Newsletter

Search

You're Pissing Me Off!

What It Really Means

by Roland Kriewaldt

When: Somebody tells you: "You're pissing me off!"

What it really means: This is animal talk for saying "you're undoing my scent!" Animals mark their territory by pissing on it and I'm sure we did the same once too. As for our mental territory, namely our beliefs and values, it is marked by pissing on it with your ego, thereby saying "this is what I believe, and I'm willing to defend it!"

So when someone pisses you off, you feel that they are trying to undo your authority over a certain mental or physical territory. The challenge makes you feel combative — like any animal would — about what you "own," especially when it comes to your grasp on reality (although just because you're defending what you believe doesn't mean you have a firm grasp on reality). Subsequently, you tell the other person that their attempts to undo your position is pissing you off, which describes the encounter in its rightful, beastly terms.

I assume that the term "Piss Off" must mean "undo your piss scent from my territory" or "piss elsewhere to leave your mark." I believe the British have all of pissing covered.

An alternative explanation is based upon the physical reaction that we can have when angry and preoccupied with anxiety. Being pissed "off" means our urinary tract won't function properly. If we attempt to urinate while extremely agitated, we may not be successful because our "fight or flight" instinct has been activated and urination is something that requires us to relax our bladder. It is difficult to pee when we are tense, therefore, we are "pissed off" at someone or about something. Once the tension subsides and we focus upon the duty at hand...we "piss on" again.