People who are difficult to get along with often display these 9 behaviors (without realizing it)

We all know those people who seem to have a knack for ruffling feathers without even realizing it. They’re not necessarily mean-spirited or difficult by nature, they just have certain behaviors that can make them tough to get along with.

These behaviors aren’t always obvious to the person displaying them; in fact, they’re often completely unaware of their effect on others.

Understanding these behaviors can help you navigate tricky social waters, and if you recognize these traits in yourself, it might be a wake-up call for some self-improvement.

Here are nine behaviors that can make someone difficult to get along with, often without them even realizing it.

1) They often interrupt

We’ve all been there – in the middle of expressing a thought or an idea, only to be cut off midway by someone who jumps in with their own thoughts. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

This is one of the most common behaviors displayed by people who are difficult to get along with. They often interrupt others, usually without realizing it.

Interrupting sends a clear message – that their thoughts, opinions, or ideas are more important than yours. It’s not only disrespectful but also dismissive.

Now, everyone interrupts occasionally, and it can sometimes be a sign of enthusiasm or excitement in a conversation. However, constant interruption can be a sign of a lack of empathy and consideration for others’ feelings and ideas.

Understanding this behavior can help you navigate conversations better and if you find yourself doing it often, it might be time to practice active listening.

2) They have a need to always be right

Let me share a personal experience with you. I once had a friend who, no matter what the topic of conversation was, always had to be right. Whether it was a debate about politics, a discussion about a movie, or even just deciding where to eat for dinner, she always had the “correct” answer or solution.

This need to be right all the time made it incredibly tough to get along with her. Conversations and discussions felt more like competitions, and it was exhausting.

The issue wasn’t the difference in opinion; it was her inability to accept that others could have valid opinions too, even if they differed from hers. This constant need to ‘win’ every conversation drained the joy out of our interactions and ultimately strained our friendship.

This behavior is something many people who are difficult to get along with unknowingly exhibit. They may think they’re simply expressing their opinions, unaware that this behavior can come across as dismissive and arrogant to others.

3) They’re quick to blame others

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that individuals who tend to blame others for their mistakes are more likely to be anxious and depressed. This behavior can also be a sign of low self-esteem.

Those who are difficult to get along with often display this trait. When something goes wrong, their first instinct is to point fingers rather than accepting responsibility. They might do it out of a need to protect their image or simply because they genuinely believe they’re not at fault.

This blame game not only strains relationships but also hinders personal growth because when you’re always blaming others, you’re not learning from your mistakes. 

4) They struggle with active listening

Active listening is more than just hearing the words spoken by someone. It’s about understanding the complete message being communicated, responding appropriately, and remembering what’s being said.

People who are difficult to get along with often struggle with this. They may hear you, but they’re not really listening. They might be formulating their response while you’re still talking, or perhaps they’re distracted by their own thoughts or surroundings.

This lack of active listening can make conversations feel one-sided and can cause misunderstandings. It gives the impression that they’re not interested or invested in what you’re saying, which can be hurtful.

Improving active listening skills can significantly enhance personal and professional relationships.

It shows respect, understanding, and consideration for the other person’s thoughts and feelings.

5) They’re constantly negative

We all have our bad days and moments of negativity, but people who are difficult to get along with seem to have an uncanny ability to see the glass as half empty, all the time.

Their constant negativity can be draining. It’s like a grey cloud hovering overhead, ready to rain on any positive parade. Whether it’s complaining about a situation, criticizing others, or just general pessimism, their negative attitude can bring everyone around them down.

This behavior can be quite harmful, not only to their relationships but also to their mental health. Studies show that constant negativity can lead to stress, depression, and a lower life expectancy.

Addressing this negativity is crucial. It’s essential not just for their relationships but also for their overall wellbeing.

6) They lack empathy

Some people, without even realizing it, find it difficult to step into another person’s shoes. They struggle to understand other people’s feelings and perspectives, and this lack of empathy can make them tough to get along with.

Empathy is more than just sympathizing with someone; it’s about shared understanding and connection. When someone lacks empathy, it can feel like they’re emotionally disconnected. Conversations can come across as cold and impersonal, and their reactions can sometimes seem inappropriate or insensitive.

This inability to empathize can strain relationships as it may leave others feeling misunderstood or invalidated. But understanding this behavior for what it is – a lack of empathy rather than intentional indifference – can help in dealing with such individuals.

Empathy is a skill that can be learned and developed, so there’s always hope for improvement.

7) They’re poor at managing conflicts

In my life, I’ve had more than a few run-ins with people who are difficult to get along with, largely due to their inability to manage conflicts effectively.

One instance that stands out is when an argument over something trivial escalated quickly because the other person just couldn’t handle disagreement. Instead of discussing the issue calmly and logically, they resorted to raising their voice and making personal attacks.

Conflict is a normal part of human interaction. But the key lies in how we manage it. Some people tend to become defensive or aggressive, rather than trying to understand the other person’s perspective and finding a middle ground.

This inability to manage conflicts can lead to unnecessary drama and heated arguments, making it difficult for others to get along with them. 

8) They often belittle others

A common behavior among people who are difficult to get along with is their tendency to belittle others. They may downplay others’ achievements, make condescending remarks, or crack jokes at someone else’s expense.

This behavior often stems from a place of insecurity. By belittling others, they try to boost their own self-esteem or establish a sense of superiority.

However, this behavior can be hurtful and damaging to other people’s self-confidence. It can create a hostile environment and lead to strained relationships.

Everyone deserves respect and kindness, and no one should feel belittled or demeaned.

9) They struggle with self-awareness

At the core of many of these behaviors lies a significant issue: a lack of self-awareness. People who are difficult to get along with often aren’t aware of the impact their actions and words have on others.

Self-awareness is the ability to see ourselves clearly, to understand who we are, how others see us, and how we fit into the world. It’s about recognizing our emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs.

Without this awareness, it’s easy to fall into patterns of behavior that push people away.

Developing self-awareness is crucial because it forms the foundation for personal growth and improved relationships. It’s the first step towards becoming more likable, understanding, and easy to get along with.

Final thoughts: It’s often a matter of perspective

At the end of the day, understanding human behavior is a complex task. It’s like peeling an onion; there are layers upon layers to uncover and understand.

People who are difficult to get along with often don’t realize the impact of their behaviors. They’re not intentionally trying to be challenging; it’s just how they’ve learned to interact with the world around them.

The behaviors we’ve discussed are not set in stone. They can change. With self-awareness, introspection, and effort, anyone can learn to communicate and interact in ways that enhance rather than strain relationships.

Understanding these behaviors is not about labeling or judging others but about fostering empathy and compassion. By recognizing these patterns, we can better understand the people around us and navigate our relationships more effectively.

Remember, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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