6 Subtle Behaviors That Make People Dislike You Almost Instantly

What people think of you is feedback, so pay attention to it.

Last updated on Jun 12, 2024

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When people tell you that you shouldn't care what others think about you, it’s not always correct. Because you should. 

Now, that's not to say you should care what people will think about every little decision you make, but you should care about the overall opinion people have of you. Because if everyone thinks you’re a jerk, you may as well be.

In either case, it’s just feedback. If several people dislike you for some particular behavior, it’s only smart that you try to change it. After all, you may not even realize that your behavior is negatively affecting others.


Here are 6 subtle behaviors that make people dislike you almost instantly

1. You dominate conversations with humor

friends talking with humor Christina Morillo / Pexels

Who doesn’t like to laugh? And who doesn’t like a funny person? Humor is a likable trait and those who have it always try to be funny, succeeding often. However, there are times when humor isn't appreciated.

Sometimes, people want to have deep and serious conversations. But there’s always that one person who will dominate such conversations by trying to be funny. And it's not a good look.

There’s a time to be funny, and there’s a time to be serious — know the difference.

RELATED: 14 Life 'Cheat Codes' That Will Make You More Successful Than 99% Of Your Competition


2. You try to tell better stories than other people

friends listening about to speak Hồng Xuân Viên / Pexels

Humans have this ridiculous urge to try to "win" while talking. Subconsciously, we even try to win in some truly silly ways.

For example, someone might tell his coworkers, "Guys, I saw this accident on the highway this week," and then he might describe it. But then someone will say, "Dude, that’s nothing. I saw an even 'bigger' accident last Tuesday."

We’re storytellers, but each one of us also has an ego. So, when someone tells you a story, your natural urge is to come up with a better story in the same genre. And then you tell it and make their story look lesser than yours.

If someone is telling a story and you have a better one, train yourself to keep quiet and just listen. Let them have the spotlight. You can tell your story another time.


3. You hijack people's decision-making

boss influencing employees Antoni Shkraba / Pexels

You can try to influence people’s behaviors in two ways: macromanaging or micromanaging.

With macromanaging, you can inspire them to change the way they live their life. For instance, a father might tell his son about the importance of studying well. But with micromanaging: You order people to do something in real-time. For instance, a father tells his son to stop playing video games and sit down to study "right now."

Inspiration is good. But micromanaging is irritating. People will dislike you if you do it. Because when you try to inspire someone, you’re trying to teach them how to make better decisions but they still retain the power to make decisions. But when you micromanage, you’re hijacking their right to make their own decisions. And no one likes that.

So if you want your friend to quit a bad habit, don’t start lecturing them about it. They won't like you and it will be even more difficult to influence their behavior for the better.

At that moment, let him enjoy doing what they are doing. And later, when the moment is right, try to inspire them to stop.

RELATED: Fascinating Harvard Study Reveals The Secret To Being Likable


4. You pile on tasks

boss asking employees to do more August de Richelieu / Pexels

There’s always that one person who tries to get you to do their chores when you’re going to do the same chore. They say something like, "Oh, are you going to make some copies? Will you please make some for me as well?" And they’ll hand you the papers without even waiting for you to say yes.

It’s okay if it's done once in a while. That’s genuine and harmless. But there are people who do this often. It’s like they’re waiting for these opportunities to hand over their chores. And it’s rude, because it makes it really difficult for the person in question to say no. And if they say no, they seem rude when, in fact, the person doing this "free-boarding" is rude.

If that’s you, understand why this type of behavior makes you totally unlikable.

5. You ask for ridiculous favors without giving an out

woman asking friend for a favor Tim Douglas / Pexels

The audacity some people have is mind-blowing. They ask for ridiculous favors from other people very often without even giving them an out. And this reeks of cunning.

Saying "no" is difficult because people don’t like to appear unhelpful. They don’t want to disappoint others. Some people bet on this. They know that saying no is difficult, so they ask for favors, knowing full well the person is more likely to give in.

But there are a few rules to follow while asking for favors:

  • Don’t ask someone else to do what you can do as well, unless you’re paying them.
  • Don’t ask for favors you won’t be willing to do yourself for others.
  • Don’t ask for ridiculous favors unless you really, really need them.
  • Always give the other person an out. Tell them that it’s okay to say "no" and that you won’t hold it against them.

6. You tell white lies often

woman telling other woman a lie Tim Samuel / Pexels

Many people think they’re good at lying, but what they fail to understand is that people are even better at catching lies.

When you lie to someone, you subconsciously assume that you’re smarter than them and that they’re not intelligent, so you can get away with it. When you do get away with it, it’s harmless.

But when your lies get exposed, people will be angry at you. They’ll feel like you assumed that they’re unintelligent and they’ll dislike you for it.

So, stop lying — not for ethical or moral reasons, but for your own selfish reasons: so people don’t dislike you. Sometimes lying is necessary, and lying might be okay in those times. But try to keep your lying to the absolute minimum.

RELATED: The Most Counterintuitive Way To Make People Like You More

Akshad Singi, M.D. is a writer whose work has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, Medium, and more.