Home > Blog > Andrews Air Conditioning > Poor road etiquette and losing money among the average Briton’s biggest gripes, study finds

Poor road etiquette and losing money among the average Briton’s biggest gripes, study finds

Inconsiderate drivers, rogue cyclists and misplacing money appear to be the most prominent aspects of British life that get people feeling hot under the collar according to a recently conducted survey.

Other anger-inducing situations include long queues, loud roadworks and train delays, which are all unavoidable factions of life for most of us.

Approximately one third of respondents hate it when motorists fail to use their indicators when making a turn, and 22 per cent have felt their temper flare when hearing someone talking about them behind their back.

It has been calculated that the average British citizen will become angry or frustrated fives times a week, translating into approximately an hour a half of rage across any given seven-day period.

One in eight claim they never get angry or frustrated under any circumstances, and are very much in the minority!

A spokesperson for Andrews Sykes, who commissioned the study, said: “Even with the best intentions in the world we are likely to spend hours or days of our lives feeling angry, frustrated and generally ‘hot under the collar’.

“Life is unpredictable, and many of these unfortunate circumstances which lead us to anger or embarrassment are caused by others, who might not realise they’re doing anything wrong at all.”

Strangers are most likely to be the cause of the nation’s frustrations, followed by annoying partners and irritating kids.

And 53 per cent of Brits think they are more likely to lose their rag with someone after a bad day at work.

A third of Brits think they are quick to anger, and 54 per cent have found themselves having to stop to take a breath, count to 10 and calm down when their anger becomes too much.

Forty-one per cent have been so hot under the collar in a confrontation with someone they have had to walk away in silence to themselves.

One in four find it best to calm their fires with a cup of tea, and 15 per cent shut their eyes and go to ‘a happy place’.

As well as anger causing their face to turn red, the average Brit will also feel embarrassed twice a week, or 112 times a year.

Brits reckon their partner is most likely to make them feel embarrassed, followed by their kids.

Of the parents surveyed, two thirds believe they have become more prone to embarrassment since having their children.

Fifty-six per cent of Brits literally blush – going pink in the face – when they are feeling embarrassed.

And 77 per cent of these blushers feel only more embarrassed when someone points out their flushed cheeks.

And two in five Brits think they embarrass easily.

A spokesperson for Andrews Sykes, which commissioned the study, added: “Whether hot under the collar or red in the face, it has been interesting exploring the aspects of Brits’ lives most likely to make us act irrationally.

“It is also good to discover the one in eight Brits who are able to keep a cool head even in the most frustrating circumstances, and the three in five who take embarrassing situations in good humour.”

The full survey results are listed below:

 

1. Which of the things from the following list make you feel ‘hot under the collar’? (Tick all that apply)                

Choice  %

When drivers don’t use their indicators                                                                                  33.00%

330

Forgetting to close the last ‘specialist interest’ web page you looked at on your phone, then someone borrows it to google something                                                                            6.50%

65

Coming out of a toilet someone else has made a terrible stench in, then finding someone waiting outside who will think it was you                                                                                 20.60%

206

Realising you’ve had a piece of spinach in your teeth for most of the afternoon   9.80%

98

Someone pointing out your flies are undone                                                                        8.40%

84

When someone makes you a sub-standard cup of tea                                                      7.00%

70

Watching a sex scene in a film with your parents                                                                               13.80%

138

Talking about money – savings, salary etc                                                                               10.50%

105

When someone sends you an indecent photo                                                                     6.60%

66

Finding out someone has been talking about you                                                               22.10%

221

Finding out your friends met up and you weren’t invited                                                 14.30%

143

Hearing other parents swear in front of your children                                                      12.80%

128

Finding out your child has watched an inappropriate movie when going to play at a friend’s house                                                                                                                                                             5.20%

52

Finding out you have been kept out of the loop with client emails                              7.50%

75

Realising you are the fattest person among your friends on a night out                    9.50%

95

When someone gets promoted and has been at the company for less time than you         9.20%

92

Seeing a photograph where you don’t look your best                                                       13.60%

136

Finding out the boss has been favouring someone else                                                   7.40%

74

When you call someone by the wrong name and find out afterwards that you made the mistake.                                                                                                                                                                 12.30%

123

When someone asks you how many people you’ve had sex with                                 9.10%

91

When your parents talk about sex in any capacity                                                              7.80%

78

When being asked your weight                                                                                                  11.80%

118

When being asked your age                                                                                                         6.30%

63

Having to answer the door in your towel and no make up                                              6.30%

63

Being asked your dress size                                                                                                          6.50%

65

When being the first person to arrive somewhere and having to sit alone for ages              12.90%

129

When trying to follow a satnav which keeps taking you the wrong way                    15.30%

153

When you fall over/trip in public                                                                                               23.20%

232

When someone sees/finds a baby picture of yourself                                                       3.30%

33

When someone reveals the football score before you’ve had a chance to watch it               7.20%

72

When people talk about TV shows in the office but you’re an episode behind       6.70%

67

Asking people for money they owe you                                                                                  22.90%

229

Having to get changed in a public space such as at the gym or swimming pool       11.50%

115

When someone asks for your number or asks you on a date                                         5.60%

56

When cyclists don’t obey the Highway Code such as skipping red traffic lights       25.00%

250

When a colleague doesn’t deliver their work on time                                                       9.80%

98

When someone bails on plans you’ve had for ages                                                            17.00%

170

When building flat pack furniture                                                                                             13.90%

139

When sat in traffic                                                                                                                           24.20%

242

When queueing for a long time                                                                                                  32.80%

328

When waiting for other people to make a decision                                                            18.50%

185

When trying to get through tourists in London                                                                    11.30%

113

When on public transport                                                                                                            9.10%

91

When waiting for someone to get ready                                                                                 16.50%

165

Train delays                                                                                                                                        22.20%

222

Walking out of the toilet with tissue paper stuck to your shoe                                      8.10%

81

When it’s a hot day and the building you are in has the air con turned up so you are actually cold                                                                                                                                                                 8.10%

81

When your team lose and their bitter rivals win                                                                  8.30%

83

When you break something in a moment of stupidity                                                       23.10%

231

Losing your wallet                                                                                                                            29.80%

298

Bumping your nice car                                                                                                                    20.50%

205

Roadworks                                                                                                                                         22.40%

224

Interest rate rises                                                                                                                             8.70%

87

Bank fees                                                                                                                                            14.00%

140

None of the above                                                                                                                           2.40%

24

N/A – Not sure / Nothing makes me feel ‘hot under the collar’                                     12.50%

125

 

2. In a typical week, how many times do you feel embarrassed? Please select best match where 0 means that you do get embarrassed, but less than once per week.                          

Choice  %

0              25.80%

258

1 – 2       34.30%

343

3 – 4       13.10%

131

5 – 6       5.90%

59

7 – 8       3.30%

33

9 – 10     0.40%

4

11+         0.80%

8

N/A – I never get embarrassed  16.40%

164

Average               2

 

3. Who is most likely to embarrass you or make you feel embarrassed?               

Choice  %

My dad                                 5.38%

45

My mum                              9.21%

77

My grandparents             2.39%

20

My kid(s)             7.78%

65

My partner         13.76%

115

My siblings          1.91%

16

My friends          7.54%

63

Other people     8.49%

71

N/A – Not sure / nobody in particular      43.54%

364

 

4. Do you feel having children has made you more or less prone to embarrassment?                     

Choice  %

More prone to embarrassment                 8.73%

73

No difference                                                    28.95%

242

Less prone to embarrassment                    18.18%

152

Not sure                                                               9.57%

80

N/A – I do not have any children                34.57%

289

 

5. Do your kids ever embarrass you?                     

Choice  %

Yes, often            12.43%

68

Yes, sometimes 49.54%

271

No                          38.03%

208

 

6. What’s the most embarrassing thing your kid(s) has said or done? If you are unsure or cannot remember, please select Not Applicable.                  

7. When you get embarrassed, do you tend to literally blush and turn pink in the face?                

Choice  %

Yes         55.62%

465

No          44.38%

371

 

8. When you turn pink from embarrassment, how long do you estimate you normally stay pink for, in seconds? Please select best match                             

Choice  %

1 – 5       9.03%

42

6 – 10     13.55%

63

11 – 15   10.32%

48

16-20     10.32%

48

21-25     4.09%

19

26-30     13.12%

61

31-35     3.23%

15

36-40     1.94%

9

41-45     1.94%

9

46-50     0.86%

4

51-55     0.43%

2

56-60     3.87%

18

61+         7.96%

37

Not sure               19.35%

90

Average               24.23

 

9. When you turn pink from embarrassment, do you find you get more embarrassed when somebody points out the fact you’re blushing/Would you get more embarrassed if somebody pointed out the fact you were blushing?                   

Choice  %

Yes         77.42%

360

No          9.03%

42

Not sure               13.55%

63

10. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I embarrass easily.’                             

Choice  %

Strongly agree                                   8.97%

75

Somewhat agree                              31.10%

260

Neither agree nor disagree          27.87%

233

Somewhat disagree                        23.33%

195

Strongly disagree                             8.73%

73

11. In a typical week, how many times do you feel angry or frustrated? Please select best match where 0 means that you do get angry or frustrated, but less than once per week.                     

Choice  %

0              10.10%

101

1 – 3       35.60%

356

4 – 6       17.20%

172

7 – 9       10.10%

101

10 – 12   7.80%

78

13-15     2.40%

24

16-18     1.00%

10

19-21     1.20%

12

22+         2.10%

21

N/A – I never get angry or frustrated       12.50%

125

Average               5.08

 

12. How long will you typically feel angry or frustrated for before calming down, in minutes? Please select best match                  

Choice  %

0-5          20.69%

181

6 – 10     21.60%

189

11 – 15   13.26%

116

16-20     8.00%

70

21-25     5.94%

52

26-30     7.54%

66

31-35     3.54%

31

36-40     1.03%

9

41-45     1.49%

13

46-50     0.23%

2

51-55     0.23%

2

56-60     0.57%

5

61+         1.37%

12

Not sure               14.51%

127

Average               14.6

 

13. Who is most likely to make you feel angry or frustrate you?               

Choice  %

My dad                 3.09%

27

My mum              7.43%

65

My kid(s)             8.34%

73

My partner         21.94%

192

My siblings          2.86%

25

Other people     25.83%

226

N/A – Not sure / nobody in particular      30.51%

267

 

14. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I lose my temper quickly.’                

Choice  %

Strongly agree                                   6.17%

54

Somewhat agree                              25.49%

223

Neither agree nor disagree          22.06%

193

Somewhat disagree                        27.77%

243

Strongly disagree                             18.51%

162

 

15. Have you ever used the ‘stop and count to 10’ technique when you feel angry or frustrated?                             

Choice  %

Yes, more than a few times         15.20%

133

Yes, once or twice                            38.40%

336

No                                                          46.40%

406

16. How well do you feel the counting to 10 technique works for you when you feel angry or frustrated?                            

Choice  %

Very well             9.59%

45

Somewhat well 63.75%

299

Not very well     21.96%

103

Not at all well    4.69%

22

 

17. Do you ever use any other techniques to try and prevent anger or frustration?

Choice  %

Squeezing a stress ball or something similar          6.51%

57

Thinking of a ‘happy place’                                           14.86%

130

Going to make yourself a cup of tea/coffee          24.11%

211

Take a deep breath                                                         38.51%

337

Going for a run/some exercise                                   13.94%

122

Walking away from a situation without saying anything else         40.69%

356

Other techniques                                                             3.43%

30

N/A – Not sure/ nothing in particular                        27.66%

242

18. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I’m more likely to get angry or frustrated when I’ve had a bad day at work’                      

Choice  %

Strongly agree                                   17.49%

153

Somewhat agree                              35.77%

313

Neither agree nor disagree          35.77%

313

Somewhat disagree                        3.31%

29

Strongly disagree                             7.66%

67

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