Bad drivers, rogue cyclists and losing money are among the aspects of life most likely to get Brits feeling hot under the collar, a study has found.

Researchers revealed long queues, loud roadworks and train delays are also among some of the most irritating things in modern life which get our blood boiling.

A third of Brits can’t stand when motorists don’t 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.

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As a result of these annoying moments, the average Brit will feel angry or frustrated five times a week.

And with each spell of anger lasting an average of 15 minutes, this means the typical Brit will spend an hour and 15 minutes each week surrounded by the red mist.

Though one in eight claim they never get angry or frustrated.

A spokesperson for Andrews Sykes, which 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’.

Read more: full study results 

“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.”


1. Drivers who don't use their indicators

2. Queuing for a long time

3. Losing your wallet

4. Cyclists who don’t obey the Highway Code such as skipping red traffic lights

5. Being sat in traffic

6. Falling over/tripping in public

7. When you break something in a moment of stupidity

8. Having to ask people for money they owe you

9. Roadworks

10. Train delays

11. Finding out someone has been talking about you

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

13. Bumping your nice car

14. Waiting for other people to make a decision

15. Someone bailing on plans you’ve had for ages

16. Waiting for someone to get ready

17. When you are trying to follow a sat nav which keeps taking you the wrong way

18. Finding out your friends met up and you weren't invited

19. Bank fees

20. Building flat pack furniture

21. Watching a sex scene in a film with your parents

22. Seeing a photograph where you don't look your best

23. Being the first person to arrive somewhere and having to sit alone for ages

24. Hearing other parents swear in front of your children

25. Calling someone by the wrong name and finding out afterwards that you made the mistake.

26. Being asked your weight

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

28. Trying to get through tourists in London

29. Talking about money - savings, salary etc

30. Realising you've had a piece of food in your teeth for most of the afternoon

31. When a colleague doesn’t deliver their work on time

32. Realising you are the fattest person among your friends on a night out

33. Someone who has been at the company for less time than you getting promoted

34. Being asked how many people you’ve had sex with

35. When on public transport

36. Interest rate rises

37. Someone pointing out your flies are undone

38. When your team lose and their bitter rivals win

39. Walking out of the toilet with tissue paper stuck to your shoe

40. When it's a hot day and the building you are in has the air con turned up so you are actually cold

41. Your parents talking about sex in any capacity

42. Finding out you have been kept out of the loop with client emails

43. Finding out the boss has been favouring someone else

44. Someone revealing the football score before you’ve had a chance to watch it

45. Being made a sub-standard cup of tea

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

47. Someone sending you an indecent photo

48. Forgetting to close the last 'specialist interest' web page you looked at on your phone, then someone borrows it to google something

49. Being asked your dress size

50. Being asked your age

The study also found 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 admit they are often 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 rage 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.

It also emerged 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’.

But as well as anger causing their face to turn red, the average Brit will also turn scarlet due to embarrassment twice a week, or 104 times a year.

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

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

Fifty-six per cent of the 1,000 Brits polled 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.

A spokesperson for Andrews Sykes 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.”