10 things you don’t realize you’re doing that make people uncomfortable around you

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Ever caught people looking a bit awkward around you? Or stumbled upon conversations that just don’t quite hit the mark?

The awkward truth? It might not be them. It could be you.

Yup, without even realizing it, we sometimes do things that make others uncomfortable.

But hey, don’t stress! This happens to all of us and the great news is – we can change these habits.

First step? Identifying them. Once we know what they are, we can start making changes and help everyone feel more at ease around us.

So, sit tight as we navigate through the 10 things you might be doing unknowingly that could be making people uneasy.

You might be in for a surprise or two!

1) You’re constantly checking your phone

We’re all guilty of being glued to our screens, especially in this digital age. But did you know that constantly checking your phone during conversations can make people around you uncomfortable?

In fact, this habit can often make others feel unimportant or ignored. They might think that you’re not really interested in what they have to say or that you’d rather be somewhere else.

Engaging in a conversation means giving the other person your full attention. So, next time you’re in a conversation, try putting your phone away and see the difference it makes. People will appreciate it and feel more comfortable around you!

2) You’re not respecting personal space

Personal space is a big deal for a lot of people. Invading this invisible bubble can make others feel uncomfortable, even if you mean no harm.

If you tend to stand too close, touch people often, or hover around them, you might be crossing their personal boundaries without realizing it.

Everyone’s comfort levels are different, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Try to maintain a respectful distance and be mindful of people’s reactions to your proximity. If they seem to step back or lean away, that’s your cue to give them a little more room.

Respecting personal space is a simple but effective way to make people feel more at ease around you.

3) You’re interrupting conversations

We all love a good chat, and sometimes, we’re so excited that we can’t help but jump in before the other person has finished speaking. I know I’ve been guilty of this more times than I’d like to admit!

For example, I remember a time when I was having lunch with a friend. She was telling me about her recent trip to Europe, but I couldn’t help myself and kept interjecting with my own travel stories. Instead of listening, I was just waiting for my turn to speak.

Later on, I realized I’d made her feel unheard and sidelined. That’s when it hit me how damaging interrupting can be. It not only disrupts the flow of conversation but also gives the impression that you’re not interested in what others have to say.

Take it from me, make a conscious effort to listen more and interrupt less. It’ll make a world of difference in your interactions and people will feel more relaxed and valued around you.

4) You’re not making eye contact

Eye contact is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. It shows that you’re engaged, attentive, and genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. But, if you’re constantly looking away or your eyes are darting around the room, people might perceive you as disinterested or uncomfortable.

Here’s an interesting fact: according to a study published in the journal “Environment and Behavior”, just the right amount of eye contact can make people feel more connected and positive about their interactions. But there’s a catch – too much eye contact can be just as off-putting as too little!

So, try to strike a balance. Maintain eye contact when someone’s speaking but also allow natural breaks to look away. This simple change can make your conversations more comfortable and engaging for everyone involved.

5) You’re not acknowledging others’ feelings

We all have moments when we’re so wrapped up in our own world that we forget to acknowledge the feelings of those around us. It’s human nature, but it can unknowingly make people feel uncomfortable and unappreciated.

Imagine a friend sharing a difficult experience with you and instead of expressing empathy, you quickly change the subject or respond with a casual “That’s tough.” It sends a message that their feelings don’t matter or aren’t important to you.

It might not be intentional, but it’s a habit worth addressing.

Taking the time to truly listen and acknowledge others’ feelings can make all the difference in the world. It shows them that you care, that they matter, and that they’re not alone. This genuine connection can put people at ease and make them feel more comfortable around you.

6) You’re always the center of attention

I’ll confess, I love a good spotlight. Who doesn’t, right? But I’ve learned the hard way that always being the center of attention can make people around you uncomfortable.

A few years ago, at a family gathering, I realized that I was dominating every conversation, turning every topic back to my experiences, my thoughts, and my life. It was all about me, me, me.

My cousin later pointed out how this behavior might have made others feel unheard or overshadowed. It hit me that by constantly hogging the limelight, I was unintentionally creating an uncomfortable environment for others.

Now, I make it a point to share the spotlight. I actively encourage others to express their thoughts and experiences and give them the attention they deserve. It’s made my interactions more balanced and enjoyable, and people feel much more comfortable opening up around me.

7) You’re not being authentic

Let’s cut to the chase – people can smell fakeness from a mile away. And nothing makes people more uncomfortable than someone who’s trying too hard to be something they’re not.

Whether it’s pretending to like something you don’t, agreeing when you actually disagree, or exaggerating your achievements – it’s just not worth it. In the end, these pretenses create an invisible barrier that keeps people at arm’s length.

Being authentic, on the other hand, builds trust and connection. It shows that you’re genuine and real – that what they see is what they get. It allows people to relax and be themselves around you because they don’t feel the need to put up their own pretenses.

8) You’re a negative Nancy

We all have bad days, but if you’re constantly complaining, criticizing, or spreading negativity, it can make people uncomfortable around you.

Here’s an interesting fact: according to research from the University of California, Riverside, exposure to negativity can actually drain your energy and lead to increased stress levels. Essentially, negativity is contagious!

So if you’re always focusing on the downside of things, it’s likely to bring down the mood of everyone around you. It creates an atmosphere that’s heavy and uncomfortable.

Try shifting your focus to the positive side of things. It doesn’t mean you have to ignore the bad stuff, but balancing it with a healthy dose of positivity can lighten the atmosphere and make people feel more at ease around you. Plus, it’s good for your own mental health too!

9) You’re oversharing

I’m an open book, always have been. I believe in being transparent and honest, but there was a time when I didn’t quite understand the difference between being open and oversharing.

I would spill all my thoughts, feelings, and personal stories, often without considering whether it was appropriate or if the other person was comfortable. I thought I was just being friendly and genuine.

One day, a close friend gently pointed out that my oversharing could make people feel overwhelmed or uneasy. It was a wake-up call. From then on, I tried to be more discerning about what I shared and with whom.

While it’s great to be open, it’s also important to respect boundaries – both yours and others’. Sharing selectively helps create a safe space where people can feel comfortable and not bombarded with too much information.

10) You’re not open to other opinions

Okay, let’s get real here. We all like to be right. But what happens when this desire turns into an inability to accept other’s opinions?

If you’re constantly shooting down ideas, ignoring suggestions, or arguing until others agree with you, it can make them feel undervalued and uncomfortable. It sends a message that their perspectives don’t matter to you.

The truth is, it’s okay to disagree. In fact, differing opinions can lead to enriching conversations and new insights. What’s important is respecting each other’s views and agreeing to disagree when needed.

Opening up to different opinions doesn’t make you less smart or less right. Instead, it shows that you’re mature, respectful, and open-minded. It creates a comfortable environment where everyone feels free to express their thoughts without fear of being shot down.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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