Top 10 things men do that drive girls mad

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
#8 We look at women. What, you know about that?! But we were being subtle!

Hugh Wilson has taken the bull by the horns and asked all his female friends what they find most annoying about the men in their lives. The result? His definitive list of the top 10 things us girls would give anything to have our men change about themselves. Does your fella fall foul of this list?

OK, I hold my hands up. I wrote the piece on the most annoying female traits EVER. And in it, I criticised your very real ability to talk the hind legs off a donkey (even at the most inappropriate moments), and that really infuriating habit you have of asking us what we're thinking about, when all we're thinking about is catching last orders.

I reckon a lot of it is pretty much undeniable, but I'm also a realist. I understand that men can be exasperating too, and that a lot of what we think of as witty or endearing or cool or normal is, to you, teeth-gnashingly annoying.

But as I'm a man, I wasn't sure of the specifics (the obsessive sports thing, for instance — that can't be annoying — sport is great!). So I gathered the opinions of a host of female friends and acquaintances and whittled down a list of 20,000 complaints to the top 10 most annoying traits in men.

So here it is. These are the traits that drive a large proportion of womankind to the brink of distraction.

1. We are sports bores
Let's get this one out of the way early. It's not just that we keep banging on about sport even though you're plainly not interested (though that is deeply irritating, apparently), it's also that we talk about it to your brother, your dad, your best mate's boyfriend, your male colleagues and random men in bars when we're supposed to be talking to you.

Oh, and then we play it. Do you care that your bloke scored four tries in his weekly game of touch against some equally un-athletic men? You do not. But you have to hear about each heroic step, pass and break in great detail anyway.

2. We start... then we stop
Whether it's housework, DIY or a new exercise regime, apparently men start things, and then give up. In the case of DIY, that also means we leave all the tools and materials hanging around, in the unlikely event that we'll start up again after Christmas/our bout of man flu/you spot a flying pig.

3. We are slobs
General male slobbiness came high on the list. Most specifically, leaving stubble in the sink after shaving, not changing the bedding often enough and littering the bathroom floor with fingernail clippings turned out to be really, really exasperating.

Oh, and apparently, many of us like to — how shall I put it — adjust ourselves in public, with a crafty hand down the boxers. You don't like it much, and who can blame you?

4. We have housework blindness
You don't accuse of us deliberately ignoring the washing up or the wet washing (or at least not always), but you do think that men have evolved a blindness that means we automatically block out household chores until either the ensuing mould and fungus actually becomes hazardous to health or — more normally — you sort it out. And when we say, "it's not that I'm lazy — it's just that men have a higher tolerance to mess," — well, you find that deeply annoying.

5. We are ill: We get no sympathy from you women, it seems!
It's a cliché, but one of the things that really bugs you is our tendency (as you see it) to over-exaggerate our health woes in an effort to extract sympathy and avoid chores. In this respect, very many of you are convinced that the concept of "man flu" (a mild cold that we play up as a potentially life-threatening condition) is only too real.

6. We drink too much
It's all about the beer with men, and apparently that's a bad thing (who knew?). Which must mean you love having us around and you're concerned for our health.

Erm, not quite. It's the social embarrassment our drinking causes that really riles, and the nonsense we talk, and the stuff we break, and the groping we do (are you sure!?) when we've had one too many.

And it's the amusing breaking of wind and the drunken snoring and the fact that, though we talk the sex talk (usually pretty loudly), the alcohol ensures that our attempts to walk the walk are a pretty limp performance.

7. We keep our socks on
During sex. It's not sexy, you say, and it's quite possibly symbolic of a larger belief that — after a few months or years of a relationship — we no longer need to make an effort in the boudoir. We do. We have been told.

Oh, and sometimes we parade around wearing nothing — nothing — but a T-shirt. Also not sexy, you tell us.

8. We look at other women
What, you know about that?! But we were being subtle! It seems that when a brassy blond in a barely-there-skirt walks into the room, many of us (not me, obviously, but many of my fellow men), pretend to have seen something interesting — a nice chair, perhaps, or a fascinating wall — in pretty much precisely her direction.

Some of you have an interesting take on this. You're not so bothered when we cast a glance in the direction of an obvious stunner — it's having our heads turned by anything in a skirt that you find most infuriating.

9. We lie about our height
This one's a new one on me (though I do stand a proud 6ft 1" in my socks, so it's not something I've ever had to consider). Many of you come across men who add a couple of centimeters or three (to their height!), in the same way that some people will knock a kilo or two off their weight. I guess it must be down to some sort of Napoleon complex, but it's not a trait I recognise (but then, I'm 6ft 3" in my socks).

10. We go for sexy, not classy
It's probably not unconnected to our habit of looking at other women, but apparently when you ask our opinion on a skirt you're trying on, or a new haircut, or even a new outfit for work, we always go for the sexy over the classy.

It would seem that, if men had their way, most of you would walk around looking like high-class hookers. Apparently, and for no good reason I can see, this annoys you.

Related video

Getty ImagesThe 'trophy wife' might be a myth, study finds Image: GettyYou love your spouse because of DNA: study ThinkstockHappiest couples spoon at night: study ThinkstockHusband's health more important to happy marriages: study