11 Surprising Habits That Can Make You Difficult To Get Along With At Work
Heading off to work is difficult enough as it is. You have to leave your comfy bed, venture out into the cold world, and then answer emails all day. (Or whatever it is that you do.) So I understand why your relationship with your coworkers may be the last thing on your mind. But trust me when I say it's actually pretty important.
Having work friends — or at least a few people you get along with — can make your day 100 times better. "When you have a strong connection to coworkers, you will feel comfortable being yourself, sharing your ideas and opinions, and a strong connection fosters trust," Laura MacLeod, creator of The Inside Out Project, tells Bustle. "When you don't get along, paranoia, discomfort, and general apprehension follow, ending in an unhealthy and unproductive way to spend five days a week.”
See what I mean? Giving off a good impression is not only the key to getting ahead in your career, but also the key to your day-to-day happiness. Of course, I'm not saying you have to focus solely on making friends, or spend all day worrying about how people perceive you. But you should occasionally consider what kind of vibe you're giving off — and how you can make it a good one. Here are some signs it may be time to do just that.
1. You Have Closed Off Body Language
Like it or not, body language plays a huge role in you likability. If you constantly have your arms crossed, for example, it can give off the impression that you're kinda cold and standoffish. "This is a subconscious cue that you are not engaged in the conversation and it is considered a blocking move," says Shelly O'Donovan, a certified body language trainer, in an email to Bustle. "It makes colleagues think you are opposed to what is being communicated or that you are not engaged in the topic." Not exactly the vibe you're going for at work, I'm sure.
2. You're The Noisy One
Hey, if you want to eat chips at your desk , then keep doin' your thing. But do realize how the constant crunching (or other noisy habits, like typing loudly) can become annoying to everyone around you. "For your auditorially focused co-workers, these habits will drive them insane," says Rachael Bozsik, CEO of The Brand Girls. "If someone makes a joke of your hammer hand on the keyboard, take the hint and try to be a little bit more quiet."
3. You Let Your Nerves Show
Of course this can't always be helped — especially if you have anxiety. But if you constantly let your nerves get the better of you at work, it can kind of turn people off. "This is a survival trait we use to adapt to our surroundings or to help identify a situation we may need to get away from," says Remi Alli, CEO of the conflict management tool Brāv. In other words, your coworkers will sense your nerves and stay away. I know, it's not fair at all. But it is true.
4. You Never Make Time To Socialize
I know, you're at work and have sh*t to do. But, as Amy Gallo, author of Managing Conflict at Work tells me, it's still important to occasionally look up from your keyboard. By taking just a few minutes to, say, ask your coworker about her day, you'll truly up your likability factor.
5. You Hardly Ever Make Eye Contact
It sounds so simple, and yet this little habit can really throw people off. "When we don't hold eye contact in the proper range ... it makes us seem difficult, sneaky, and again subconsciously can leave our colleagues feeling that we are difficult to get along with," O'Donovan says.
6. You're Far Too Nice
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being nice. But there is something wrong with being so nice that you can't get good work done. That's because "companies thrive on what author Kim Scott calls 'radical candor' — in her book, she says people should both be caring and forth-giving with their feedback," says David Sanderson, founder and CEO of ReelGood. "Often, that means getting out of your comfort zone to give your co-worker needed feedback." It may feel awkward, but it's definitely necessary.
7. You Make Yourself At Home In The Break Room
If you make a habit of taking over the break room with your snacks and coffee and books, it may be time for a little reevaluation. As MacLeod tells me, nobody likes the coworker who hogs shared workspaces. "Nobody wants to have to clean up for other adults," she says. So make sure this isn't you.
8. You Don't Hear Anyone Else's Ideas
It makes sense why you'd be 100 percent focused on your own amazing idea. But do make a point of hearing other people out, too. "We like to think that being passionate about our work is a good thing but it can back fire when it comes to relationships," Gallo says. "It's important to have convictions but it's equally important to leave room for others to have theirs as well."
9. You Forget To Ask Questions
In the same vein is the bad habit of never, ever asking questions. By this I mean asking other people's opinions, asking for new ideas, etc. "You should ask lots of questions and genuinely listen to people's answers if you want to build the social ties you need at work," Gallo says. It may not be your favorite thing, but it is important.
10. You Tend To Overshare
It can be tempting to spill your life's story at work — especially if things are really going awry in your personal life. But unless you're with your office BFFs, do try to keep things more professional. As MacLeod tells me, oversharing can distract from the job at hand. And that's not OK.
11. You're Always Running A Bit Late
Strolling into the office ten minutes late, or handing in a project a few minutes past deadline, may not feel like a big deal. But when everyone's relying on you to be punctual, this bad habit can really start to rub people the wrong way. This is especially true if others have to pick up your slack, MacLeod tells me. If this is you, try to make an effort to be more on time.
And keep the rest of these habits in mind if you want to get in good with everyone at work. You'll be making your life — and your coworker's lives — way easier.
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