It's natural to want to be kind or helpful to others. Sometimes these kind gestures can just turn out to be a huge inconvenience to everyone involved though.
Reddit user u/HighImShadow wanted some examples of these irritating gestures, so they asked:
There's A System For A Reason
Yielding in traffic when you have the right of way.
This JUST happened to me 5 minutes ago. I was waiting at a crosswalk to cross the street. The traffic light was green and my signal to cross was red. This idiot remains stopped at the green light and waves me on to cross the street. I was like, "no. just go! it's green for you!" he just kept waving me on until a person finally pulled up behind him and honked. He shook his head and acted all annoyed that I wouldn't appreciate his kind gesture and cross the street. I'm not going to risk getting smashed into the pavement by someone coming the other direction because I failed to stop at a crosswalk! Just go!
Some People Like Being Alone
When people feel compelled to eat with me if I'm eating alone. Where did this notion come from that it's sad to eat alone? I like it, it's peaceful.
Same, I would eat lunch every day alone with a book, and people would feel compelled to sit down and start talking to me. Drove me nuts. Like do you think I brought this book because I don't want to read it? Go away!
I learned at my first job to leave the building at lunch, even if it's to eat in your car or something because otherwise you will be disturbed and usually about work.
"Eddy, you have a call on line one."
"I have a hoagie in hand one!"
This is apparently not the correct response from the glares I got from managerial types.
It's Not A Competition
When you've just gone through a rough time and people try consoling/one-upping you by telling their hardship story.
Let me wallow in my own misery please.
Same with injuries and illness. My mother would ALWAYS try to one up me if I got hurt. It's not a competition I don't want to have WORSE pain, hell I don't want any pain. Also everyone has a different tolerance level.
Breaking the order of how things should move in order to give someone the ability to go first. Now you are just confusing people and wasting time.
My college campus had one area that was super busy with both foot traffic and bicycles and I saw several people get hit by bikes because they were trying to be polite, when really they just needed to be predictable.
Good god, so much this. You're holding the door for me, but also standing in my way. I could have already been through the door if you hadn't done this. People who stop hundreds of people in line behind them in order to let one inconsiderate asshole cut the line in traffic. You're not kind. You're a dope.
If I Say I Don't Need Help, I Don't Need Help
So I walk with a cane and I can't lift much, however when I'm insisting that I CAN do a particularly small thing it really upsets me when people insist on doing it for me anyway. It makes me feel weaker and embarrassed. Seriously, offer people with handicaps help, of course please do that, but if they are insisting that they are fine then please let them do that thing they are capable of; for me it makes me feel just a little bit more empowered.
Also thank you for your kindness, I don't mean to diminish it or seem ungrateful.
I once read somewhere that a good analogy is helping someone put on a jacket: if you see a random person putting on a jacket, it would be super weird to offer them help (or worse, just start putting it on for them). However if you see someone that's having trouble getting their arms through, or has the jacket all twisted up, offering to help them is a polite thing to do, although you probably wouldn't insist.
I don't have a disability, so I can't speak to what it's like being on the other side of that, but it's worked for me in the past :)
I'm sorry that people do that, I always think about how frustrating it must be when people treat you in a patronizing way under the guise of being "nice".
The not insisting part is what makes this a good analogy. Offering help is fine. Taking the jacket and making them accept help is not. You keep doing what you're doing 👍🏻
Don't Buy Pets As Gifts!
People being given pets as a surprise gift for Christmas or a birthday. I'm sure many of them will have a good home nonetheless, but some of them will end up in situations that are not fully thought-out with people who may not be up to the task of being a responsible pet owner because they either never had a say in it or view pets as toys.
Pets as gifts should be a non-starter in all situations. My mother bought me an adorable puppy at a time when I was not ready for it (apartment in the city, worked more than 40 hours a week). Fortunately, she now lives with my parents and the entire family loves her.
It really sucked because I am still attached to her and the realization came that I couldn't keep her was very sad for me.
Fortunately, she is in a good home and I get to see her, but there are countless other pets that aren't so lucky. Every person I have known to work for either a shelter or a dog rescue says the season after Christmas is horrifically sad with all the gifted pets they receive.
TLDR: For the love of god, do not buy pets as gifts!
It's Easier To Just Open The Door Myself
Holding the door for me but from the inside of the doorframe so I have to like... scoot by them butt-to-crotch style
Some people insist I try anyway. I say, "I don't want to run over your feet!" They think either I'm joking or I don't know the dimensions of my chair, so they say, "It's ok!" At this point I've stopped caring so I just run over their feet. I hope it hurts.
Additionally holding the door in general if I'm still quite far away. Either I've gotta now run to the door so I don't make you wait for me or I end up making you wait. Just let the door close if I'm not 2-3 steps away from it, I can open it all by myself. My mommy even says I'm a big boy now.
Information Is Important
Not telling me something to protect me. Drives me crazy.
Yeah, I mean...I get it. I do. But finding out later feels way worse than just knowing right away. Like, I came back from a trip and was told my cousin had died from cancer no one knew he had. He may have had cancer, I don't know. But the reality was that he killed himself and finding out way after the fact was way worse.
I Just Don't Have Anything To Say
When you're the quiet one in a group and somebody points out in front of everyone.
Them: "He speaks! Wow!"
F*ck off, ass.
Don't Touch People
Kinda specific to people like me but do not touch my freaking wheelchair unless I specifically and verbally ask you to.
F*ck off man.
And it's so weirdly dehumanizing too. Like "You look like you're struggling, so I'm gonna move you to where I think you need to go because I know better than the person in the actual wheelchair!"
"Would you like some/a "insert random food or drink"", no I am good but thank you. No here take it. No I really don't want it. Come on just take it.
If I don't want any don't force me, it isn't a nice gesture once you start hounding me about it.
"You want some extra (insert irremovable condiment here)?"
"No thanks, I'm good"
"Yes I'm sure"
"Ahh just have it anyway" then proceeds to pour it all over my food
He would do this with stuff like gravy so I cant pick up the gravy and take it off. One day after he did it I just put the plate down and walked away. He never did it again lol.
I've Got It
When people try to be helpful by grabbing heavy items I'm carrying out of my arms without asking me first. I appreciate the sentiment, but it throws off the balance of all the other heavy objects in my arms.
This. I work in a fairly physical job and I'm a 5'1" woman. I'm a rock climber, and I'm stronger than I look. Not only does it mess me up more than help when people try to grab stuff from me, it's also vaguely insulting that they think I'm struggling. Happens at least five times a day though.
It's Actually Slower Now
When someone is walking behind me & they push the button to make the automatic door open right as I'm trying to go through it. Thanks, now I have to wait while this slow-ass door opens when I could've just quickly opened it myself.
Always Choose GPS
When passengers offer to give directions and basically force others to not use the GPS, and then they don't even give the directions properly (like they get distracted and then tell others at the last possible second to dive bomb a turn because they were in the wrong lane to begin with).
"Ill let you know when we get close."
No, youll let me know now, or so help me Ill get GPS involved.
The Cycle Of Gifts
Receiving birthday or Christmas gift from loose acquaintance, thus creating cycle of guilt or undesired effort.
I'm the loose acquaintance. You don't have to return the favor- I promise. I just did it because I'm bored and depressed and seeing your face light up at the surprise makes my day. That's the only reason I do it
I Don't Want Them Either
People saying "these are about your size aren't they?" and giving me a big bag of clothes, like yeah, thanks mum but nothing is my style and now I'm stuck with a big bag of stuff you should've taken to the charity shop.
I've actually had the situation of making myself wear one of my mums tops to a family event because I thought she'd be happy and have her text me afterwards suggesting I dressed a little less frumpy 😂
Just Leave Me Be
Trying to make me do "fun" things I don't want to do. No, I'm not desperate for someone to drag me out of my shell, I just f*cking hate karaoke.