phrase that annoys people the most
Brittany Hambleton
Brittany Hambleton
December 3, 2023 ·  7 min read

15 People Share the Single Phrase That Annoys Them the Most

Words are powerful tools. They can inspire and motivate people, comfort and encourage them, and educate and inform them. Words, however, can also be used to hurt people, or sometimes just downright annoy them.

Fifteen people told Tip Hero the phrases that annoy them the most… Do you agree with them?

Most Annoying Phrase

  1. “I am who I am and if you don’t like it, that’s your issue not mine.”

Why don’t people like this one? Because it seems that more often than not, the person saying it is using it as an excuse for poor behaviour, treating others badly, or as a way to defend views and opinions that are discriminatory or hurtful to specific people or groups of people.

  1. “Am I the only one…?”

Most people would agree that any time someone says this, they are entirely aware that they are not the “only one”.

  1. “Get over it.”

This phrase is entirely insensitive and rude. When someone goes through something that is emotionally or mentally challenging, just “getting over it” is not always so easy. You don’t know what someone’s experience has been and what kind of emotional barriers they need to clear in order to move on from something, so just don’t say it.

  1. “Ladies first.”

This one may come as a surprise to some people, because it sounds inherently polite. Oftentimes, however, polite-sounding phrases can get used in a derogatory way and can be harmful. For some, however, it just conjures bad memories:

“Because of a time in kindergarten where I didn’t get to do anything because this bratty little girl was using it to skip my turn each time.”

  1. “I’m not like most girls.”

It seems that many people find this annoying because chances are the person who is saying it is, at least in some way, just like “most girls”. Of course, every person is unique in their own way, but we are often all more alike than we realize. This is a phrase that, according to some, simply gets overused.

Read: Grandma’s Rules for Hanging Out the Laundry

  1. “Work hard, play hard.”

“Sorry, one trip paintballing a year doesn’t make up for 12 hour shifts as a slave in a collar.”

Many people find this phrase annoying because it also tends to get overused, and as one respondent says, balancing work with pleasure is often not as possible as those who use this phrase make it seem. In a society that values non-stop work, the “play hard” portion often gets axed.

  1. “People are dying and you’re sad about this?”

The reason many people don’t like this phrase is because it discredits people’s own struggles. Just because there are other, sadder things happening in the world does not mean that your immediate reality can’t have an emotional impact on you. Sadness is not a competition, and is not something that needs to be earned.

  1. “Could have been worse.”

This one kind of goes along with number seven, as it also discredits someone’s suffering. Things can often be worse, but they can often be better, too, and settling for the way things are because they’re not as bad as they technically could be will stagnate progress. We should not be comparing ourselves to the lowest common denominator, but should always be striving to make our communities better for everyone.

  1. “You’re so domesticated.”

This phrase has an extremely sexist connotation, especially depending on the way it is used. It compares humans to animals who have been “house broken”, as if having your own home and taking care of it is someone a failure. Success looks different for everyone, and for some, it means owning their own space and looking after it properly. Referring to them as “domesticated: insinuates that they’re version of success is a failure.

  1. “Say it louder for those in the back.”

This phrase is often used when someone is giving their opinions on a topic, often via a social media channel like Facebook or Instagram. As such, some people find this phrase aggressive and rude.

  1. “Spit it out.”

Some people prefer to take a little bit of extra time to choose their words carefully instead of saying the first thing that comes to their mind. Some people take longer to do this than others, and forcing them to hurry up because you have no patience to wait for them is disrespectful.

  1. “Everything happens for a reason.”

For many people, the problem with this phrase is that it is used in situations when someone is going through a difficult time. Perhaps they’re dealing with loss- of a significant other, a job, or a precious item, or maybe they’re going through some kind of health struggle. Whatever it is, telling them that it is happening for a reason does little to comfort them, as in many cases “the reason” is not immediately apparent, if there is one at all.

  1. “Calm down.”

In almost every case, telling someone to calm down only makes them more upset.

  1. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

As already mentioned, words can be used as powerful weapons to inflict harm on another person, and should not be discredited.

  1. “Same difference.”

“Because you can use it between any two things and it’s still technically the truth.”  [1]

Let’s Face It… We Can All Be Annoying

The reality is, we can all be annoying sometimes, and not even realize it. Aside from overused or insensitive phrases, here are a few more things that people find annoying:

  1. Not standing to one side on an escalator.

Some people prefer to stand still on an escalator, some people like to walk up it. If you’re someone who prefers standing, be sure to give room for the people who want to go by you.

  1. Not holding the door for the person behind you. 

Of course, there is a fine balance between how close behind you someone should be before you hold the door for them, but in general if someone is just a few steps back, holding the door for them is a polite gesture, and letting it slam in their face is just rude.

  1. Looking at your phone when you’re talking to someone in person.

When you’re paying more attention to your phone than the person you are with, it sends the message that their time and presence is not valuable to you. When you’re with someone, pay attention to them- you can scroll through Instagram later on your own time.

  1. Replying all.

This is the bane of any office-workers existence. Nobody wants or needs to receive dozens of messages from the same thread that don’t apply to them. Most of us have email inboxes that are already very full, so don’t make it worse.

  1. Talking in movies.

If you want to have a conversation while you’re watching a movie at home, go right ahead. But when you’re at the theatre, you are distracting to everyone and potentially ruining their own experience.

  1. Wearing too much fragrance.

Some people are highly sensitive or even allergic to fragrance, and dousing yourself in so much perfume that your scent enters the room before you do can be incredibly irritating for everyone.

  1. Loud chewing

Nobody wants to hear you chomping on a piece of gum or smacking your lips while eating your sandwich. Plus, loud chewing often goes hand-in-hand with chewing with your mouth open, which is also extremely off-putting for the rest of the world.

  1. Listening to music on your headphones loud enough so other people can hear.

You likely think you have great taste in music, but not everyone else will agree. Keep your music at a volume where you can enjoy it, but it doesn’t affect the others around you.

  1. Texting while walking.

Not only is this annoying for the people who are trying to dodge you on the sidewalk, but it can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention to where you’re going. If you need to send someone a message, stop walking, stand off to the side, and send it. Then you can continue on your way.

  1. Clicking a pen.

For some this is simply a nervous habit, and most people who do this don’t even realize it, but it can be very distracting and annoying for everyone around you [2].

Be Considerate of Those Around You

The bottom line is that the things we say and do can be annoying to others, and in some cases be harmful. It is important to consider what you’re saying or doing, and how that might impact those around you.

Making our homes, workplace, and communities better places starts with the individual, and being considerate of others is the easiest way to make everyone’s day better.

Keep Reading: Please Stop Wearing These 3 Things (at any age)