If you display these 7 traits, you’re probably a difficult person to be around

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Have you ever wondered why some friendships drift away, or why colleagues seem to avoid engaging with you? 

We all go through phases where we’re not our best selves, and without even realizing it, we can become difficult to be around. 

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but self-awareness is the first step to becoming a better person. 

Don’t worry, this isn’t a judgment; it’s an invitation. An invitation to peek into your behavior and consider if you’re displaying traits that are pushing people away. 

If so, you’re not alone — and the good news is, it’s never too late to change.

Let’s go ahead and look at 7 traits you should be aware of. 

1) Stubbornness

It’s one thing to stand your ground on issues that really matter, but when stubbornness seeps into every discussion and decision, it can be a problem. 

Being unyielding can signal to others that your opinions are the only ones that count, making interactions with you feel like a battle rather than a dialogue.

As a result, people may start avoiding conversations with you entirely because they foresee the tension and stress of dealing with your inflexible attitude

This can isolate you and deprive you of diverse thoughts and insights from others.

Tips to get back on track:

First, recognize that being stubborn doesn’t mean you’re always wrong, but it does mean you’re missing out on different perspectives. 

Start by picking your battles; not every disagreement needs to be a hill to die on. 

When you find yourself digging in, pause and ask yourself why. Is it truly a fundamental issue, or are you just averse to changing your viewpoint? 

2) Pessimism

We all have our gloomy days, but if you find that your default setting is to expect the worst, it might be affecting those around you more than you think. 

Being around a constant pessimist can be emotionally draining. It’s tough to feel excited, hopeful about anything, or even just enjoy life when someone is perpetually pointing out flaws or the things that can go wrong.

Over time, people may distance themselves to avoid the emotional weight of your negativity.

Tips to get back on track:

The first step is to recognize your pessimistic tendencies. Take note of the times you voice a negative outlook and try to catch yourself before you do. 

Ask yourself, “Is this thought helping me or anyone else?” Most likely, the answer will be no.

Aim to balance your perspective by finding something positive in every situation, even if it’s small. 

Whether it’s appreciating a good cup of coffee or acknowledging a job well done, these little doses of positivity can go a long way in changing your outlook — and how people perceive you.

3) Controlling nature

Have you ever had a boss who micromanages every little thing you do, or a parent who has a say in practically every decision you make?

If yes, you’ll understand the negative impact of a person with a controlling nature

It makes you feel restrictive, perhaps even suffocated — and it definitely doesn’t make you want to spend more time around this person. 

Well, it’s time to flip the script and consider if you haven’t been doing some of this yourself, with the same unintended consequences on other people. 

It’s understandable to want some sense of control over your life, but that desire can never extend into trying to control others. 

Tips to get back on track

Replace the urge to control with a willingness to support. Rather than telling people what to do, offer guidance or advice only when asked. 

And remember, letting go of control doesn’t mean you stop caring; it means you trust others to make the right choices for themselves.

4) Defensiveness

How do you react when someone points out something you could do better, or offers you constructive criticism?

Nobody likes to hear things like this, but if we want to function well in society and especially in our close circle of friends, we need to have the maturity to face this feedback head-on. 

Otherwise, if you always get defensive and try to bat the feedback away, you can unintentionally push people into the role of the “attacker”, even when that’s far from their intention.

You’ll paint yourself as the one who can do no wrong, while everything is someone else’s fault. 

People might also find they need to choose their words overly carefully around you, lest they trigger a defensive reaction. This can stifle meaningful dialogue and can cause folks to keep you at arm’s length.

Tips to get back on track

Swap defensiveness for curiosity. When you find yourself about to jump to your own defense, try asking questions instead. 

For instance, “Can you help me understand what you mean?” can open doors that a defensive stance would slam shut.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong in making mistakes, or correcting something you did wrong. It happens even to the best person on the planet — what defines us is how we react to those moments. 

5) Arrogance

We’ve all met that person who thinks they’re the smartest one in the room and isn’t shy about letting everyone know it. 

Sure, confidence is important, but there’s a fine line between self-assurance and arrogance. 

When you act as though you have all the answers and disregard the opinions or feelings of others, you send a message that you believe you’re better than everyone else. 

This not only makes others uncomfortable but also makes them less willing to engage with you in meaningful ways.

You may think you’re impressing people with your expertise or accomplishments, but in reality, you’re creating an environment where people feel they can’t contribute or be themselves around you.

Tips to get back on track:

The key is to turn arrogance into humility. Start by acknowledging that everyone has something valuable to bring to the table. You’re not the only one with good ideas, expertise, or experience.

And second, practice active listening. This doesn’t mean simply nodding while waiting for your turn to speak; it means genuinely hearing what the other person is saying and considering their viewpoint. 

6) Self-centeredness

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own world that we forget there are other people in it. 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking time for yourself; in fact, self-care is crucial for mental well-being. However, when self-focus turns into self-centeredness, it’s a different story.

Being self-centered means constantly putting your own needs, wants, and feelings ahead of everyone else’s. 

Whether it’s dominating conversations or making plans that only benefit you, this behavior tends to alienate those around you. 

It can make it challenging for people to connect with you on a deeper level, which in turn can lead to a cycle of shallow relationships and missed opportunities for genuine connection.

Tips to get back on track:

First, start by acknowledging the needs and feelings of others. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own needs, but try to find a balance that respects everyone involved.

And also, practice empathy. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand where they’re coming from. 

This will not only enrich your relationships but also broaden your own perspective.

Lastly, learn to share the spotlight. Whether you’re in a conversation or participating in an activity, remember it’s not all about you. 

Allow others to contribute, speak, and take the lead sometimes. This simple act can go a long way in showing others that you value and respect them.

7) Unreliability

You know the feeling — waiting for someone who’s always late, counting on help that never comes, or hearing promises that are seldom kept. 

Now, flip the coin: have you ever stopped to think if you’re that person in someone else’s life? 

Being unreliable doesn’t just inconvenience others; it erodes their trust in you. When people can’t count on you to be where you say you’ll be or do what you say you’ll do, it becomes a strain on the relationship. 

Over time, this pattern can make others hesitant to include you in plans or rely on you for anything meaningful.

The worst part is, even if you have the best intentions, it’s your actions — or lack thereof — that people will remember. Unreliability can tarnish your reputation, making others less likely to invest emotionally or professionally in you.

Tips to get back on track:

The road to reliability starts with self-awareness. If you’re often running late or missing deadlines, acknowledge this pattern and start investigating the reasons behind it. 

Practice good time management. Being consistently late is often a sign of poor planning. Try using tools like calendars, reminders, or to-do lists to keep you on track.

But also be realistic about what you can commit to in the first place. It’s better to say no upfront than to make a promise you can’t keep.

The path to becoming a better you

So there you have it — 7 traits that may be pushing people away without you even realizing it. 

It’s easy to slip into these habits, but the first step to change is awareness. 

Remember, the power to become a better you lies in your own hands. Start today, and transform these obstacles into stepping stones for more meaningful relationships and a happier life.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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