My Public Pet Peeves and Sensory Triggers

As a young woman on the milder end of the autistic spectrum, I may react differently to certain things in public than NTs do due to increased sensitivity to them. Below is an extensive list of these things in more detail and I apologise in advance if any of these points offend you:

People who talk on their phones loudly or aggressively whether on public transport, in the street or in the bingo hall between the main games.

People who swear whether it’s aggressive or not.

People who laugh excessively when I’m in a bad mood.

Parents who discipline or ‘threat’ their children harshly whether physically or verbally.


People who brush past me, push in front of me or bump into me without saying, “excuse me.”

People who put their bags on the seats next to them on public transport, especially at rush hour.

People who are not pregnant, elderly, disabled and less able to stand sitting on priority seats on public transport (I may sound like a hypocrite here but I sometimes sit on them on the bus when I have my suitcase to keep a close eye on it).


People who randomly smile at me for no reason unless we have matching Disney Princess bags for instance.

People who get into silly fights.

People who approach me and ask me for money or my phone.

Certain Big Issue sellers – one swore when my mum refused to buy the magazine.

Beggars who sit beside ATMs, which makes them virtually unsafe to use.

Peeing whether it’s in the bin or on beach rocks – yuck!

People eating smelly food on public transport.

People eating food from KFC in Burger King for example.

People who opt to take away food from Pret A Manger or EAT and eat it on the premises unless they’re saving money – after all take-out is cheaper than eating in.

Children who run up and down and around or, even worse, into me.

Parents not watching their children.

Parents who only pay attention to their children when they’re ‘naughty.’

Parents who speak aggressively towards their children.

Parents who pay no attention to their children whatsoever by talking on their mobiles.

Children who fiddle with bus bells, lift buttons or ATM buttons.

Children kicking backs of seats at the cinema, the theatre or on public transport.

Children who don’t listen to their parents.

Staff at dine-in restaurants, pubs, fast food outlets and coffee shops who get my orders wrong due to misunderstandings.

So-called tissue beggars who claim not to be beggars according to the notes they place on empty train seats alongside the tissues when really they are according to The Sun, The GuardianThe Standard etc.

People who touch me unexpectedly.

People who stare at me or give me dirty looks, also unexpectedly.

People who stand on the upper deck of buses.

Buses that terminate early with no prior notice.

Drivers changing on buses taking longer than usual.

People who stand right in front of the bus exit.

People who leave the bus through the entrance on a two-door bus.

People who press the bell on the bus after I’ve done so.

People who press the button to open doors on trains when they open automatically.

Shop assistants who pick up carrier bags when I don’t need them – thank goodness for self checkouts!

Shop assistants who balance coins on bank notes and receipts.

Text-walkers – ’nuff said!

As for the points regarding children, I am okay with those I am familiar with (i.e. my eldest cousin’s son and her sister’s daughters) but usually not if I don’t know them with the exception of the well-behaved, well-mannered and polite girls who were taking a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed afternoon tea at the Chesterfield Hotel last summer. Who knows how I will cope with children if ever I go to Walt Disney World someday? Probably pretty darn well if it’s 12-year-old Kelly and his 10-year-old sister Hunter from YouTube’s Jones Family Travels Channel or Jordan and his little brother Cameron from YouTube’s Theme Park Brothers channel but other kids? Watch this space…

Further to the points where I have mentioned people asking for money or my phone, talking aggressively or getting my food and drink orders wrong, please see the following posts:

Are restaurants autism friendly?

“Do you want me to guide you…?”

Why they gotta be so rude?





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