For those of us who work hard to be nice and friendly to others, it can be confusing when you meet someone who doesn't like you very much. Although not everyone is always meant to click, there's a chance you may also be engaging in some subtle habits that make people like you less. Being fake, acting cold, or participating in a lot of drama are all obvious behaviors that could turn people off, but some smaller habits – some that you don't even realize you have — could also be responsible for people's negative response to your behavior.
The first step to becoming more likable is becoming self-aware. Self-awareness is almost another means of self-control, according to Positive Psychology, but it is also an importance aspect of emotional intelligence. Self-aware people tend to act more consciously rather than react passively, and they also tend to be more compassionate towards others.
Becoming aware of how you engage with others can help you form better relationships and come off in a more positive light. If you're getting weird vibes from the people you interact with, you may want to pay attention to see if have one of these eight subtle habits that make people like you less.
1You Are Controlling
It's okay to want to take charge of situations, but if you are too controlling, it can be a huge turn-off for others. "They find themselves feeling suffocated and having flashbacks to an authority figure from their childhood," says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW over email. "Despite your desire to have order and predictability, you need to learn how to let things unfold and be flexible."
2You Give In To Everything
"You may be a caretaker or someone who doesn’t have strong preferences, but when people keep hearing you say, 'whatever you want' or 'I don’t care,' they experience you as being a vacuous pushover who doesn’t have a strong sense of yourself," says Milrad. Although you don't have to suddenly become difficult, confidence garners respect, and it is more attractive to others.
3You Point Out Problems or Inadequacies
There are times when things go wrong or something isn't too your liking, but if you are complainer and tend to notice all the things that aren’t perfect about the situation, it's going to drive people away. "People experience you as throwing a big wet blanket over everything and you bring everyone down around you," says Milrad. It's okay to be perceptive, but if you can't do much to remedy the situation, keep it to yourself.
4You Tend To Gossip
Talking about others might seem harmless, but it's not only unkind to the person you're discussing, it can make you look bad as well. Research from the University of Baltimore found that prolific gossipers are liked less than non-gossipers, especially those who talk negatively about others.
5Crossing Your Arms
"When you cross your arms around others, it sends a signal that you are either judging them, are closed off, or are uncomfortable," says life coach Kali Rogers over email. "Although you might just be freezing cold or not paying attention to your body language, crossing your arms hardly ever conveys positive energy and is typically misinterpreted as being cold."
6Avoiding Eye Contact
Just the right amount of eye contact — about 30 to 60 percent of the time during a conversation — can produce a subconscious sense of connection, according to research from Cornell University. "Not looking someone straight in the eye when they are speaking with you shows a lack of interest or disrespect," says Rogers.
7Changing The Subject To Be About You
When someone starts telling a story, jumping in and saying the same thing happened to you can be off-putting, even if you are just trying to connect. "The better response is focused listening, reflection, empathy, and curiosity," says clinical health psychologist Dr. Lyssa Menard over email. Ask questions, which can help you engage in a more likable way.
8Keeping People Waiting
If you're someone who is chronically late, it's going to rub people the wrong way. "It really doesn't matter why," says Mendard. "If it's a regular occurrence, others start feeling that you disrespect their time."