10 annoying things you don’t realize you do that make people avoid you

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In our everyday interactions, it’s easy to overlook the small habits that might be alienating those around us. 

Whether it’s in professional settings, among friends, or during casual encounters, certain behaviors can inadvertently create distance between us and others. 

So, in this article, we delve into 10 common things that you may be doing that others find annoying. 

The point of this article isn’t to make you feel terrible about yourself, but to open your eyes to these behaviors so you can make positive changes!

Let’s dive in: 

1) You dominate conversations

Perhaps you’ve got a lot to say, or maybe you’re just excited to share your opinion, whatever the reason, dominating conversations is a surefire way to put people off. 

Even if you don’t mean it, by talking over people or constantly turning the conversation back to yourself, you’re giving the impression that you don’t care about what they have to say. 

Not to mention, it’s pretty annoying and rude.

So if this sounds like something you often do, try taking a deep breath before speaking, and make sure to ask people questions about their lives so the conversation isn’t heavily focused on just you. 

After all, you don’t want to come across as self-centered. 

2) You exhibit negativity

I have a few family members who, even though they’re good people, are constantly negative about life. 

If I tell them good news, I can see them thinking hard, searching for a potential risk or downfall to dampen my announcement with. 

They complain all the time, yet they never want to take my solutions. 

And you know what?

After a while, I started avoiding them. It’s not that I don’t love or care for them, but I feel miserable whenever I spend time with them. 

Being negative isn’t something people aspire to be, so I completely understand that you probably don’t mean to give off that vibe. 

But that being said, it takes a conscious effort to start looking at life more optimistically. 

Be aware of your words, try to keep interactions with others lighthearted, and spend time with positive people to gain some equilibrium. 

3) You lack awareness

If you struggle to pick up on social cues, i.e., when someone is trying to end the conversation or isn’t interested in the topic, this could be another annoying thing that puts people off. 

Don’t get me wrong, you’re not harming anyone. And most people will realize that you’re not even aware of it yourself. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s not still tiring for people around you. 

I had an experience with someone like this recently – the boyfriend of a friend came over to pick up some furniture I was giving away. I invited him in for a drink but made sure to tell him I needed to get back to work in 20 minutes. 

Well…20 minutes passed…then 30…then by 40 I finally said, “I’m sorry, you have to go now because I have deadlines.”

He does stuff like this all the time, and I’m not sure if it’s because he grew up pretty sheltered from the world. 

But it makes it difficult to spend time with him because everything needs to be explained in a very simplistic way (aka, awkwardly), otherwise, he simply won’t get it.

4) You interrupt

Much like dominating the conversation, when you constantly interrupt, it tells the other person that you don’t value their input. 

It’s very much a “what I’ve got to say is more important” vibe. It’s also seen as highly disrespectful.

So, whether you mean to interrupt or not, know that it’s something that probably makes people avoid you

But it’s not all bad news – this is something you can work on through practicing active listening, which involves:

  • Maintaining eye contact and showing interest in what the other person says 
  • Not interrupting or being distracted by other things (i.e, mobile phone or TV)
  • Asking follow-up questions when the time is right 

And just like I advised in the first point, taking a deep breath and waiting a few seconds before speaking should stop you from butting in before it’s your turn.  

If you slip up and interrupt someone by accident, it’s not the end of the world, but you should still apologize and let them continue with whatever they were saying before you resume talking. 

5) You are unreliable

Next up, we have something that you might not have considered to be a big deal, but in actual fact, is. 

For example, if a friend asks for a favor, and you agree but then change your mind at the last minute, you might not see it as something annoying, but trust me, to the other person it is. 

It makes you come across as not caring and flakey. 

Even if deep down you’re not that way. 

This is something I relate to – I used to bail on people and then it got to a point where I’d just avoid making commitments altogether. 

That was until a friend told me that the reason she hadn’t been in contact as much was because she felt I didn’t prioritize our friendship. That made me sit up and realize my unreliability was bothering (rightly so) the people I cared about. 

Now if I commit to something, no matter how small it is, I stick to it. Even if it puts me out. And as a result, my relationships have improved tenfold. 

6) You constantly ask for advice but never act upon it

I briefly mentioned this above when I spoke about negativity, but it deserves a whole section of its own, to be honest. 

If you constantly complain to people about your problems, ask them for advice, and then never act upon it, you may be pushing people away. 

Because most likely you don’t do it once a year, but every time you meet up. And that gets super draining for the other person. 

Case in point:

My old friend from childhood only calls me to complain about his life.

Forget the fact that most of his issues are of his own doing, when I spend hours giving him practical advice (that he asks for), he says he’ll try it and never does. 

Then the next time he calls, he complains about the same sh*t all over again. 

If this is you – please, either take the advice if you really want to change or stop complaining. Otherwise, people are gonna end up avoiding you altogether. 

7) You are invasive

As someone who studied journalism, being nosy comes naturally to me. But I have come to realize that it puts people off, especially when one man actually said:

“Am I being interviewed or something? What’s up with all the questions?” In response to me asking him about his line of work (mainly because I genuinely found it interesting!).

So I understand that when you’re being invasive, you don’t necessarily mean anything bad by it. 

But to other people, it can come across as intrusive and overstepping personal boundaries. 

If someone looks uncomfortable, it’s best to keep the conversation lighthearted – avoid digging too much or asking constant questions. 

8) You gossip

We all love a bit of gossip from time to time – there’s a reason it’s often called “juicy”. 

But if you’re the biggest gossiper in town, don’t be surprised if people avoid you!

The reason is clear:

You gossip, which by default means you’re not able to keep a secret, which in turn makes people wary about what they tell you…because they’re not sure if you’ll spread it around or not.

So the solution is simple. Just don’t do it. I know it’ll be painful for a while. You might feel like Rachel from Friends in the episode where she’s banned from gossiping and almost combusts as a result. 

But if it means you keep your friends, it’s worth the struggle. 

9) You engage in one-upmanship

A little competition is fun – constantly trying to get one over on people isn’t.

I HAD a friend like this. If I said, “I’ve finally got a new car!” They’d say, “Oh really? Well, I got a new car and a new sound system to go with it!”

Or, if I mentioned that I did well on a project at work, suddenly, they’ll feel the need to tell me that they’re up for a huge promotion and thus turn the conversation back to them. 

You see when people feel like you’re constantly competing with them, it takes away the fun and joy of sharing news with you. 

Is it any surprise, then, that they don’t seek your company anymore?

10) You lack empathy

And finally, if you struggle to put yourself into the shoes of others and understand how they feel, you may annoy the people around you.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that you’re outright harming your relationships. 

Because we all need a level of empathy from our loved ones. Those who won’t show it? Well, quite often, they get left behind. 

So if you suspect you struggle with empathy, I’d highly suggest working on it, for your own sake as much as everyone else’s. 

This free guide will help you out. 

To conclude, if you exhibit any of the above, you may unknowingly be pushing people to avoid you – not a good thing. But that being said, don’t go too hard on yourself. We’re all guilty of these behaviors from time to time.

The main thing is that you’re now aware and able to work on tyourself. So, good luck! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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