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Bryan’s List of Pet-Peeves: 5 Things That TICK ME OFF

2 June 2011 No Comment

african american child mad

I normally don’t get too personal here on the blog, but what we’ll be getting into here applies mostly to character, so it fits.

You can tell A LOT about somebody by their smallest and most subtle acts: the little statements they make and immediate responses they have to trivial things. I guess the reason these pet-peeves make me “go off” like that is because they reveal the type of things that I’m dedicated towards removing in myself and other people.

To be clear though, I do my best to not bug out about anything (life’s too short for that), but what I’m about to break down here are some things that do make go “Uggh…c’mon yo, that’s crazy,” “You expect me to believe that???” or “Stop…just stop.”

Let’s go ahead and get into it:

Pet Peeve #1: Not Taking Responsibility

This is a big one: I think it’s really whack when someone messes up or does something wrong, and finds some way to make it seem like it wasn’t their fault.

You see this all the time in so many indiscreet ways, and what makes it so deep is that it’s usually for stuff that doesn’t even matter. I’ll give you an example:

One time a friend of mine had to watch this old film for a course she was taking and write a short review of it after the fact. I forget what the movie was called (it was actually pretty good), but her, her homegirl and I all watched it together one night.

black couple watching tv

Maybe two or three days later when I was kicking it with her again, I asked how the review paper turned out, and she says back to me:

My teacher didn’t accept it…

I said, “What? What do you mean your teacher didn’t accept it??? Why would he assign something to the class and then not accept it?”

“Well…he said it was late.”

“What are you talking about? Did he SAY it was late, or was it late?”

“Yeah – I ended up turning it in a day after it was due…

pretty black girl in nature“Aite then…” I said, and I had to tell her about herself, because rather then just admit that she messed up and didn’t get it in on time, she magically found some way to phrase it that deferred responsibility onto somebody else.

And that’s the thing: I would of had so much more respect for her if she just owned up to her mistake (because we all make mistakes). It’s one thing to mess something up, but when you try to cover up over what you did, it’s another thing entirely. That’s really what I have a problem with.

She of course thought it wasn’t big deal; that her finding a different way to explain what happened didn’t mean anything at all. To me however, it was a reflection of her character.

PEOPLE DO THIS ALL THE TIME, especially young people – it’s as if they’re afraid of admitting they have anything to do with what happens to them.

Here’s another quick example. This one is recent:

Headphone and studio equipment...I was making music with a friend the other day, and when it came his time to record into the mic, he made a small mistake and skipped over a word…Nothing big, right?

So I noticed he messed up, stopped the recording and said to him, “Yeah, I can tell you missed a word there.

Guess what he says back to me: “Yeah…oh – it’s actually written down wrong so it wasn’t my fault.”

I’m like, “What??? WHO WROTE IT?”

“I did, but I’m saying…”

And then went on to rationalize it, but I got to keep it real with you…at that point I stopped listening. I just shook my head and said, “Alright man, we about to set it again.” and re-recorded the take.

It’s small instances like that that just irk me: how people can come up with the most illogical justifications for their mistakes (no matter how insignificant the mistake is) and actually feel okay with themselves about it.

Pet Peeve #2: Being OVER-Apologetic

This is my second pet peeve: people who are constantly saying “I’m sorry.

t-shirt that reads I'm sorryThere’s a lot of people these days who seem to take any opportunity to say “I’m sorry” that they possibly can. They might as well walk around wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m sorry” because that’s exactly what they are: SORRY.

Seriously though, personally speaking, someone who apologizes too much gives me the impression that they’re sorry to be alive. They’re constantly apologizing for being in your space or inconveniencing you in any way because they believe they’re inherently an inconvenience themselves.

I tend to get this more from women then men, and attractive women I know tend to get this from men ALL THE TIME.

For instance, I was on the phone with a good friend the other day and she apologized to me because she took a few seconds to help her little sister find a computer game.

The whole thing took no longer than half a minute and I thought it was kind of cute too (I could hear everything over the line), plus I was organizing my desk in the meantime anyway, but for some reason she found it necessary to apologize…

black woman on telephone laughing

I asked her “What are you apologizing for?” and we went into detail, but I already called her on this a couple times before anyway. I’ve actually made it now a habit to tell people “stop apologizing” early on in the relationship (business, friends, whatever).

Maybe it’s just me: I feel like this conveys weakness and a lack of self-confidence, and in case you haven’t noticed, I prefer to spend my time around strong, confident people…people who challenge me to step my game up simply by being around them.

I actually think you should refrain from saying “I’m sorry” as much as possible. This way, when you do make a real, important mistake, people know you’re being sincere and it actually means something.

2 young black children showing respectNow you might be thinking, “Yeah Bryan, but sometimes people say ‘I’m sorry’ because truly are…it’s a way of showing care and consideration” and I’m with you on that.

I think we should all be considerate to the people around us, but that we should show our consideration through action, NOT through words. Let people know how empathetic, compassionate and considerate you are by how you tend to behave, not by the words you can muster up after the fact.

Also, some people apologize to avoid conflict, and this might sound a little weird, but the older I get, the more I embrace conflict: I know that me going after what I want may necessitate me making other people upset, and I’m cool with that. Consequently, anyone who seems too scared to engage, clash with or inconvenience anyone else turns me off…

#’s 3-5: Seeking Approval, Seeking Permission & Indirect Communication

Approval-seeking is another one people do all the time, and it’s one of the best ways to come across as needy, insecure and unsure of yourself.

Here’s some side dating advice: never ask the person you’re interested in “What do you think of me?” Just assume that they like you for who you are because if they’re spending time with you, they probably do.

Although we can all use a good compliment or acknowledgement every now and then, there’s no need to look towards somebody else to give you validation. Most of us could benefit from being comfortable and confident enough in our own skin to not care what other people think of us anyway.

Similar to seeking approval is seeking permission, where whenever I’m out with friends, one of the questions I often get asked is, “Are you sure you can (do this thing, go over there past that thing, or whatever else it is they suppose is forbidden)?” and my response is always, “Watch me,” or, “I don’t know but we’re about to find out…

Deviant art police cartoon thingyIn most cases it just feels like a dumb question…like the person asking it doesn’t know how function without an authority figure.

I also get ticked off if I can tell somebody wants something from me, but rather than ask for it directly they decide to break down a whole series of details first…

(Friend that hasn’t called me in 18 years:) “Hey what’s going on bruh?

(Me:) “Chilling…what’s on your mind?

Well, last week I was supposed to do ‘x,’ so I had built with person ‘y’ about doing ‘z’ for me earlier this week, that way it would be easier except he didn’t…

Wait, wait, wait…what do you WANT?

I always interject because you can always tell ahead of time when somebody wants something from you just by the vibe, and the detailed explanations do nothing but waste time.

broken record great imageThere’s also another one where you’ll ask someone a question, but they won’t answer it directly…they’ll just go off on a tangent or repeat whatever they just said.

I had this guy from some network marketing company do that to me. He kept saying, “Hey man, I got this business opportunity you really need to find out about…it’s a real good opportunity for you to make some side cash and I’d love to have you come through to our next meeting.”

“What is it?”

“Aw man, just a great company that’s been around for more than 10 years and it’s a leader in the industry…”

“No, no….what is it SELLING??? What product or service are you talking about?”

“Well man, like I said I just want to let you know about this great business opportunity. It’s a chance for you to finally live the freedom lifestyle…

This went on for another minute or so only to find out that the dude was trying to get me involved with pre-paid legal services. Not interested.

(I’ve found that a lot of network, multi-level marketing companies prey upon people with weak boundaries…the average person’s inability to say “No.”)

Catch what I’m saying? Dodging the issue like that conveys a sense of shadiness to me…it makes me think you’re intentions are ill or whatever you’re dealing with really isn’t worth my time on its own merit.

I could really go on for days here, but it took me writing this out to realize that my REAL pet-peeve (to which all of these others are a subset) is people who are afraid to live, and consequently, live in fear instead: the fear of being found out, criticized, challenged or whatever else.

Leave a comment below sharing some of yours…


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