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8 unpleasant personality traits (and what to do about them)

It’s always nice to be liked.

Whether you’re a people person or not, it’s natural to want other people to like you and enjoy being around you.

Some personality traits simply don’t lend us to this.

They don’t bring out the best in us, and don’t bring out the best in those around us.

If you’ve noticed that people tend to steer clear and prefer not to engage with you socially, there’s a good chance you have one of these negative traits.

But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.

We all have traits we don’t like, and you’ve already taken the first step and recognise this in yourself.

By identifying the negative traits you possess, you can then take on our advice on how to move past it, so you become the type of person that everyone loves being around.

8 unpleasant personality traits (and what to do about them)

1) Manipulative

Do you find yourself unable to ask for what you want and need, so bending people instead to get it? It’s easy to see why you think you’re doing the right thing. After all, it can be hard to just come out and ask for what you want.

What if they say no?

What if you now owe them a favour?

What if they think it’s a ridiculous request?

So many different what ifs roll through your head, so instead, you read people. You use the knowledge you have to twist their words and get what you want.

Guess what?

People can spot it from a mile away, and you’ll find your friends dropping off like flies.

No one wants to be manipulated.

So, what can you do about it?

Start by working on your self-esteem. If you’re being manipulative, it’s generally because of your own insecurity. A little self-love goes a long way.

Find your voice. If you want someone from someone, then try asking for it, rather than using your powers of manipulation. Sure, it might be frightening the first few times. But people much prefer honesty than manipulation and you’ll discover more and more people sticking around.

Finally, learn to respect people. If you respect your friends and think highly of them, you what even entertain the thought of manipulating them.

If none of this works, then consider some counselling to see where these feelings are coming from and to see if you can work through them.

2) Self-centered

Are you the person who talks about themselves the entire time you’re out with friends?

Do you organise activities around what you like to do?

Are you always late and making people wait on you?

Self-centred people don’t tend to have a lot of friends.

You might be surrounded by a lot of people, but they definitely aren’t your friends.

So, how can you make some changes?

For a start, take a step back and start listening to what people have to say. Instead of focusing on you, ask probing questions to get to know those close to you and actually listen to their answers.

Another thing you can try is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Would you really like to hear about that other person non-stop? Then don’t put them through it either.

Go for less “me” and “I” statements and see if you can flip that to “you”. It’s about learning to share the spotlight and let other people in. Then you will be able to surround yourself with people who actually enjoy your company and want to be around you.

3) Judgemental

It’s one thing to think something about another person. It’s a whole other to actually let them know. No one wants to be around someone who is constantly judging them for what they wear, what they eat or what they say.

Yes, you’re entitled to your opinions, and a little bit of judgement is fine. We’ve all been there and we can’t always help it.

But if you’re finding that you’re judging people all the time, then it’s time to make some changes. People are going to stop hanging around you if they feel like you’re just judging them the whole time. It’s toxic and doesn’t work in any relationship.

So, what can you do about it?

You need to stop seeing things in black and white.

The world simply doesn’t work this way. There are so many other beautiful shades to take in, which is exactly what you should be doing.

Just because other people don’t dress, walk, talk or do the same things as you, is no reason to judge them for it.

People are different, and that’s a great thing! Life would be boring if we were all the same.

Take a step back, bite your tongue, and practise keeping your mouth shut.

As they say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

4) Pessimistic

Are you a cup half empty kind of person?

The world is full of pessimists and optimists, and there’s nothing wrong with being one or the other. The problem is when you drag everyone else around you down with you.

People don’t want to feel bad about themselves.

People don’t want to always feel doom and gloom.

People don’t always want to see the worst in other people and situations.

Your negativity will start to take a toll on those around you and push them away. You’ll find less and less friends picking up that phone for a catch-up.

After all, would you want to catch up with someone who leaves you feeling worse than ever?

So, what can you do about it?

Start by distancing yourself from any negative influences in your life. Negative people who are having an effect on you.

Then, you need to work on your outlook.

It’s a complete mindset overhaul and it’s a big challenge that will take time.

Take up a new hobby, or find something you love to start channelling some positive energy into your life. Find time each day to be thankful for the things that you love and what you have.

Small steps like this will start to have a lasting impact on the way you view things.

You will soon find you attract people to you with your positive energy.

5) Perfectionist

What’s wrong with a perfectionist?

Only a perfectionist would ask this question.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting everything to run smoothly, when your life becomes fixated on the smaller details, it becomes a big problem.

Not just for you, but for those around you as well.

The strive for perfectionism is then reflected on your friends and those around you. And no-one can ever live up to those standards. In the end, they are left behind.

So, what can you do about it?

It’s important to lower your standards. Think about why you have such high standards in the first place and what good they’re actually doing you?

It can be hard to let go, but if you start small, it’s something you can build on overtime.

You can even ask for some help from close family and friends to help you let go. Challenge yourself to look at the worst thing that might happen if something isn’t perfect.

In time, you can learn that being perfect isn’t the be-all and end-all. In fact, it’s stopping you from living your life.

6) Controlling

This is a very dangerous trait to possess and one that can be harmful to other people in your life.

You may not even be aware you possess it.

Think about your relationships. Do you like it be in control of the little things?

Where your friends are.

Who they are chatting to.

When they meet up.

Where they are going.

It may seem completely harmless to you, but this level of control isn’t healthy. It’s negatively impacting the lives of the people you care about and restricting them through fear.

So, what can you do about it?

Recognise you possess this trait is a great start.

Controlling behaviour is often driven by fear.

Whether your scared of what will happen if your friends meet up without you (for example, will they say negative things about you?).

You need to challenge the fear and ask yourself: what’s the worst that will happen? If your friends don’t stick around, then they weren’t friends worth having in the first place.

It can help to think about the worst outcome possible and to challenge it from every angle. You’ll soon learn you don’t need to have control over people and situations.

Being flexible has so much more to offer.

7) Unapologetic

We all make mistakes.

We all do things we end up regretting.

Many of us hurt others unintentionally.

These things happen, despite our best efforts.

It’s what we do after the fact that matters.

If you’re the type of person who never apologises for their actions, then you’re going to alienate yourself from friends and family.

No one is right all the time.

And your refusal to acknowledge this is damaging to the relationships around you.

People can’t move forward without an apology. Especially when it’s warranted.

If you’re more concerned about being right than being happy, then you can expect to live a very lonely life.

So, what can you do about it?

It’s time to practise saying those two words: “I’m sorry”. And using them every now and then.

Forget about your need to be right all the time.

Forget about whether or not you are right.

Instead, consider what the other person is feeling. Being right doesn’t give you the right to hurt someone else.

“I’m sorry”.

Two words that can make all the difference to having people in your life.

If you’re ever caught at a crossroads, then you need to ask yourself, do I want to be right, or do I want to keep this friendship?

Your answer will help you through.

8) Don’t value relationships

Do you always threaten to end friendships and relationships at the first sign of trouble?

Maybe your boyfriend turned up late for the date?

Or perhaps your friend was gossiping about you behind her back? So you do what you do best and you tell them to do better next time, or it’s over.

This shows how little value you place on relationships and just how one way they are.

This self-absorbed personality trait is extremely toxic in relationships. You treat others in terms of their utility, and as soon as they step out of line or are no longer useful to you, are all too willing to toss them to the side.

So, what can you do about it?

The first thing you need to do is sit down and work out who your real friends are. Who do you want to keep in your life?

Now, you need to acknowledge something important: them being in your life is unconditional. It’s not about how useful they are to you, it’s about who they are as people and how they treat you.

It’s time to start placing value on those friends and see they are giving you so much in return through their friendship, and it’s not up to you to control their actions.

You may need to dig a little deeper inside yourself and see where these feelings come from. Have you been burnt in the past? Has something happened to you? Getting to the root of the issues can help you overcome them.

Overcoming unpleasant personality traits

Your personality traits don’t define you as a person. They can be worked on and they can be changed. The key is understanding the negative impact some of your traits are having on your life and those around you and implementing some changes to help.

It’s not an overnight fix. But, with commitment, you are able to overcome these personality traits to enjoy positive relationships in your life that you can rely on each and every day.

Use the tips above to start making some positive changes in your life today.

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Written by Felicity Frankish

My name is Felicity (Flick) Frankish and I am mum to Cassandra, Vivienne and Elliot. After studying journalism and digital media, I naturally fell into the online world - and hasn't left since!

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