I think it’s a fairly safe assumption that most of us want to be liked.
But what if you notice people avoiding you?
Being likable is a subjective practice; what some people consider a turnoff, others find endearing. However, generally speaking, there is a certain set of traits that can make you universally disliked.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of these less-than-desirable characteristics.
When you get a clearer idea of things, you’ll be in a far better position to improve yourself.
Let’s get to it!
1) You’re arrogant
When you’re arrogant, you tend to believe that you’re better than others or brag excessively about superficial things.
Arrogant people have a not-so-subtle aura of superiority about them that manifests in their gestures, body language, and speech.
The arrogant person typically has a ton of unaddressed baggage too.
For most people, they aren’t particularly pleasant entities to be around.
I wonder why.
If this sounds like you, make a real effort to cultivate humility; you’ll notice a palpable difference in no time.
2) You aren’t honest
Real talk: trust is a core foundation of any relationship, whether it’s your spouse or the mailman.
When you’re dishonest, you’re regarded as nefarious and sketchy.
Who wants to be linked with that type of negative energy?
Besides, having to be on your guard at all times can get tiring, and sort of defeats the purpose of having friendship or meaningful bonds.
There’s a reason politicians are seen as some of the most polarizing figures in the world–they’re often caught lying red-handed to advance self-serving agendas.
Remember, the internet never forgets.
So, if you find yourself habitually stretching the truth (even if it’s the occasional white lie), think twice.
3) You’re self-centered
Ah, self-centeredness, the first cousin of arrogance.
Being egocentric is a major red flag.
You know those romcoms where the recently dumped protagonist is on a string of bad dates?
Often, these potential romantic partners are comically depicted as self-centered–a stereotype that is so humorous because it’s relatable.
Why? Because we’ve all come across self-centered, conceited people in our lives, and know first-hand that they’re insufferable to be around.
My neighbor, who invites himself over for beers on occasion, loves going on lengthy, self-absorbed, unsolicited monologues about his life.
In a way, if you don’t feel like talking, he’s your guy. All you need to do is ask him any question about his life and he can speak about it (and himself) for hours.
However, when you do decide to chime in, he’ll turn his attention straight to his phone, offering monotonous, uninspired responses, if any.
The moral of the story is, to be likable you have to put the work in, you can’t be all about yourself, even if this is your natural inclination.
Remember, you get what you give.
4) You’re unreliable
I’ll tell ya, there are few things worse than a person you cannot count on to keep promises or commitments.
Instinctively, we don’t tend to want to be too closely tied to this type of individual.
With the plethora of humans out there, we don’t need friends who are undependable liabilities.
We want to be able to rely on others to make our lives easier. Anything less and you can anticipate repulsion.
So if you are flaky or unreliable, put the time in to address this behavior and correct it.
5) You’re a bit too negative
Speaking from experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that not many enjoy the company of chronic pessimists who constantly complain about everything.
Frankly, being around them for prolonged durations is draining.
I used to be quite a Negative Nancy in my youth. I thought it was somehow edgy and avant-garde. Constantly critiquing others made me feel subversive.
Then I started dating a girl I really liked. We went on several dates and I thought it was going quite well.
One evening, I noticed her sullenly staring at her untouched plate of California rolls.
When I asked her what was up, she told me in so many words: “We can’t see each anymore.
You’re just too negative.”
This was a real turning point for me; not only did I realize that my contrarian behavior was uncool, but it negatively affected others around me.
And though I was dejected at the time, I used the rejection as inspiration to grow.
6) You have a lack of empathy
When you aren’t compassionate for your fellow living being, people quickly get turned off.
Lacking empathy means you have the inability to understand or sympathize with the feelings of others, which can reduce your interactions to being mostly superficial.
Nobody really wants to form close, enduring bonds with someone devoid of empathy for pretty obvious reasons.
7) You’re a gossip king/queen
Here’s the thing: the term “gossip queen” is generally perceived as an insult… and for good reason.
Spreading rumors (whether unfounded or not) or speaking negatively about others behind their back indicates a glaring lack of integrity.
It can damage trust and make people wary of you because they’ll rightfully consider your presence a risk; what’s to stop you from spreading gossip about them?
If you like to gossip, exercise caution and act tactfully. Or better yet, you can just stop it altogether.
8) You don’t respect boundaries
As humans, we all have a few boundaries that we are naturally protective of.
When someone crosses those boundaries, that will invariably alienate them from you.
Why is this?
Simply put, because they’re quite blatantly showing you a lack of respect.
Let’s say you’ve made it clear to your friends that you would like to stay home on a Friday night.
Instead of respecting your wishes, your friends come to your house uninvited, aggressively guilt-tripping and pressuring you into coming out.
This lack of understanding and respect for personal boundaries is a recipe for social fallouts.
Been there. Done that. It ain’t pretty.
9) You’re not flexible
Most people I’ve known have the desire to grow and evolve with the times.
When we encounter those who are resistant to change or not open to others’ ideas and opinions, stubbornly sticking to what they know, this is bound to disenchant.
Yes, there’s a place for tradition—but at the same time, it’s 2023, if you don’t accept new ways of thinking or doing things every now and then, you risk being left behind.
So start embracing the new, have intellectual humility, and accept that the world is an ever-changing place.
As Bruce Lee once said: “Be water, my friend. Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.”
Once you become like water, people will respond in a big way.
To recap, I’d just like to say that all of us at times may exhibit some of these traits. Nobody is perfect, after all.
If you feel you might have one or more of these traits, that fact that you can acknowledge is a massive step in the right direction. Well played.
Seeking further feedback from trusted friends, family, or professionals might be helpful too.
Making an effort to work on these aspects will enhance charm and likability and create better, more meaningful relationships over time.
Cheers to evolving and becoming the best versions of ourselves. Likability is just around the corner!