorrectly spell my name in an email response to me. My name is in my email signature. When my name is misspelled, it makes me think the person doesn’t care enough to be precise in their response. Huge pet peeve.”

Mallory Wiess/Project Manager: “At home, we use our microwave as a clock to tell the time of day. A pet peeve of mine is when the microwave is stopped, mid-use, with time left on the timer, and the remaining time doesn’t get cleared. So, when you glance at the microwave to check the time, you’re unable to tell what time it is.”

Madeleine Smith/Intern: “My biggest pet peeve is loud eaters.”

Did we talk about your biggest pet peeve yet? Take a look at the most talked about pet peeves and see how you fare in terms of others who share in your dismay.

While we can’t help people behave more favorably or follow rules, we can help them with their marketing needs! It’s what we do! Give us a shout anytime. We’d love to meet you!