The term “pet peeve” refers to the things other people do that annoy you the most. These actions or habits that irritate you are often small, but they can start to get under your skin after a while if they’re not addressed. Dealing with pet peeves is tough, especially when it involves someone you live with. Whether it’s a roommate or a family member, it can be difficult to address pet peeves without causing hurt feelings — or worse, a major argument.

Some common pet peeves include chewing loudly, snoring, and leaving a mess behind. And while it’s important to learn to deal with these pet peeves, it’s also important to make sure you’re not accidentally doing some of the same things, too. Whether it’s your life partner, your BFF, or your sibling doing the irritating thing, read on to learn how you can deal with some common pet peeves for a more peaceful existence at home.

Common Pet Peeves that Annoy Most People

The most common pet peeves between family and roommates involve cleanliness (or the lack thereof), loud behaviors like blaring music or talking loudly on the phone, and general disregard for the other person’s happiness or well-being. Most people don’t realize that they’re doing something annoying unless they’re told. However, it’s important to find a good housemate and also address these things in the right way to avoid conflict and ensure a happier existence.

What constitutes a pet peeve?

A pet peeve is generally something someone else does as a habit that annoys you or causes you discomfort. In most cases, your pet peeve is bothersome because the other person’s actions negatively affect you. Minor annoyances like chewing food too loudly aren’t really worth an argument. However, if the pet peeve affects things like the cleanliness of your environment, your ability to sleep, or your peace of mind, they certainly need to be nipped in the bud.

Why do we have pet peeves?

Everyone’s pet peeves might be different, but there’s a reason why you might be annoyed. Maybe it’s because you feel disrespected by the other person’s behavior, and they don’t seem to care that their actions affect you. Perhaps the pet peeve is due to your difference in personality types. If you’re a type-A person and your roomy is type-B, your habits and behaviors will differ in many ways. Regardless of the reasons, practically every person has their own specific set of pet peeves that can make living with someone else irritating.

How to Address and Survive Your Pet Peeves

It’s important to address specific pet peeves as soon as possible so that your family member or roommate is aware of what’s bothering you. Thankfully, there are ways you can “survive” dealing with your pet peeves with an open mind, a little bit of compromise, and some boundaries or rules.

Talk about it. In most cases, people don’t realize they’re doing something annoying unless they’re told. Sit the other person down and gently let them know about a few of the pet peeves that they have, and why they bother you. Pick your battles here: only talk about the pet peeves that are truly affecting your ability to be happy and comfortable in your own home. You might have to learn with the smaller, less impactful pet peeves or try other methods to cope.

Reach a middle point/remove it. Depending on the pet peeve, you may need to learn how to compromise with your roommate. For example, if they come home late and they’re too loud, agree to keep your bedroom door shut, or try headphones or a noise machine. Come up with ways that you can both make small changes so that your pet peeves aren’t as annoying to the other person. If compromising doesn’t work, you might have to think outside the box and look for other ways to “remove” the pet peeve from your life. Whether it’s through changing your schedule or setting serious boundaries, the goal is to make the pet peeve less bothersome or make it disappear altogether.

Ask how to improve. Once you’ve shared your annoyances, it’s time to find out what you can do to make the pet peeves fewer and farther between — or even gone for good. Perhaps you can offer to buy new cleaning tools, like a better vacuum cleaner, if the issue is related to regular cleaning. Come up with some creative ways that you can take the reins to make life easier for both of you. If it means stepping up in one area so that your roommate can step up in another, then you should be willing to do it so that you’re both happier in the long run.

Chill or confront? Living with someone means you’re going to be around them a lot. Think about whether it’s worth it to confront the other person, or if it’s best to take a deep breath and chill out. Remember, pick your battles when it comes to addressing pet peeves, or else you could end up looking like the bad guy — and maybe justifiably so!

Workplace pet peeves. Coping with pet peeves at work can be tricky, too. Start by asking your supervisor if you can move to a new location to get away from the offender. If the pet peeves are affecting your ability to do your job, you should alert your boss ASAP. Never let someone else’s habits affect your job but be sure to address it in a professional way that won’t leave hurt feelings behind.


How to compromise

Learning how to compromise is key to any happy relationship. Here are some ways you can compromise when dealing with annoying pet peeves.

Make changes to improve. Both parties should agree to certain rules. Offer to help with cleaning, decluttering, and organizing so that your home is clean and you feel good about where you live. Don’t steal food that doesn’t belong to you. Instead of separating food, share the grocery list and agree to split your food 50/50, or at least alternate splitting the cost. You can also help each other out by offering to do some of the grocery shopping so that the burden isn’t completely on one person alone.

Have a backup plan. There will always be times when your family member or roommate simply can’t — or won’t — do their part. Whether they’re under the weather, out of town, or have a huge project coming up, make sure you have a backup plan to cover them. Be available whenever your roommate isn’t around, and offer to help out by cleaning, cooking, or shopping until things are back to normal.

Establish chores. Create a chore chart with a schedule that you can all agree on. Include things like doing the laundry, general cleaning of the common spaces, washing dishes, and taking the garbage out. You can use a dry erase board or a chalkboard to assign each person a specific chore to complete each day and each week. Alternate chores to keep things fresh and prevent laziness.

Weekly Chore Charts

Speaking of compromise, here are a few items you can include on your weekly chore chart to ensure that everyone is on the same page:

  • Doing dishes and general kitchen cleaning chores like wiping down countertops, cleaning out the fridge, and cleaning the sink and floors.
  • Bedroom and bathroom cleaning, including vacuuming and scrubbing the tub, shower, and toilets.
  • Organizing and cleaning up clutter, including stacked up mail, piles of shoes, and dishes scattered about.
  • Grocery shopping. Decide whether or not you want to split the cost of food and share it, or if you’d rather purchase and eat just your own.

Setting Boundaries and/or Rules

The best way to cope with pet peeves is by setting some boundaries at home. When you establish some ground rules, everyone will be on the same page, and you might just get some peace.

Decide on the rules together. Remember that a pet peeve isn’t fatal, it’s simply annoying. Decide how you will let each other know you’re doing a pet peeve. Agree with how you’ll bring it up and resolve it.

Accept what can and can’t be fixed. Sometimes, there are things other people do that will simply never change. Learn how to accept the things you can’t fix, and be grateful for the things you can. Most of the time, pet peeves are just irritating, and there are far more interesting things to obsess over.

There is no doubt that pet peeves can affect the relationship you have with friends, family members, and even your work relationships. Think about the things that are affecting your life as opposed to just irritating you. Learn how to deal with pet peeves by talking about them, reaching common ground, and coping when you can’t change your roommate’s habits. With the right techniques and some compromise, you can deal with pet peeves at home and live a happy life.