Anyone else get bothered by others' actions, even when they don't impact you?

I very easily get in a tizzy when someone else does something that I think is “wrong”, even when it has NO impact on me whatsoever.

This was even noted on my kindergarten report card - “Stainz is too concerned with what others are doing.”

Here is an example - there is a thread on a parenting message board to which I belong - about “free stuff”. One of the members posted that a formula company will send you a free diaper bag, a free can of formula, some coupons and a baby bottle.

Now, this diaper bag is sweet - to get the equivalent in a store would be about $30-$40. A friend of mine had told me about it recently, so I went to the website, signed up, and received the bag etc today. The can of formula is a standard size, probably about $8-$9?

There were at least a dozen replies to the aforementioned thread from people who created numerous email addresses / identities to get as many of these free cans of formula, diaper bags, etc as possible. One of the “ladies” was bragging that she had signed up 20 times. She said she would throw most of the bags away, but really wanted the formula, and that she didn’t feel bad because the formula companies charge so much for their products anyway.

This bugs the hell out of me! And the fact that I’m LETTING it bug me, bugs me even more!

It’s just an example - I’m not trying to start any kind of debate on whether these women are right or wrong - but I’m curious to know if others out there have the same issues with “minding their own business”? What are your theories on why some people spend energy on worrying about things that have nothing to do with them?

Is it a distraction from one’s own issues? Is it a superiority complex? Is it something you used to do, but have “recovered” from?

Yes, when it involves subterfuge, breaking reasonable rules, etc., it does bother me somewhat.

As best I can tell, it’s not an ego thing or a “Hall Monitor” syndrome, though. It’s the hurting society aspects that bug me. I feel like we are all getting hurt by these actions to an extent.

I say this because when I see something like someone going 5 mph over the speed limit, or going back and asking for an extra sample of the food samples at Wal-Mart it doesn’t bother me at all. However, when I see someone driving really fast in a residential area or getting large amounts of samples like you described, it definitely sets my teeth on edge.

So, no, from what you say, I think you are just feeling something that comes from a sense of civic responsibillity.

I totally understand what you’re talking about; I’m very much this way. There’s a thread going on in The Pit right now where someone vented about neighborhood graffiti and I was outraged for him/her. I almost blew a gasket when others posted that they didn’t see what the big deal is. So first I’m pissed at the asshat that has the audacity to vandalize public property and them I’m really furious that others aren’t as pissed as I am. I’ve wondered why I’m this way, and I think part of it is that I do my best 98% of the time to" do unto others, make the world a better place, follow the girl scout scout code"blah blah blah, and I somehow feel personally offended when others can’t seem to be arsed to put out the same effort. Not rational, perhaps, but a very real feeling.

I’m totally with you. I loathe seeing people cheat, steal, litter, drive insanely fast and generally break the rules. Civilization is nothing except what rules people collectively agree to follow. Usually they are fairly well thought-out to make things either safer or more pleasant for most if not all people. It does hurt all of us when people break the rules, even if it does nothing but foster a selfish attitude and set a bad example for others.

I feel better already.

Now if only I could recognize that how I feel is normal, and learn how to let go of the habit of wasting a BUNCH of energy on letting others’ actions get to me!

This kind of thing would bug the ever-living crap out of me. There was a recent thread where the poster mentioned getting free samples at Panera or Starbucks - they had laid out a some kind of pastry like a danish or bearclaw, cut up into pieces, and the poster saw one woman take several pieces of the sample, nearly enough to make up a whole pastry. When I see people taking multiple ‘freebies’ it bothers me.

Years ago, I worked as a receptionist in an insurance agency and I had a bowl of mints on my desk - those red and white peppermints. Most people would just take one, but there were always a few who would take two or three, and then there were those who’d take a handful.

Same here. The inability to grasp that we’re all (vaguely New Age-sounding bullshit coming) symbiotic parts of a whole (vaguely New Age-sounding bullshit ending) bothers six kinds of shit out of me.

Recovering busy-body here. :slight_smile:

I used to get really het up about stuff like this, to the point where my own mood would be effected by the injustices I saw around me.

These days I take a more relaxed approach, thanks cognitive-behavioural therapy! :slight_smile:

Same here. The inability to grasp that we’re all (vaguely New Age-sounding bullshit coming) symbiotic parts of a whole (vaguely New Age-sounding bullshit ending) bothers six kinds of shit out of me.

I find myself being endlessly entertained by being bothered by this sort of crap.

But yes, the behavior doesn’t happen in a vaccuum. All that bitching about store’s getting hard nosed about return policies - that’s to stop you for buying a big screen TV and returning it the day after the Superbowl.

Timely. Today I was overly bothered that a work-wide e-mail went out to ask for donations for the family in Grants Pass that just gave birth to quintuplets. They are young and in a two-bedroom apartment. Why I am I so extremely irritated that this family had 5 kids that they knew they couldn’t care for? I even went to their website just to piss myself off more I guess.

I also hate the “Children’s Sharing Tree” we do every year at Christmas. If you cannot buy your kid a Christmas present, DON’T have a kid! I know it’s not the kids’ fault and they shouldn’t have to suffer because of their parents’ inability, but for some reason I just can’t get over it.

samm, I might agree with you in some cases (like the people who have kids to abuse the welfare system), but the Grants Pass couple weren’t on fertility meds, so they didn’t control the fact that 5 babies were conceived instead of one. Maybe they could afford one, but 5 is quite a few more than 1, especially when it comes to babies!

Exactly. If they could only afford one, they should abort 4 of them the first week they found out they were pregnant with 5! Or give 4 of them away after they’re born if they are against abortion. Don’t give birth to, and/or keep all 5 when you are in no position to support and raise them without relying on donations.

wow … could we please not turn this into an abortion thread? thanks …

The thing is, I am also bothered by tiny stuff. Some anonymous driver who doesn’t use his turn signal … some lady who thinks my baby girl is a boy … some kid up the street who plays his guitar with his amp turned up WAY too loud …

Know what I mean? Silly little meaningless things - and I’m letting them get to me beyond a reasonable degree. :frowning:

So your assumption is that whatever makes you mad is what other people would also be mad about if they were decent people? :confused:

I also get upset when other people don’t share my values and feelings, sometimes, but I know that doesn’t mean they’re awful people who just don’t care about the world. I’m not under the impression that it must mean I’m just nicer and more sensitive. In fact, now I’m upset that someone out there does think that way. :smiley:

I feel the same way. Especially traffic : running red lights , cutting people off , no signals. The thing that bothers me the most is that I wish it didn’t bother me. Man , I need professional help .

Oh yes, often very bothered. I deal with it by (privately) enjoying how sanctimonious I feel when I think about how I would never do such things. It’s the little things in life, you know.

The behavior described in the OP would have driven me crazy. Actually, just reading about it made me a little crazy. A common theme I have noticed about the things that push my buttons is the EXCEPT ME concept. The offer is one per person, EXCEPT ME. People should stop at stop signs, EXCEPT ME.

The absolute, number one violation, the thing that makes me see red, is when I see people encourage their children to pull stuff like this. I had to stop volunteering to work at an annual holiday party because I saw a mother instruct her children to get back in line to get a second toy from Santa. One of the little tykes said to her “but they said only one toy!” and the mother replied “nevermind about that, they’re too busy to keep track, and besides, they won’t hold up the entire line to figure out if you’ve been through before.” It was very crowded, so I admit she was correct that most likely no one would press the point. There are enough toys so that everyone can have one toy, EXCEPT MY KID.

Not at all. Of course, if someone does something evil like an adult beating a child I would be bothered. Otherwise, I don’t give a damn, in fact i’m VERY annoyed when people meddle in other people’s business over small issues.

And, those “freebie” people…they annoy me too. They never share! :mad:

No. I’ve perfected the art of letting it go. With one exception. It bugs the hell out of me when people don’t turn off their electronics on airplanes. I mean, I know the possibility of it interfering with the instruments is low but how much of a shit do you have to be to think tht listening to your ipod during takeoff is worth that risk considering how many other people besides you are on board? That’s the only time I’ll say something.

Traffic miscreants, corporate bamboozlers etc.-the venial sins-I don’t give a frack about unless I’m being paid to care. In general these types of people make for good entertainment, anyway.

Whoa, slow down there a minute now. Who said anything about me deeming anyone indecent? I cited that thread as an example because, well, it was a recent conversation and it illustrates* me needlessly * caring about what others do that doesn’t affect me. I said it wasn’t particularly rational, just the way I feel. It’s the old"if you’re not with me you’re against me" syndrome :stuck_out_tongue: In that thread you expressed your views on the matter and I respect them (actually yours isn’t the one that lit my fire, but lets not go there). In that instance, someone not being outraged over a social issue such as vandalism does not make them less nice or sensitive than I, but in the case illustrated in the OP, I’m gonna say yeah, if I take some company up on an offer that is obviously meant to be a one time deal and Jane Q. Schmuck turns it into a scam to score twenty such offers, I think that necessarily does make me a “nicer person”.