7 tiny things you don’t realize you’re doing that make other people dislike you, according to psychology

We all want to be liked, right? But sometimes, without even knowing it, we’re doing small things that put people off.

These aren’t huge, glaring errors. They’re tiny blips on the radar that we often overlook, but they can have a big impact on how others perceive us.

Psychology has a lot to say about these subtle slip-ups. It turns out that certain behaviors can trigger an almost instinctual dislike in others.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Overuse of sarcasm

Sarcasm can be a great tool for humor when used sparingly. It’s a way to show our wit, and can often lead to laughter.

But psychology tells us that the constant use of sarcasm can have a negative impact on how people perceive us.

When overused, sarcasm can come across as passive-aggressive or even mean-spirited. This is especially true if the person on the receiving end doesn’t know you well.

According to studies, people are more likely to perceive chronic sarcasm as a sign of insecurity or as an attempt to dominate others.

While an occasional sarcastic remark can add spice to a conversation, constant sarcasm might just be pushing people away without you realizing it. Moderation is key here, as in many aspects of life.

2) Constantly interrupting others

We’ve all been there, right? You’re in the middle of sharing a story or explaining an idea, and suddenly someone cuts you off. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Well, I remember a time when I was guilty of this. During a group discussion at work, I was so eager to share my thoughts that I kept interrupting my colleagues. I thought I was contributing, but later one of them pulled me aside and gently pointed out how my constant interruptions were coming off as disrespectful.

Psychology suggests that interrupting others frequently can signal that you’re not really listening or you consider your own thoughts more important. This can make people feel undervalued and dismissed.

This experience was an eye-opener for me, and I’ve made it a point to listen more attentively and let others complete their thoughts. Remember, communication is a two-way street. The more we listen, the more we learn.

3) Avoiding eye contact

Eye contact plays a critical role in human interaction. It communicates respect, attention, and interest in the other person’s thoughts and feelings.

But if you’re constantly looking down at your phone, staring off into the distance, or just not meeting the gaze of the person you’re speaking with, it could be sending the wrong message.

In fact, a study conducted by the University of Wolverhampton found that lack of eye contact was one of the main non-verbal behaviours that lead to negative impressions.

When you’re in a conversation, try to maintain a reasonable amount of eye contact. It shows you’re engaged and can help build stronger connections with others.

4) Being a conversation hogger

We all love to talk about ourselves, our experiences, our thoughts. There’s no harm in sharing, but there’s a fine line between sharing and dominating the conversation.

When you hog the conversation and don’t give others an opportunity to express their views, it can come across as self-centeredness. It’s like saying, “My stories are the only ones worth listening to.”

The essence of a good conversation is balance – it’s a give and take. So next time you find yourself taking over a discussion, take a pause and invite others to share their thoughts too.

Everyone has a story to tell and you might just learn something new when you listen.

5) Not acknowledging others’ emotions

Once, I was talking with a friend who was going through a tough time. He was sharing his feelings, but instead of acknowledging his emotions, I jumped straight to problem-solving mode.

I thought I was helping, but he later told me he felt dismissed and unheard. He didn’t need solutions in that moment; he needed empathy and understanding.

This taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of validating others’ feelings.

When people share their emotions, they’re not always looking for advice or solutions. Sometimes, they just need someone to say, “I hear you. That sounds really tough.”

By acknowledging their feelings, we show them respect and empathy, which can go a long way in building stronger relationships.

6) Negativity

We all have our off days when things seem bleak and we can’t help but complain. However, if you’re constantly negative, it can become draining for the people around you.

Complaints, pessimistic views, and cynical comments can quickly turn a light-hearted conversation into a gloomy one. Moreover, it can make others feel uncomfortable and anxious.

Psychology tells us that positivity is contagious. So is negativity. The energy you bring to your interactions can impact others in significant ways.

Try to be more mindful of your attitude and the words you use. A shift towards positivity could make a big difference in how people perceive you.

7) Lack of genuine interest in others

At the core of all our interactions is a simple, fundamental truth: people need to feel valued and important. If you don’t show genuine interest in others – their stories, their feelings, their ideas – they are likely to feel undervalued.

Asking thoughtful questions, listening attentively, and responding with empathy are all ways to show that you genuinely care.

This isn’t about pretending. It’s about realizing that every person you interact with has their own unique world of experiences and insights.

By showing genuine interest, you not only make them feel good, but you also open up a world of learning and connection for yourself.

Understanding is the key

Peeling back the layers of human behavior is a complex process, deeply intertwined with psychology.

The small actions we’ve discussed here, from interrupting others to lacking genuine interest, can significantly impact how people perceive us. But it’s important to remember that awareness is the first step towards change.

Your behaviors are not permanent; they can be altered. The key lies in understanding these patterns and making a conscious effort to adjust them.

When you find yourself falling into these habits, pause for a moment. Reflect on the impact of your actions, not just on your relationships, but on the person you’re becoming.

Ultimately, it’s not just about being liked. It’s about cultivating empathy, respect, and genuine interest in others. It’s about becoming a person who adds value to the lives of the people around them.

The journey towards self-improvement is ongoing and ever-evolving. Embrace the process and remember – every interaction is an opportunity to learn and grow.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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