Social Question

Shippy's avatar

What kind of noises really irritate you?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) January 17th, 2013

I live in a city, so we hear sirens, people, and loud talking. That I can deal with. One thing that drives me nuts are foot steps in the apartment above me, or the people upstairs dropping things.

I also hate the sound of crying babies or a dog barking.

Some people abhor odd sounds like sneezing or coughing.

Which noise do you find the most irritating?

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54 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

The vacuum cleaner, a blender, crying babies, screaming toddlers, and pointless-off-key-nonsensical whistling.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Crying babies and screaming toddlers, totally agree, it drives me insane, especially at restaurants or public areas where you’re trying to have a night out.

I hate the converted little cars with no mufflers that are SO COOL now, sound like little go carts going up and down our street all the time. I also hate the garbage truck sounds, and the Schwan’s man’s truck sounds, anything diesel really.

Shippy's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Ugh! good choices there!!

bookish1's avatar

The footsteps of the people upstairs really bother me. It sounds like they are teaching an elephant to tap dance. They also play their bass really loud, and since I am a very auditory person (and a bass player!) it’s just impossible for me to tune that out.

Also, along with wailing children and toddlers, the chatter of undergrads saying “Like” and “Literally” incessantly really bothers me.

The sound of nails on an emery board makes me shudder. Worse than nails on a chalkboard in my opinion.

Seek's avatar

Currently? The street preacher underneath my office window. If my window could open I’d throw my stapler at him. STFU, DUDE!

Shippy's avatar

ha-ha Jesus loves you that much!! @Seek_Kolinahr

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Really loud motorcycles accelerating fast.

Aster's avatar

The person going WOO HOOOOOO ! directly behind me in the audience. Bothers my ears terribly and I have visions of doing it to her in a megaphone when she’s asleep. In fact, I don’t even like WOO HOO ! from anyone on tv. I wonder where the heck that came from?
The dogs barking very loudly at night when the UPS man rings the doorbell. And the bell is too loud.
The FAKE laughs of the football announcer/hosts guys. They don’t say anything at all funny but they all laugh like they’re pretending they’re drunk. I know beyond a doubt the producer tells them to do it so the morons watching and drinking beer will feel like they’re all good friends with the viewers.

Pachy's avatar

To name just a few…
– My neighbor has a huge truck (so does his house-mate) who lets it sit idling at dawn every morning in front of his house, which is right next door to my bedroom window. Need I say more?
– Barking dogs at night (You’ll love this)
– Loud-talking people outside my office
– My cat screeching for food (even after he’s eaten!)
– Theater movie previews
– Ambulances in the middle of the night (my house is near a hospital)
– People talking during movies as if they’re in their own living – rooms
– Gunfire and explosions in movies and on TV

newtscamander's avatar

Urgh, people eating noisily. I hate that, it makes me feel ill.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

The noise that irritates me the most is when somebody is walking along with their mobile phone and playing music on it as they seem to think that everybody will want to listen to it.

I also hate the sound of those cars that put on a stupid exhaust to make them sound more powerful when they actually own a car that takes an eternity to get from 0 to 60 but they decide that they would like to draw attention to themselves by having a car that imitates a jet engine.

hearkat's avatar

Misophonia is the term for people who are bothered by sounds to the point of distraction. A pair of musicians earplugs might help. In fact, I should make a habit of carrying mine at all times, because I don’t like noise pollution in general.

I have one coworker whose voice carries and she is very talkative. When the office is busy, I can tune her out, but when it’s quiet and I’m trying to do paperwork and she’s gabbing in the next room, it’s very distracting.

I use the cushioned nail files – they are less annoying than emery boards or metal files. But nail clippers bug me even more than either of those.

I consider us very fortunate that we found a townhouse instead of a condo, so I don’t have to hear other people’s footsteps overhead, or fret about them hearing mine. The place seems very well insulated, too, because I can only hear the neighbors’ golden retriever barking when it’s very quiet in our house. Sometimes we hear the other neighbors vacuuming, and only very rarely do we hear TV sounds from either side.

I hate people who honk their horns outside when picking-up others. In this day and age, nearly everyone has a cell phone – call or text that you’re outside waiting, mmmkay?

And the loud car stereos passing by are obnoxious. There is a band that practices in the clubhouse down the road and I can hear them, but it doesn’t bother me except that it’s distant, so I’m compelled to try to make out the tune. Similarly to when the High School marching band is practicing or halftime during Friday night football… we can only hear them when the wind is blowing a certain direction, and I strain to try to recognize the song.

Blackberry's avatar

High pitched baby scream. I’ve also been so annoyed and distracted by a squeaking bed during sex that I couldn’t continue. My bed is off the frame and on the floor now.

Aster's avatar

@hearkat “I hate people who honk their horns outside when picking-up others.” I forgot about that! It has been happening around here lately and can make the dogs have a barking fit !

tom_g's avatar

The sounds that really get to me are the ones produced by sociopaths specifically to produce a reaction or as a way of exercising power over other people. Loud motorcycles and loud music in cars are good examples. What bothers me more than the noise is that it’s a reminder that there are people who derive pleasure by creating suffering in others. It’s a recipe for an afternoon of misanthropy.

There is another category of human-generated noise that also bother me. These are not in the category above because rather than intentionally trying to hurt people, these noises are a product of narcissism and apathy towards other humans. Examples include leaf blowers, playing music outside in a neighborhood (for fun or while doing work), and allowing a dog to bark rather than let it in.

hearkat's avatar

Oh! I forgot the worst noise in all the world: whining. I can handle genuine crying, of course when a child is crying in pain it is distressing, but in a different way; but whining goes straight to my last nerve.

Coloma's avatar

Barking dogs top my list. I live on property in the hills over here and love all the animal sounds.
I have braying donkeys and mules, roosters crowing, sheep baaaing, horses neighing, and of course, my honking geese that set off the Bremen town musicians every morning.
Barking dogs however drive me nuts and out of every animal on the planet barking dogs are the most obnoxious IMO.

DominicX's avatar

Humans naturally find the sound of crying/screaming babies grating and distressing for evolutionary purposes—it draws our attention to them and shows we need to attend to their needs. So I don’t know if you’ll find anyone who isn’t bothered by that sound :)

As for me, I can’t stand the sound of muffled music/bass while trying to sleep. I also really can’t stand screamo screaming or the voices of certain rock singers that sound like dressed-up whining.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Oh my BIG pet hate with noise is the sound of mopeds and scooters. They sound like angry bees. Usually the vehicle of choice for chavvy, spotty little teenagers. Worse when seen in groups of two or more, they think they are the business in their little gangs. The Hell’s Angels would probably stomp all over them. And I’d happily let them too.
Every night there is some real pain in the ass who likes riding his moped up and down the road behind my house at full revs, which sounds so awful. More than once I’ve popped my head out of my window and yelled at him to at least get a proper damn bike. If you’re gonna be a biker, at least do so properly. I’d rather hear the thunderous roar from a Harley than a shitty little 50cc moped whining it’s bitchy little tailpipe up the road.. Can you tell I hate mopeds and scooters yet?

Another one I hate is the people who have cars that they’ve somehow managed to modify so the engine sounds ‘great’ apparently. There’s some dude lives down the road from me who drives the worst looking Subaru (sorry, I hate Subaru so any of them are gonna look crap to me) but it is the worst looking Subaru. It’s an estate, in a horrid gray colour, and the driver rags that engine something chronic when he pulls out from the junction and really floors the pedal – and I can only think what a complete dickhead he is. If you’re going to mod a car to make it sound ‘great’ at least go all out and mod the whole damn thing – don’t try and flaunt a great engine in a shitty looking car. Now if it was done up so it had a nice paint job, some decals, and maybe those stupid looking neon lights that make your car look like a floating inverted sunbed, that would be impressive – but only just.

Also….I hate that noise that people make when they don’t eat food with their mouths closed. It drives me nuts.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@DominicX How do you turn that evolutionary imperative off if you choose not to have children? :) It drives me insane, and I have to ask to be moved to an ‘adult’ area in restaurants quite often.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

@DominicX Totally get that on the rock music thing.
When I was 17 my then girlfriend gave me a cassette with all the stuff she likes listening to on it, and one of the songs on it was Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. I’ve grown up listening to rock and metal, and I became curious about Children of Bodom (seriously, you might not want to listen to those people), and one album had a cover version of Rebel Yell on it. I listen to that, and in the short space of about ten seconds from the intro, I decide that the screamy grunty talentless vocalist totally fucked a classic without even trying. I’ve never listened to Children of Bodom ever again.
Fear Factory’s rendition of Gary Numan’s “Cars” is pretty good, as is Lacuna Coil’s “Enjoy The Silence” (Depeche Mode – I’m not messing with accented letters that aren’t on my keyboard ha). But I’m kind of stuck in a timezone with what I listen to because so many metal and rock bands are all about that whiny, screechy, grunty primitive stuff that just puts me off the genre. That and some of them look like they’re trying to swallow the friggin’ microphone when you see them on their videos or they sound like they’re doing that when you’re just hearing the noise (it ain’t music).
The kids screaming, yeah I get that.
OH! OH! I have another huge dislike. No it’s probably my biggest dislike.
My travelling from my home to my girlfriend’s is a ten to eleven hour trip – same applies on the way back. From where my gf lives to London and London to where I live. From London to where I live is about 3 hours. I’d just caught the coach back from London (due to a change over), and I was sat in front of this >.< really annoying >.< asshole who just nattered on her phone all the way back to the station where I had to get off. At one point I was actually praying that she was gonna get off at a stop I didn’t need to disembark at before I had to get off the coach. Didn’t happen. I got so wound up. I’d gone from restraining myself from turning around and telling her to turn the fucking phone off, to trying my utmost not to turn around grab her phone and stamp the shit out of it. I was never so relieved as to get off that coach and not have that one-sided conversation rubbish being forced into my ears. I cannot stand it. A ten minute call I can tolerate, but when it lasts for frikkin’ HOURS that’s when I start feeling like I want to punch something or throw someone’s phone out the friggin’ window. What aggravates me more is that there is an announcement that the drivers play that states at the beginning of every departure from every stop that people may use their cell phones “but please be considerate to other passengers.” Surely the subtle definition of “Please shut the hell up after 15 minutes at the most” hidden within is lost on some people who clearly don’t need to be called due to an emergency.

And finally….
Psy’s Gangnam Style. Friggin hate it. I don’t even know what the fascination is with it, and I certainly don’t know why so many people actually like the damn thing.

Kardamom's avatar

Leaf blowers

Car alarms that use the car horn (the whee, whee, whee electronic ones don’t bug me as much)

Constant clearing of the throat and/or the sound of hocking up lugees

The loud rattle of gangsta-rap coming from the car right next to me. So loud that even with my windows rolled up and my classical music station playing, I can still hear it and feel it

People loudly berating their tiny children for very minor offenses in stores and other public places

Loud cell phone conversations, especially when it’s a couple having a tremendous fight

Overly loud music and/or explosions in movie trailers

People having loud racous parties at 3 am

People having loud ugly fights with their families at 3 am

^^ These last 2 happen regularly at my friend’s home where I often house sit, with the people that live behind him

hearkat's avatar

@Kardamom – car alarms bother me, too. I’ve disabled the beep/honk on every car that gives that option. When you lock the car, there’s an audible click of the locking mechanism, and the lights flash – once for locked, twice for unlocked – why the F do they need to honk?

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom Oh yeah, rap….OMG! Car alarms are horrible too!
At least up here I don’t get a lot of the city noises, thank god!

Funny story…when I first moved here almost 7 years ago I heard, what I thought was my neighbor up the hill coughing.
I can see the back of their barn through the trees from my deck.
I was thinking ” Man…that guy sounds really sick!” A horrible coughing like I had never heard before. Turns out it was their Llama coughing! haha

Symbeline's avatar

People walking upstairs. I hate living under someone. The upstairs neighbor I have now is extremely loud. She sounds like there’s a couch attached to her when she walks. She’s always pounding all across the apartment, and it starts from about 10 PM to six in the morning. So it’s like, tryna fucking sleep here…and yes, why do people always drop so many things? I never drop stuff. Or barely. She’s always dropping things, dragging things around, like she’s eternally moving or something. She’s so fucking loud.

Another noise that annoys the hell out of me is the ’‘gling gling’’ of people who seem to completely enjoy smashing their spoons or forks in bowls and dishes when they eat, or who mix chocolate in milk or whatever and insist on smashing the spoon in the glass incessantly as they mix the stuff up.

SomeoneElse's avatar

Small dogs that yap yap yap.
Children who scream in supermarkets as it seems to echo in a very unpleasant way.
Mindless, to me, rapper songs.
Screechy female singers (I won’t name names!)
@Coloma The thought of the coughing llama is so funny!

Sunny2's avatar

TV sounds: canned laughter and commercials that are suddenly louder than the rest of the sound on the set. I grit my teeth and run for the volume button. Off you go!

Coloma's avatar

@Symbeline Haha…I know, some people don’t even pick their feet up when they walk. I used to know this woman that was pretty overweight and I swear, she fucking shuffled everywhere, making these loud swooshing, dragging sounds with her feet. I mean seriously, the woman did not LIFT her flipping feet off the ground. It made me want to kill her. lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SomeoneElse I can dig a little screamo, a lot of rap, but Taylor Swift is too hard to bear.

nic81's avatar

people slurping or eating with their mouth open

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

The sound of my mother-in-law telling a 20-minute story.

The noise that Sadie, my utterly loving and loveable dog, makes when she needs a 2:00 am bathroom break.

Most of what’s broadcast on the radio.

Doris Kearn Goodwin’s voice. She may be a well-regarded historian, but I can never get past her accent.

Aster's avatar

A lovely song comes on the radio, the singing begins. So far, fine. Then, as the song is half over , the singer begins yelling with a high pitched tone and I can feel my nerves approaching the edge. I know the finale will be soon and, until that time, the singer sounds like she’s screaming. If I’m in a store I have to endure it .

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Good grief the sound of people chewing. I just can’t stand it. It’s the worst sound ever. People. Chewing. Food. And swallowing is a close second.

tups's avatar

Tinnitus is the worst sound.
I don’t like when people talk really loud, it’s really annoying.
The sound of techno, house-music and all “music” like that.
Somebody’s snorring, when you’re trying to sleep.
There’s really many annoying sounds in the world (and many amazing ones too!).

YARNLADY's avatar

A faucet dripping, dripping, dripping
My dog whining, whining, whining, whining when I lock him out for stealing food from people.

flutherother's avatar

My flat is mostly quiet and there is not much traffic in the street but there is a metal plate in the road which I have reported as it doesn’t fit properly. Every time a car goes over it gives a double clunk, not very loud but very irritating.

I also hear the cold water tank filling up in the attic.

Coloma's avatar

I get completely bombed with acorns over here in the fall.
They are ricocheting around for weeks and weeks. I hate it when they hit the house and startle you. BANG!
I guess it’s a good cardio test, if you don’t have a heart attack when you are suddenly and violently startled. haha

cookieman's avatar

• Booming bass from someone’s car

• Television commercials (I mute them all).

• Loud, obnoxious motorcycle mufflers.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Coloma I can see the Headline now: The revenge of the Acorns

Kardamom's avatar

@Coloma Llama lugees!

@Symbeline it sounds like the Ghost of Marley lives above you!

@PaulSadieMartin When your mother in law tells a 20 minute story, it probably seems like a 40 minute story, huh?

@YARNLADY It might be even worse if your faucet was whining and your dog was dripping.

tranquilsea's avatar

High persistent whines which I am, thankfully, not subjected to often. Main main sound related pet peeve is people eating with their mouths open.

blueiiznh's avatar

The sound of your Manager at work saying “um, we are going to have to let you go”.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

@blueiiznh Sadly, that answer works for me too.

newtscamander's avatar

I forgot: the sound of my alarm clock going off which means that I have to get out of my warm, cozy bed and go to school.
And also, the school bell. It is terribly loud….and it also means the end of break time and the beginning of another lesson, so what reason would there be to like it?

tups's avatar

@scuniper The alarm clock beats it all. Worst sound ever.

Seek's avatar

The alarm clock on my phone is birds singing. I wake up to a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It’s pretty great.

cookieman's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: Do the nearby woodland creatures then rush in and dress you for the day?

newtscamander's avatar

@tups definitely!
@Seek_Kolinahr I have a nice ringtone too, but no matter how great the song is, I still don’t like it’s purpose.

Seek's avatar

@cookieman Unfortunately, the nearby woodland creatures are hobos living in tents. I try to avoid them.

mattbrowne's avatar

MP3-Player of nearby person on the train.

Pachy's avatar

Car alarms . Gawd I hate ‘em.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room :-) When a car alarm starts blaring, does anyone say, “Someone’s in trouble! Let’s call the police! Let’s offer aid and assistance!”? No, of course not. A car alarm gets an eye-roll and, “Turn that @$^-ing thing off!!!”

Coloma's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin Probably because they are so infamous for crying Wolf. haha
I disabled my car key sensors, drove me crazy.

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