If someone has these 9 traits, they’re not a joy to be around

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Perhaps you know a person or two whose company few people seem to enjoy. 

There’s just something about them that seems to repel others, but you can’t put your finger on it. 

Well, I’m here to provide a bit of clarity. 

In this article, I’ll go through some of the traits someone who isn’t a joy to be around will typically exhibit. 

So whether you’re concerned about someone in your life or your own reputation, it’s smart to develop an awareness of these behaviors. 

Let’s dive in! 

1) They’re too negative

Do you ever feel drained after a browsing session on social media? I know I do. 

The amount of pessimistic stimuli online is staggering: everyone anonymously cursing and one-upping each other, sensationalist and alarmist clickbait headlines, the relentless hating.

We’re exposed to enough day-to-day negativity as it is–we really don’t need more of it. 

So, on top of everything, having to be around someone who is constantly whining and seeing the glass as continuously empty is, in all honesty, incredibly draining.

Sure, you can get away with the odd negative comment here and there. Hell, it might even come across as edgy. 

But when a negative disposition becomes your default, be prepared to alienate a few people. 

2) They’re arrogant 

I’ll be honest, there are far greater turn-offs as the person who is perpetually arrogant. 

The thing about arrogance is that it screams insecurity. 

At the end of the day, the people who count aren’t impressed by who you know, your IQ, or how much you made last year, they care about your inherent goodness as a person–and one of the greatest indicators of which is humility.

So next time you want to come across as superior or more knowledgeable than your peers, do yourself a favor and think twice.

3) They aren’t honest 

In any type of relationship, trust is everything. 

Nobody wants to feel uneasy and wary and have to keep an eye out when you’re around. 

The latter indicates you’re a liability–and unless you’re extraordinarily special (most of us aren’t), life’s too short to have to deal with that. 

So as a general rule in your relationships, always prioritize trust

Avoid lying or regularly stretching or omitting the truth. 

Your interactions will surely improve because of it.

4) They can be manipulative 

Manipulativeness is a form of dishonesty. 

This is because when you’re manipulative, you’re not being upfront about who you are and your intentions.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that most of us make new connections because we enjoy their company. 

So when it becomes clear that your “friend” has underlying motives and tries to control or use you for personal gain, this is blatant disrespect. 

Hardly a joy to be around. 

5) They’re lacking in empathy 

This old nugget of wisdom has always stood out to me: “A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.” 

I couldn’t have said it better. 

When you act saintly around someone “on your level” but transform into a snarky asshole when dealing with a person you have nothing to gain from, this reveals your true colors–and level of compassion.

Look, nobody is immune to struggle. This is just one of the unwritten laws of the universe. 

So if you know someone who is regularly apathetic or even mean to others, especially those in less fortunate circumstances, this is extremely telling.

Simply put, decent people generally don’t want to be around this type of energy, and for good reason. 

6) They’re self-centered

Communication is about give and take, about the exchange of thoughts and ideas. 

These aren’t particularly complicated rules. 

So if a person is constantly maneuvering to turn the conversation back to them, this is a clear indicator of self-centeredness… and even narcissism. Nobody’s got time for that. 

Be interesting by being interested, not by immediately turning to your screen every time the other person decides to speak. 

7) They’re very moody 

Everyone is entitled to have emotions, but when your moods are consistently unpredictable, this can make it difficult for the people around you. 

Think about it: if you’re joyous one hour, and raging angry the next, this will make the folks in your vicinity feel on edge. 

Walking on eggshells around someone is no way to live. 

I’ve come to realize that my stepbrother has some pretty serious mood swings. 

Some nights, he’ll be the life of the party, a chatterbox, a confidante, an all-around great guy to be around. 

But the following morning, he’ll barely say two words, glare blankly at me, in an almost disdainful manner. 

Sometimes, I’ll try to liven him up and crack an inside joke, and he’ll half-heartedly mumble something in response. 

This can go on for days until he decides to be lively again. 

We should understand that some folks are naturally, perhaps even genetically, moody–but it’s just as understandable that many will feel cautious to interact with them. 

8) They’re overly critical 

I have an aunt based in London who comes home to visit every year or two. 

Unfortunately, the excitement and novelty of her visits tend to fade pretty quickly. 

You see, she’s a deeply critical person and inherently contrarian. 

She constantly seeks to find faults in others and is not shy about voicing them. 

Her targets are usually people, interests, and behaviors that are mainstream. She scoffs at the low-browness of it all, as she basks in her perceived superiority and elitism.

Sadly, family and friends get disenchanted by the attitude, and our limited time with her is defined more by hostility than happiness. 

Moral of the story? Don’t be my aunt. 

9) They’re unreliable

You can have a heart of gold but when you start failing to keep promises or commitments or are always late for events, mark my words, you will disappoint people. 


Because by neglecting your commitments, you’re essentially communicating your inconsiderate nature to others, that they’re unappreciated and not a priority. 

You know the friend who always flakes last minute, or shows up an hour late to every meeting? Pretty annoying, huh? 

Ultimately, you can have all the excuses in the world, but when unreliable behavior becomes a habit, trust me, people will catch on fast. 

Don’t be surprised if they start distancing themselves from you.

Final thoughts

The good news is bad habits can for the most part be corrected. 

Sometimes, we get so deep into our behaviors, we don’t realize we’re perpetuating them. 

And we might only commit to change after the damage has already been done. 

Don’t let it get to this point. If you know someone who has some offputting and concerning traits, then sit them down and talk it out. 

Be the bigger person–everyone has shortcomings and reasons for acting in certain ways. 

But if you’ve tried this and they continue to maintain the status quo, nobody will blame you for walking away. 

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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