5 Reasons Why People May Dislike You (And What To Do About It)

Photo: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock
two people side-eyeing each other

You know when you're venting along the lines of "why don't people like me," and a friend tells you that it's probably nothing personal? Well, what if it is?

In an ideal world, we'd all be well-liked by friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike. 

But reality paints a totally different picture — it doesn't matter how nice or friendly we are, there will always be people who don't like us. We can't always chalk it up to someone having a bad day. 

It can definitely feel like a hard pill to swallow, especially if you have people-pleasing tendencies. Take heart though, and realize that it's not just you — it's something we all have to deal with. 

The next time you find yourself wondering "why don't people like me?" see if one of the following rings true.

RELATED: Why People Treat You Badly (And How To Stop Them From Doing So)

1. You come from different backgrounds.

According to Personal Development Coach Raymond Perras, a number of things can influence whether or not someone likes you. Things like different cultural backgrounds, education, age, interests, personality traits, and strong opinions about various topics all factor in.

If someone disagrees with an aspect of your identity and belief system, this can turn them off.

2. You're perceived as arrogant or haughty. 

There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance that's easily blurred.

Thanks to the media, "sexy arrogant character" tropes have been widely popularized. While it's amusing and/or endearing on TV, it's certainly not the case when you're dealing with someone face-to-face. Coming off as a condescending individual will rub people the wrong way. 

Whether you actually think you're arrogant or not, it's always helpful to assess your body language and behavior. Try to think of how you're presenting yourself to others and what changes you can make to avoid coming across this way. 

3. You aren't a good listener (or communicator). 

By now, it's a well-known fact that attentive listeners are deemed more likeable.

There's a reason for that — people who are good listeners make others feel validated. They cultivate positive energy in their interactions by treating other people with respect and dignity.

If someone thinks you have a short attention span or that you simply don't care about what they have to say because you can't stop talking about yourself, this can put them off.

Additionally, if you tend to communicate in ways that are viewed as disrespectful, this may also lead to someone disliking you. 

4. You come across as overly negative. 

We're not talking about the occasional bad day or venting to your friends and family when you need to. All of those things are perfectly normal (and healthy, even!) But being overly pessimistic in general pushes people away.

People are drawn to those who are positive largely because that energy is infectious. It makes them feel good, too. If others feel that you bring them down, they may not want to spend much time with or around you. 

5. You have anxiety.

People with anxiety are often able to convince themselves of many things that aren't based in reality. Your brain can actually lie to you thanks to cognition errors like catastrophizing, mind-reading, and personalization, and if you're not aware that they're happening, you might mistake a thought for truth.

RELATED: 7 Clever Ways To Win Anyone Over In Just One Minute, According To Experts

There are some signs that someone doesn't like you that you can look for.

If you're not sure whether or not someone's disdain for you is something your brain is perceiving or grounded in reality, Perras notes that there are potential signs someone dislikes you. These include:

1. Dismissive/unreceptive body language 

2. A lack of interest in you or what you have to say

3. Someone always being "busy" whenever you want to meet

4. Negative feedback on your opinions

5. Talking down to you in discussions 

6. Discounting your knowledge and accomplishments. 

If you think people don't like you, there are a couple ways to handle it. 

Keya Murthy, a Clinical Hypnotherapist & Spiritual Life Coach, points out the difference between an anxious thought and a genuine assessment of whether or not someone likes you. 

"To like or not like someone is deeper than physical reactions. It’s also a gut feeling," says Murthy. "Women have it, empaths most certainly know when someone does not like them. When someone genuinely dislikes you, they will tell you in clear words. You might have someone close to you tell you if you ask them about it."

1. Distance yourself from those who dislike you. 

At the end of the day, if someone truly doesn't want to be around you, there's no point in forcing yourself on them.

This can be painful, especially if we like the person in question, but it's in our interest and theirs to move on and find others we do click with instead. Hanging around will only lead to more misery and frustration. 

2. Improve your communication skills. 

Murthy notes that avoiding someone isn't always the answer, especially if they're a family member or coworker. At that point, you'll have to hone your skills. "If them liking you is important to you, then make an effort. Find something common and strike a conversation," she adds. 

"Ask them if you could do something for them. And, when all these indirect methods do not work, ask them directly, 'what about me don’t you like? Is there something I can do to make it easier for you, so we can work together or a family together in harmony?'”

RELATED: 3 Noble Qualities The Most Genuinely Nice People Always Have

Yona Dervishi is a writer who is currently working at YourTango as an editorial intern. She covers topics pertaining to acceptance, wellness, news, and entertainment.