This is a mischievous little question, for one’s answer inevitably discloses more about the self than the other. That is, any quality one finds annoying in another actually reveals the depths of one’s own personality. But, in the spirit of participating in the prompt, here goes:
Convention. Rules. Must’s. Should’s. Will Not’s. Never’s.
My least favorite personal quality in others is the adherence to a static conception of the world and refusal to ask “Why not?” I spend my work and my free time emerged in the study of philosophy, a study underscored by wonder. Every breakthrough in thinking, be it scientifically, in art, in literature, or in technology, has been sparked by someone who questioned assumptions about their reality. When I encounter a person fearful of stepping outside of their comfort zone and thereby relying on a construction of the world given to them, I simply cringe. Life is too short to not explore, try new things, and engage in thinking anew. Why oh why follow fads and trends for the sake of keeping up with what is presumably acceptable?
For example, in philosophy I marvel at thinkers like Wollstonecraft, Descartes, and Martin Luther King Jr., to name a few, who dared to crack convention.
Wollstonecraft argued for women’s education and proposed that women could be rational beings. Imagine!
Descartes rid himself of every assumption in order to build a strong foundation for science. He asked the bizarre questions: What is real? How do I know if I’m dreaming or awake? Can I rely on my senses for knowledge? How do I know that wax is wax?
Martin Luther King Jr., offered a new definition of a Just Law, namely, one that “uplifts human personality.” An unjust law, he wrote, is one that is imposed on the minority by the majority but is not binding to the majority and not voted on by the minority. What a significant and insightful challenge to the accepted foundation of existing law in his time.
I love the curious and the rule-breakers! It is natural to be afraid of what we are new to, but that is precisely why we must launch ourselves forward. In order to grow personally and intellectually it is important to identify our limits and then chip away at them. This means trying different food, listening to others with opposing views, travel, and take a shot at being a little uncomfortable.
“In principle I am against principles.” Tristan Tzara