The little voice in your head wonders, “Why don’t people like me?”
Fact: not everybody will like you all of the time!
That’s just human nature.
We’re all different in so many ways: from the way we were raised to the way we choose to dress and from our hobbies to our chosen field of work.
It’s unsurprising, then, that some people just don’t gel.
Maybe sometimes you’re left with a feeling that you could have done or said something differently, but, trust me, it’s not always about you!
That’s an important point to remember, because no matter what efforts you make to adapt your behavior, there will always be people who take exception to you personally.
That said, if you genuinely feel that fewer people like you than dislike you (and that bothers you), then perhaps a bit of time spent delving into the potential reasons why would be time well spent.
Are You Too Busy To Take Stock?
Once we reach adulthood and leave the bothersome traumas of our teens far behind, many of us have a tendency to skate through the busyness of life without taking a step back to consider how we come across to others.
We are who we are.
So, when things don’t go right in personal or business relationships and we find ourselves without friends or allies, it’s only natural to believe that it’s ‘them’ who has the problem.
But what if there are certain things about our own demeanor or behavior which is in some way off-putting or even actively offensive?
Perhaps there really are some barriers that prevent people from liking you.
9 Reasons Why Some People Might Not Like You
What can it be that causes you to be less popular than most?
Why do you miss out on invitations and frequently feel like a Billy-No-Mates?
Or do you feel that your career is suffering because you’re alienating superiors and co-workers alike?
Let’s take a look at some possible factors.
With a bit of healthy self-reflection, one or two of these may resonate with you and give you some clues as to how you might modify your behavior and gain more friends.
1. You Talk Too Much
Having a wide-ranging conversation is one of life’s great pleasures, but it is most definitely a two-way street.
If one person dominates the conversation and fails to give others the chance to express their own opinions, it will cause frustration and resentment for the listener.
Being forced to listen to one person sounding off about themselves, their feelings, their relationships, and their problems is not a conversation…
…it’s a therapy session, and people pay good money for that!
There’s quite a complex set of unwritten rules about how conversation works that are learned mostly by trial and error as we grow up.
The best conversationalist is actually a really good listener!
Remember that and make sure you ask sincere questions about what’s going on in the lives of people you talk to.
And listen attentively to their response!
Do this and you won’t go far wrong.
2. You Like To Show Off
No one likes a bragger!
If your life is perfect and you’re so darn smart or rich or successful, there’s never any excuse for ramming your supposed superiority down the throats of other mere mortals.
The reality is that most people find life a pretty hard slog…
…so it’s hardly surprising that they’re less than impressed, or even openly hostile, toward anyone who makes a habit of stressing their many accomplishments or flaunting their new car or photos of their exotic vacations.
It’s not that they’re jealous, but their own lives are diminished somehow when compared to your charmed existence.
Social media has made it easier than ever to show off. You can share your successes with your ‘friends’ at the click of a button and let them all know how wonderful your life is.
Perhaps you don’t even see this as bragging.
Trust me: it is.
You’ll gain people’s respect if you resist the urge to highlight your successes and focus more on the achievements of others.
3. You Dodge The Blame
We all make mistakes. Of course, we do.
The age-old aphorism ‘to err is human’ neatly sums it up.
And when we make a mistake, the best way to move on from it is to face up to it, apologize, and hopefully learn from the unfortunate experience.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy fessing up and apologizing, and there are sometimes unpleasant consequences.
That said, it’s always the right course of action.
Whereas shifting the blame onto some innocent party and seeing them take the flak is unacceptable.
4. You Bully Or Intimidate Others
Whether at home or at work, one of the quickest ways to lose friends and lose all respect is to fall into the trap of flexing your metaphorical muscles and picking on others who behave differently or have opinions that are at odds with your own.
Being a bully is all about feeding a person’s own insecurities and is actually a demonstration of weakness rather than strength.
That’s the reason bullies almost always form cliques who act jointly in intimidating or deriding those who don’t fit in.
Being part of such a group of like-minded people bolsters their self-esteem.
Bullies may think that they do have friends, but the group is actually held together by fear of exclusion rather than any mutual love or respect.
Taking a step back and assessing your own friendship group and the way it functions might give you a few clues.
Is it a clique?
Does it thrive on intimidation and exclusion of others?
If so, I think you’ll work out for yourself what you need to do.
Sorry to bring this down to the subject of bodily smells, but niffy armpits, stinky breath, or general un-cleanliness in our 21st century Western society won’t win you any friends.
In days gone by, when everyone smelled bad, this wouldn’t have been such an issue, but there’s little or no excuse now for anyone to leave home in grubby clothes without showering, brushing their teeth, and combing their hair.
Not to do so is just plain laziness.
It ultimately boils down to courtesy to others because, even if you can’t smell yourself, poor personal hygiene produces some pretty rank odors.
In crowded metropolitan areas, on public transport, or in the office, no one will want to sit near you, but in tight spaces they’ll be forced to and they won’t thank you for that.
It’ll affect your professional life, too. You may not get hired in the first place, but even if you jump that hurdle, your co-workers may reject you before they’ve even gotten close enough to learn your name!
If you feel you may have been slacking a little on the personal hygiene front, the good news is that it’s a simple fix and will turn things around quicker than you can change your shirt!
6. You Complain A Lot
It’s no secret that life can be a bit of a slog sometimes (or even a lot of the time).
There are some highlights which need to be celebrated along the way, but the reality for many of us is that there are probably more struggles than wins.
But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to bend the ear of anyone who’ll listen about all the crap you’re dealing with in your own life.
They’re probably pretty caught up in thinking about ways through the labyrinth of stresses in their own life anyway.
They won’t thank you for adding to their burden by sharing your own woes.
Generally speaking, people much prefer those who remain positive in the face of adversity.
The glass-half-full peddlers are likely to be way more popular than the glass-half-empty ones!
Why not try to resist the impulse to constantly complain?
People don’t want to hear your moaning and nor do they want to be friends with a bitter person.
Flip things around and take stock of the good stuff rather than focusing on the negatives.
If you do need to rant (and we all do sometimes), do so with a friend and ask permission before you do.
And complain to one or two people only. Once you’ve gotten something off your chest, why get stuck on repeat and tell everyone else? It only serves to keep you mired in the negative.
7. You Gossip
On the face of it, sharing gossip would appear to be a great way of making sure you’re with the ‘in’ crowd.
If you know some juicy nugget about another person, being the one to divulge that information to others will possibly raise your popularity in the short term.
That’s because, even if we try not to listen, most of us just can’t help but want to hear of some drama being played out in the lives of our acquaintances.
Take note, though, that I said in the short term.
Because spreading gossip will offend people and, sooner or later, you’ll be confronted about your bad habit.
This will be awkward and embarrassing for you, but, worse still, you’ll end up being excluded for gossiping or rumor-mongering.
Once you get a reputation as a gossip, few people will want to associate with you since they won’t trust you to keep anything they say secret.
Next time you have a ‘scoop’ about someone you know, do your level best to resist the urge to share it.
8. You Are Hypercritical
When your own standards of achievement are exceptionally high and you accept nothing but the best when it comes to your own performance, it’s very easy to put down others whose level of attainment falls below your lofty expectations.
That’s understandable. But being on the receiving end of unconstructive criticism isn’t the best motivator.
Whether in the boardroom, the locker room, or the bar, if you’re seen as someone who never gives praise or encouragement and is too ready with a harsh comment, then you’ll soon find your peer group deserting you.
You may see the criticism as positive and a way to help others achieve more, but, trust me, that’s not the way it feels when you’re on the receiving end of consistently negative appraisals.
Sure, by all means give constructive advice, framed carefully with positive overtones, but hypercritical put-downs will gain you no friends at all.
9. You’re Always Late
Some people always arrive late for appointments and don’t give a second thought to any inconvenience this may cause to others or how rude it is to keep them waiting.
Somehow these individuals just don’t get the fact that this comes across as thoughtless, at best, and arrogant, at worst.
It’s surprisingly easy to think that the rules don’t apply to you and that it’s okay to stroll in 10 minutes late.
Show courtesy to others by arriving on time and they’ll respect you for it.
Of course, there are always times when transport issues or other unavoidable problems make us late.
Just remember that other people’s time is valuable, too, and don’t make a habit of it!
To Sum It All Up…
It’s a fundamental trait of the human animal to want to be part of the crowd.
That ultimately comes down to the survival instinct where there’s safety in numbers. It’s way safer to be ‘in’ than ‘out,’ after all.
But if you want to have more friends and rise up in the popularity stakes so you can feel secure as a member of a ‘tribe,’ you need to learn to play by the rules.
The trick is to think about how you want to be treated by others and then relate to them using the same values.
The time-honored saying ‘do as you would be done by’ is very apt.
You can’t easily change your personality since much of it is hard-wired into your DNA, but you can change the way you behave.
If any of the things mentioned above chime with you, then setting about correcting that behavior will be the first step on the road to a better – and more popular – version of you.
Working as a freelance copywriter, Juliana is following a path well-trodden by her family, who seem to have 'wordsmithing' in their DNA. She'll turn her quill to anything from lifestyle and wellness articles to blog posts and SEO articles. All this is underpinned by a lifetime of travel, cultural exchange and her love of the richly expressive medium of the English language.