The first thing to say is that if you’re worried about being likeable as a person, the chances are that you’re already doing a pretty good job.
It’s a bit like what they say about psychopaths. If you’re worried that you might be a psychopath, you’re not a psychopath – because a psychopath wouldn’t care.
With that said, I know what it’s like to worry about whether people like you or not, and so that’s why I’ve looked into what makes people unlikeable.
Here are the warning signs that you’re becoming less likeable.
1) You’re always negative
No one likes a Debbie Downer.
If you’ve not come across it before, that’s a nickname that people give to people who are negative all the time.
Debbie Downers are exhausting to be around because all they ever talk about is how terrible everything is.
Of course, sometimes everything is terrible, but that doesn’t mean that you have to dwell on it. If you want to be a likeable person, you need to be as positive as it’s possible to be, even when times are tough.
2) You’re arrogant
Arrogant people are cocky and think they’re the best of the best.
Whether it’s that guy at karaoke who thinks he’s Elvis to that football player who hogs the ball because they think that if they pass it, their teammate will lose possession, arrogant people suck.
People don’t like arrogant people because they’re difficult to get along with at the best of times.
They’re brash and confrontational, and they attract all the wrong kind of attention. They’re the kind of people who end up getting into fights.
And so if you’re an arrogant person, perhaps it’s time for you to work on that.
3) You keep interrupting people
One of my friends has a habit of doing this, and it drives me crazy.
Whether you intend to or not, if you keep interrupting people then you’re sending out the signal that you don’t care about what they have to say.
In fact, it’s a common behavior amongst arrogant people, and we’ve already covered how arrogance is a big no-no.
As human beings, it’s only natural for us to spend a decent portion of any given conversation thinking about what we’re going to say next.
There’s nothing exactly wrong with that, but you should still work on developing and practicing patience and waiting for your turn to speak.
4) You constantly try to one-up people
This point reminds me of a friend of mine who constantly tries to one-up everything that anyone ever tells him.
If you tell him that your daughter got an A in her history exam, he’ll start talking about how he got an A+ and how back in the day, the exams were a lot harder.
If you raise money for charity, he’ll tell you how he’d raised even more money and for a charity that he considered to be more deserving.
The thing about people who constantly try to one-up people is that they don’t actually care whether they’re telling the truth. It’s all about winning points, rather than actually having a conversation.
5) You’re self-centered
If you’re the kind of person who constantly tries to one-up people, there’s a good chance that you’re also self-centered.
Self-centered people don’t care about how their behavior affects you. As long as they get what they want, they couldn’t care less. This makes them fundamentally unlikeable, and for obvious reasons.
We’re all self-centered to a certain point, because that’s what being human means. However, some of us are more self-centered than others.
The good news is that if you don’t want your self-centeredness to make you unlikeable, there’s a quick fix. You just have to work on being selfless instead.
6) You’re unreliable
Unreliable people are difficult to trust, and that’s one of the many reasons why being unreliable can make you less likeable.
The unfortunate thing here is that unreliability is sometimes caused by mental health issues.
For example, I know that I’ve occasionally been unreliable because of my anxiety. It doesn’t make me a bad person, but people still judge and dislike me for it.
My take is that you just need to be as reliable as possible, acknowledging that we’re only human and that there’s only so much we can do. All anyone can ask of you is that you do your best.
7) You’re egotistical
Egotistical people are a little like arrogant people, except that they don’t necessarily have an inflated opinion of their own abilities.
They just act as though the whole world revolves around them.
This is a super easy pitfall for us to fall into because we’re all preconditioned by the fact that we’re the main characters in our own lives. We just need to remember that everyone sees the world like that.
We owe it to the people we spend our time with to treat everyone with respect, and that means avoiding egotism and remembering that we’re all equally important.
That means that if someone is telling a story and you can top it with a story of your own, you shouldn’t. Let them have their moment of glory.
8) You’re super defensive
People who are super defensive will get into arguments with their friends and family purely because they don’t like the way that people talk about them.
For example, my friend all know that I struggle with insomnia, and so they’ll occasionally crack a joke about me looking tired.
If I was super defensive, I could have responded by telling them off and explaining that it makes my life hell.
There’s a time and a place to be defensive, and it’s like the saying goes – you have to pick your battles.
Instead of being defensive all of the time, learn to deflect insults and backhanded compliments and to change the subject to something more neutral. It will make your life a whole lot easier, and it will also make sure that you’re still a likeable person.
9) You’re impatient
Impatient people are a pain to be with because they can never just enjoy the moment. They’re always waiting for the next thing to happen.
I know this because I’m impatient myself, especially when nothing much is happening.
I don’t mind waiting for things that I know are coming in my future, as long as I have something to keep myself busy with. What I really can’t stand is sitting around and doing nothing.
However your impatience manifests itself, it’s an easy way to annoy people and to make yourself less likeable as a person. If you constantly seem as though you can’t wait to move on to the next thing, people will think that you don’t want to spend any time with them.
The good news is that now you know the signs to look out for, you’re better placed to spot them and to take action.
Most of these warning signs have an easy fix, such as working on your patience or biting your lip to stop yourself from interrupting people.
Ultimately, if you’re worried about being likeable, you can put the work in to make sure that you’re as likeable as possible. You’ll be the most popular person in your friend group before you know it.