Unlikeable people are all around us—day in, day out, they plague society with their pesky displays of unlikeability. And if you don’t see these people in your daily life, that means you might very well be the person in question!
Whether you’re reading this to learn about the habits of unlikeable people so you can avoid those folks or cope with them better, or if you’re reading this to work on some of your own traits and habits that are negatively impacting your associations with others, rest easy. Five easily identifiable habits of unlikeable people have been compiled below—all you have to do is read on to learn about them.
If you research “habits of unlikeable people,” few topics will come up as much as humblebragging. People hate it—so much so that there are actual Harvard-backed studies saying as much. These studies go so far as to say that normal bragging is preferable to humblebragging since at least the former will appear sincere compared to a typical humblebrag’s coy, tone-deaf attempt to sneak something into a conversation.
The moral here is straightforward: If you’re attempting to look like a bigshot by humblebragging about your famous pal or brand-new Lamborghini, you’re just going to end up looking like a big doofus.
Being perpetually tardy
Are you someone who has a bad, bad habit of always arriving late to events, dates, and social gatherings, or never responding to emails and texts in a timely fashion? Well, change that, because, for a lot of people, this is the absolute most unlikeable habit a human being can have.
Take emails, for example. Prompt responses show you value someone’s time and respect them. Sluggish responses that require the other party to nudge you multiple times? Those show you have no respect for the person, do not value their time, and are a massive jerk. Blogger Ruth Zive wrote an article over at themuse.com saying as much, outlining some tips to fix tardiness including setting your clock ahead and not putting off small tasks until the last minute. And those were just a few of her suggestions to help the chronically behind get ahead.
People who are slow to communicate and always late to engagements are so hated that Time has an entire piece dedicated to listing several types of tardy individuals and why they’re awful. If you find yourself reading the article and going “oh, wait—that sounds like me!” then you need to overhaul yourself, fast, because every time you’re late, you’re driving people out of your life.
While it’s definitely useful to have a staunch pragmatist or cynic on-hand for certain situations, there’s a pretty common consensus amongst normal folks: nobody likes excessive amounts of pessimism. Call it the human condition, the byproduct of a society obsessed with feeling good and masking pain, or whatever else you like—the reality is if you’re a person whose opinions or statements constantly have a negative slant to them, a lot of people are going to get tired of it.
Part of this is a “you” thing. After all, if you’re constantly putting people down with negative views, it’s going to wear on them. But also keep in mind part of it comes down to many people having thin skin and insecurities that are easily triggered. There are people out there who can handle the jaded “realists” of our world, and said realists would be wise to find those people and interact grumpily with them. Most average Joes and Josephines don’t have the bandwidth to cope with bad vibes on the daily.
Don’t mistake curmudgeons for folks who constantly discuss what they dislike, though—if the negativity isn’t prompted by anything, then producing boatloads of unsolicited bile is just a bad habit all around. Unless someone’s asking for your thoughts, it’s best not to let negativity pour out whenever you find a pair of ears within spitting range.
It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that incessantly gossiping and spinning rumors behind everyone’s backs is going to cause kerfuffles. However, though the gossiper might coast along unscathed for a long time while others burn in the firepit their gasoline-laden gossiping gave rise to, eventually said prattling will bite the gossiper in the behind. That’s the issue with gossip: it requires a currency to be produced—typically others’ private thoughts and information. Once people figure out who’s facilitating all that info and whispering it in everyone else’s ears, that person’s toast.
There’s nothing likable whatsoever about gossipers: They talk about matters that don’t concern them, they’re nosy beyond compare, and their words inject a dose of toxicity into whatever social circles they’re poisoning. Rarely do the gossiper’s actions result in anything positive, hence why the habit to talk behind others’ backs is such an easy identifier of unlikeable people.
Whether it’s in the office kitchen or the shared kitchen in your home, there’s never a good place to be a slob. In the best-case scenario, it just annoys others and clutters up countertops, sinks, and other places with unorganized objects and filth. At worst, your garbage leaves a trail of stench and runs the risk of luring in rats, roaches, and other pests.
Don’t think this habit of unlikeable people is bound to the kitchen area, either—if your desk is so loaded with random files, toys, and trash that it’s spilling onto your neighbor’s area, that’s going to irritate them. If your living room is an absolute pigsty and you invite friends over, they’re not going to have a great time maneuvering over the minefield that is your floor. In general, sloven individuals are broadcasting a lot of bad things about themselves—the opposite of which can be said for tidy folks. This bad habit is on our list, Business Insider‘s list, a multitude of crowdsourced Reddit bad habit posts, as well as many other places across the internet. So when someone tells you you’d be more likeable if you cleaned up after yourself, take it without a grain of salt.