Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors

Robin M. Kowalski

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August 11, 2003
208 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300099713
Cloth

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Everyone has teased, nagged, betrayed, or lied to another person. Likewise, everyone has been the unfortunate object of such unpleasant behaviors. In this intriguing book, social psychologist Robin M. Kowalski examines the intricacies of six annoying interpersonal behaviors: complaining, teasing, breaches of propriety, worry and reassurance-seeking, lying, and betrayal. She considers the functions of these behaviors, the types of people who are inclined to do them, the consequences for victims and perpetrators, and the ways in which such behaviors might be curtailed.

Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors provides for the first time a multifaceted picture of common annoying behaviors. The book answers these questions and many others:

• Why do people tease?

• What are the consequences of annoying behaviors for the people involved?

• Is there a positive side to irritating behaviors?

• Are people more likely to lie to those close to them or to strangers?

• Do excuses and apologies diminish the hurtful effect of unpleasant behaviors?

• What is the relation of gender and culture to specific annoying acts?

Robin M. Kowalski is professor of psychology at Clemson University. An expert in the field of interpersonal behavior and social anxiety, she has published five books and numerous articles on these topics. Interest in her research on complaining has been widespread, leading to radio, tv, and newspaper interviews around the world. She has appeared on the Today Show, and articles on her research have been published in Health, Allure, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, and many other magazines.

"A recognized expert of research on complaining and teasing, Dr. Kowalski offers an excellent review of annoying behaviors and the people who engage in them."—James Shepperd, University of Florida

"Kowalski uses contemporary theory and research from social psychology and personality to build her convincing case. Her new and unique integration of existing work broadens our understanding of relationships and relationship problems."—James Maddux, George Mason University, editor of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

“Kowalski addresses the serious and interesting issue of how those closest to us can bother us the most. This intriguing work looks at the origins of these annoying behaviors, and why people engage in them. . . . An engaging and helpful text for general readers and professionals.”—Choice