9 warning signs you’re becoming a difficult person to be around

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Recognizing a shift in your own personality isn’t always easy. It’s like trying to see the back of your own head – it takes a mirror or a brutally honest friend to point it out.

Being a difficult person to be around may not be intentional, but it can drive a wedge between you and the people you care about.

Here’s the kicker – it’s often the smallest, most subtle habits that signal you’re turning into that person no one wants to hang around with.

What are these signals?

Let’s dive into nine warning signs that you’re becoming a difficult person to be around.

Trust me, it pays to be self-aware.

1) You’re always the victim

Life is full of ups and downs – no one is immune. But if you find yourself constantly playing the victim, it might be time for some self-reflection.

Blaming others for your problems and circumstances can be a clear sign that you’re becoming difficult to be around. It’s exhausting for those who are constantly expected to sympathize or solve your issues.

Everyone has their own battles to fight. While it’s okay to vent and seek advice, it’s not fair to dump your problems on others constantly.

If you’re always the victim in your own stories, perhaps it’s time to change the narrative.

2) Conversations always turn back to you

I remember a time when I would find myself steering every conversation back to me, my experiences, or my problems. I’d find a way to twist any topic to somehow make it about myself.

It didn’t take long for me realize that people were starting to avoid conversations with me. It was a hard pill to swallow, but it was the wake-up call I needed.

When all your chats circle back to you, it’s a clear sign you’re becoming hard to be around. Conversation is a two-way street, after all. It’s about give and take, not just take.

Realizing this was a game-changer for me, and it could be for you too.

3) You don’t listen, you wait to talk

Active listening is a skill that plays a crucial role in solid relationships, yet so many of us struggle with it. Studies have found that we only remember about 25% to 50% of what we hear. That means when you talk to someone for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation.

If you’re more focused on what you’re going to say next rather than actually listening to what’s being said, you’re missing out on meaningful connections and potentially coming across as self-centered.

Listening is more than just hearing words; it’s understanding and showing interest in the other person’s perspective. Try to hone your listening skills. You might be surprised at what you learn.

4) You’re often negative

Negativity can be like a cloud that shadows every interaction. If you constantly focus on the bad, complain about minor things, or are always pessimistic about the future, it can make you difficult to be around.

Positivity and optimism are contagious and can greatly enhance your relationships. On the flip side, constant negativity can push people away.

It’s okay to have off days, but if every day is gloomy, it may be time to work on finding the silver lining.

5) You’re overly critical

Constructive criticism is one thing, but if you find yourself constantly picking apart people’s actions, ideas, or even their appearances, this may be a sign you’re becoming hard to be around.

It’s vital to remember that everyone is human and has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. If you’re always pointing out flaws, it can make others feel belittled and defensive.

Aim to foster an environment of acceptance and understanding instead. It can make a world of difference in your relationships.

6) You have a hard time expressing gratitude

Gratitude is the heart’s memory, they say. It’s about acknowledging the good in your life and the people who make it better. If you struggle to show appreciation or rarely say ‘thank you’, it can make you seem unapproachable or ungrateful.

Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way in strengthening relationships and creating a positive environment.

Let’s not forget to express gratitude – for big things, small things, and everything in between. It’s a small gesture that can make a big difference.

7) You struggle to apologize

There was a time when I found it extremely hard to say ‘I’m sorry’. The words felt like a defeat, an admission that I was wrong. It took me a while to understand that apologies aren’t about winning or losing, but about acknowledging mistakes and working towards better relationships.

If you can’t remember the last time you apologized or if you often justify your actions instead of owning up to mistakes, you might be becoming difficult to be around.

Apologizing doesn’t make you weak; it shows that you value your relationships more than your ego. It’s a lesson that changed my life, and I hope it changes yours too.

8) You’re frequently late

Time is valuable. When you’re consistently late to appointments, meetings, or social events, it can convey a lack of respect for other people’s time.

Sure, everyone runs late occasionally due to unforeseen circumstances. But if it becomes a habit, it sends a message that your time is more important than others’.

Punctuality shows respect and consideration for others, so try to manage your time better and make punctuality a priority.

9) You don’t respect boundaries

Respecting others’ boundaries is crucial in maintaining healthy relationships. If you don’t understand or choose to ignore these boundaries, it’s a surefire sign that you’re becoming difficult to be around.

Boundaries are about understanding and respecting others’ needs, feelings, and personal space. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or digital boundaries, crossing them can make people feel uncomfortable and disrespected.

Always remember, everyone has their own comfort zone, and it’s important to respect that. It shows that you value them and their feelings, creating a more harmonious relationship.

Final thought: It’s about growth

The journey of self-improvement is one that never truly ends. Each one of us is a work in progress, continually learning, evolving, and growing.

Becoming aware of these warning signs and acknowledging them is the first step towards positive change. It’s not about pointing fingers or beating yourself up over past mistakes, but about understanding your actions and their impact on others.

Noticing a pattern of these behaviors in your interactions doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s an invitation to grow, to become better, to improve your relationships, and ultimately, to create a more positive environment for yourself and those around you.

So reflect on these points, be kind to yourself, and remember: every day is another chance to become a better version of yourself.

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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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