10 small things you’re doing that make people dislike you

Ever walk into a room and feel like you’ve just disrupted the vibe, but you can’t put your finger on why? 

Yeah, we’ve all been there—wondering why we’re not clicking with people, or why we don’t get that invite to the weekend hangout. 

Turns out, people are not as complex as we make them out to be. Sure, first impressions aren’t everything, but they do matter. 

And sometimes, it’s the tiniest things that we overlook which make other people dislike us. 

So, if you’re up for a little self-examination, here are 10 small habits that might be making you less likable than you deserve to be.

1) Interrupting people while they speak

We’ve all been guilty of it—cutting someone off mid-sentence because we just can’t wait to share our brilliant thought. 

But let’s be real, it’s a bad look. Interrupting tells the other person that what you have to say is more important than what they’re sharing. It’s a fast track to making someone feel devalued and disrespected.

It gets worse when you realize that you’re not just stealing someone’s thunder—you’re tarnishing your own image. 

People are more likely to avoid deeper conversations with you, fearing you’ll hijack their narrative. 

It’s simple: To be heard, you must first learn to listen.

2) Constantly checking your phone

This is one of my pet peeves when I’m talking to somebody. It’s just so distracting! 

It’s tempting to glance at your phone every time it buzzes, especially when FOMO hits. But it sends a pretty clear message to the people around you—you’d rather be somewhere else. 

Real talk – Nobody likes to play second fiddle to an Instagram feed. 

Not only is the habit distracting, but what you’re essentially doing is broadcasting your priorities, loud and clear. 

And if the person you’re conversing with isn’t at the top of that list, they’re going to sense it. 

So, the next time you’re out with friends or in a meeting, give your phone a rest and engage with the world around you.

That said, when you’re engaging with others, be careful not to do the next thing…

3) Oversharing personal information

Sharing is caring, but there’s a limit. Spilling your life story within minutes of meeting someone can be overwhelming for the other person. 

You might think you’re being open and relatable, but it often comes off as self-absorbed or socially unaware.

This reminds me of a lady I met at a party. She was perfectly pleasant, but the problem was, within half an hour of meeting me, she had told me about her cheating husband and the ongoing divorce because of that. 

Naturally, I sat there, a sympathetic smile frozen on my face. But inside, I was wondering how to escape this conversation. I didn’t know her at all, and definitely not her husband, and I didn’t need to know all the gory details. 

What’s more, it made her seem untrustworthy. Not someone I’d feel comfortable trusting my own story with. 

That’s what oversharing does – it makes you seem like you’re fast and loose with information, and that’s a little hard to trust. 

4) Always steering conversations back to you

Similarly, making every conversation about you can put people off as well. 

Conversations are two-way streets, not soliloquies. Steering conversations back to you implies a lack of interest in other people’s lives, and that’s not exactly endearing. 

It could even make you seem like a narcissist

It also implies a lack of interest in other people’s lives. 

Think of it this way: If you’re always the hero (or victim) of every story, then what role is left for the other person? 

Being attentive to someone else’s experiences not only makes them feel valued but also enriches your own worldview.

5) Complaining non-stop

pic1485 1 10 small things you're doing that make people dislike you

Another habit that could be making people dislike you is constant complaining. 

I’m perfectly willing to listen to anyone who’s having a bad day and needs to vent, but if it seems to be a pattern, then I’d have to step away. 

Because energy is contagious. 

If you’re always spreading negativity, people may start to associate those feelings with interacting with you. You risk becoming an emotional drain. It’s tough to engage with someone if the tone is perpetually negative.

There’s much to be gained from adopting a more balanced conversational style that includes the good with the bad.

6) Sarcasm and passive aggressiveness

Speaking of negativity, being sarcastic and passive-aggressive can just as easily turn people away

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sarcastic quip now and then. It can add spice to a conversation. 

But constant snark comes across as insincerity or, worse, hostility. 

Similar to this is passive aggressiveness, which cloaks your true feelings behind a veneer of plausible deniability. 

Both behaviors create a fog of confusion and distrust. If you find people are having a hard time reading you, maybe it’s time to be a little more straightforward in your interactions.

However, do take care that you don’t overstep other people’s boundaries…

7) Not respecting personal boundaries

Respecting personal boundaries is a cornerstone of healthy interactions.

In your quest to be super engaging, you might forget that not everyone is comfortable with the same level of physical or emotional intimacy. 

This isn’t just about knowing when to back off physically; it’s also about recognizing when to give emotional space. 

Tuning in to verbal and non-verbal cues can save you from crossing a line and help you better navigate social waters. 

Personally, I instantly like those who know how to read a room and adjust their approach. It shows a great deal of sensitivity and respect. 

8) Being overly competitive

A little competition is healthy; it pushes us to be better. But making everything a contest can wear thin pretty quickly. Whether you’re always striving to be the loudest in the room or turning casual outings into Olympic events, it gets exhausting for others.

Remember, not every stage needs a star. 

It’s one thing to have a healthy sense of competition, a desire to excel that motivates you to put your best foot forward. But when every interaction turns into a battle to outdo others, you’ve crossed into tiresome territory. 

People start to feel like they’re in constant competition with you, which creates tension and erodes the camaraderie of a group setting.

Look, not every interaction needs to be a one-upping opportunity. Not every stage needs a star.

It’s okay to just enjoy the moment without making it a contest. In my experience, taking a back seat and allowing others to shine fosters goodwill and opens the door for more meaningful connections.

9) Always running late

Now let’s talk about punctuality. Are you the type who arrives to meetings late? 

Of course, life gets hectic, and nobody is punctual all the time. However, perpetually running late is disrespectful to others. 

Time is a non-renewable resource, and wasting someone else’s is a quick way to fall out of favor.

If you’re chronically tardy, it sends a message that your time is more valuable than anyone else’s. 

It’s worth putting in the effort to manage your schedule more effectively. Believe it or not, punctuality speaks volumes about your character.

10) Ignoring acts of kindness

Last but not least, let’s talk about gratitude. Ignoring or downplaying acts of kindness can leave a sour taste. 

When someone holds the door for you or shares something personal, they’re extending a piece of themselves. Acknowledging these gestures big or small can make all the difference – it shows a lot of grace and good manners.

By routinely showing appreciation, you make someone else’s day better. Plus, you’re enhancing your own social standing. 

This circles back to the art of good communication—making people feel valued, respected, and willing to engage with you in the future.

Final thoughts

Being socially graceful and likable isn’t always easy, but the beauty of it all is that it’s just a matter of developing the right habits – learnable, changeable, and entirely within your control. 

The first step toward being a more likable you is acknowledging there’s room for improvement. And hey, the fact that you’ve read this far shows you’re already on the right track. 

So just be mindful of your words and actions. Sometimes, the most impactful changes come from tweaking the little things. 

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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