Habits Guaranteed To Turn People Off

Some of us have bad habits that simply make people not want to be around us, perhaps because these habits embarrass them, or maybe they feel ignored or attacked each time these nasty actions creep up. Now, we're not talking about biting your nails in public or picking your nose, we're looking at those annoying things you just can't stop doing — or perhaps don't even realize you're doing because it's just second nature to you now — like thinking you're superior to others or always complaining about something. These bad habits may not be as noticeable when people first start getting to know you, but they can quickly become annoying and could cause you to lose friends and romantic partners. Nobody wants to be stuck hanging out with Debbie Downer all the time ...


We're going to discuss some of these bad habits, why they're annoying, and what makes them deal-breakers in some relationships. Of course, change isn't easy, so we'll also give you some pointers on why changing your bad habits could be a good thing for you (aside from helping you keep friends).

Constant negativity

Nobody likes a Negative Nelly. While you don't have to be positive all the time (because, let's face it, toxic positivity isn't good either), if you're constantly going to the negative side of things, people are going to want to stop hanging out with you. Someone who is always negative is also always bringing the people around them down too. As they say, misery loves company.


The thing is, when you're negative all the time it keeps you on that spiraling path downward. Plus, sharing all the things that make you angry and irritated makes the person you're sharing with feel like you're burdening them, like they're not doing enough for you to make you happy, and they may even feel like you expect them to either fix you or be negative just like you.

If you want to start feeling more positivity in your life, take some time each day to look at what you're grateful for — practicing gratitude has a way of lifting your mood. Also, learn to leave your anger at home — don't take the negativity with you on dates, to work, or when you're hanging out with friends. If you do need to vent, ask first!


Always gossiping

While there are some healthy benefits to gossiping once in a while, most gossip is toxic. It's even worse if you insist on gossiping a lot — like every time you get together with your main friend group or each time you're out on a date with your new guy. If all you have to talk about is the shortcomings of others, are you even living your life to the fullest?


Gossip makes you look bad while you're potentially trying to make someone else look bad. You may be spreading lies — and even if it's the truth, was it your truth to tell? If you gossip to the wrong person, it could get back to whomever it was you were talking about. And, when you gossip to people who don't really gossip, your tales are falling on deaf ears and you're most likely making that person not want to talk to you again. People will also start to clam up around you — after all, what they tell you may be talked about with others behind their backs.

To stop your cycle of gossiping, get better at knowing what is and isn't gossip. Talking to your friend about another friend is only gossip if you're putting that person in a negative light. It's only gossip if you'd be ashamed if they found out you were discussing them. You can even ask your friends to call you out when you start to go on a gossip spurt.


Being rude

Honestly, there are all different types of rudeness and some of the other items on this list could fall under the category of being rude. For this instance, however, we want to look at when people are just plain rude no matter where they go. This is about more than not bothering to hold the door open for someone behind you with an arm full of bags and more about those folks who never shut up in the movie theater and always insist on treating waitstaff as though they are beneath them.


When someone is rude to a person, the first reaction of the victim is to be rude back, which starts a cycle of rudeness. This is also where fights might break out. While some folks like it when a person fights for their honor, fighting because of rudeness is not that honorable (unless someone was rude to your partner and you were putting them in their place). There are times when we're rude because we're in a bad mood and being short-tempered, the problem lies in when rudeness seems like second nature. 

To break the cycle of rudeness, make it a habit to be mindful of your feelings and how you're interacting with others. Do what you can to stay away from other rude people who invoke your own rudeness. 


Being judgmental

It's easy to judge people, whether or not we've been in their shoes before. We can judge them for not being as resourceful as we were to get out of a similar situation, or we can judge them for being different than us. When you spend too much of your time judging others, you may be alienating the people around you — even if they're not the ones you're judging.


Our ability to judge things helps keep us out of sticky situations, but it's not always a good thing, especially if we're unfairly judging others. We also sometimes unfairly judge ourselves, over our looks or over mistakes we make. When judging gets annoying is when you're doing it regularly with no basis for your feelings. If you're sitting at the beach talking about each person that walks by negatively because of what they're wearing, the fit of their bathing suit, their hairstyle, etc., people are going to start tuning you out.

One way you can work on curbing judgment is to start spending more time in diverse spaces — make new friends from different races than your own, volunteer to help people who have less than you do, and learn to accept that not everyone is on the same path in life.


Never accepting responsibility

When it's always someone else's fault for the choices you make, you have an issue accepting responsibility. When you can't ever admit that you've done something wrong, what you're really doing is wronging the people in your life. It doesn't take much to admit you made a mistake, apologize, and then move on — but some people really struggle with this. What's even worse is when the inability to accept responsibility causes you to resort to blaming others for your mistakes. So now, not only do you refuse to accept your part in something, you want someone else to take responsibility.


A need to do everything right, like perfectionism, can cause some people to skirt responsibility. Perhaps you're embarrassed and admitting what you did wrong makes you feel lower than low. What's important to remember is that everyone makes mistakes. Rather than ignoring yours, or silently letting them eat away at you, learn to accept your responsibility and talk about how you can better yourself with the people closest to you.

Not showing gratitude

A lack of gratitude kind of makes it look like you expect things from people and never need to thank them. Every kindness, no matter how small, deserves acknowledgment, with something as simple as thanks. While it's okay to sometimes forget to say thank you to someone who holds a door open for you, when you don't show your gratitude to the people closest to you, those people will start feeling like you're taking advantage of them.


Honestly, the easiest way to start expressing gratitude is to say thank you when someone does something for you (even if it's their job) or someone gives you something. If your significant other or friends start saying it for you, take note and make it a habit to be thankful to them as well. They're not trying to make you feel bad, they're just trying to remind you to be nicer.

Complaining all the time

While this one kind of ties in with the part about always being negative, you can be negative without complaining. Complaining and nagging are pet peeves of many, and if you spend a lot of time griping about things, people will notice. Some people are just miserable, at work and in their personal lives. You get together with them and it's nothing but complaints about their job, their boss, their annoying coworkers, their kids, and so on. Or, it could be the nagging — complaining about what you're not getting done ... "I can't believe the dishes are still dirty?" and "Do you ever do any cleaning?" It's easier to nag and complain than do something themselves or make some changes.


Studies have shown that people who complain all the time negatively rewire their brains to just continue being more negative. While venting relieves pressure, there's a time and a place for it. If you're a chronic complainer, try to find more things to be positive about. If you're dealing with one, call them out so they can start working on being more positive and better venting their anger and frustration.

Being conceited

Sometimes it's not narcissism, it's conceit ... but sometimes it's just a healthy dose of confidence. How can you tell the difference? First of all, narcissism is a personality disorder — just because someone likes to look at themselves in the mirror or thinks highly of themselves doesn't mean they are a narcissist. Narcissists are manipulative and controlling. Those folks who seem full of themselves? They are conceited, not narcissistic. Now that you know the difference between conceit and narcissism, let's look at what's conceited and what's just healthy confidence.


Someone who talks about themselves a lot, but never gives you time to talk is conceited. If they give you a chance to talk, they're confident. The image a conceited person puts out there is perfection — they don't share things on social media that may make them look less than perfect. Someone who has self-confidence doesn't care as much whether or not you see them when they're not at their best.

Overexaggerating everything

We've all been guilty of crocodile tears, at least when we were little. Like when you stub your toe and your reaction makes it seem like the end of the world and your toe is broken, but really the pain went away two seconds after your hurt it. Unfortunately, some people don't grow out of this habit of overexaggerating things. Examples include telling your partner they never remember to do something when they forgot to do it once or saying you're starving because you're hungry, but you're not "that" hungry.


There is a difference between catastrophizing and overexaggerating, though they are related. When your brain tricks you into thinking everything is doom and gloom, help is best found in the form of therapy. However, when you're just overexaggerating, it's a matter of being more aware of your actual feelings. That initial stubbed toe may hurt for a few seconds, but there is no reason to keep crying once the pain has subsided.

Being too intense

Intensity is great when you're competing for something, but not so great when it's getting in the way of your friendships and relationships. Intensity can come off as pushy, over-emotional, and even as moodiness. One moment you could be calm and happy, and suddenly you're bursting at the seams. Too much intensity can be draining to the people around you. People with intense personalities can be obsessive, argue their dogmatic beliefs, and tend to be very dramatic.


To calm your intensity, learn to slow down — you don't have to say everything all at once. Let other people have a chance to talk and respond in situations. Being too intense can lead to things like high blood pressure and anxiety, for you and the people who have to deal with you. Mindfulness is one of the best defenses, and will help you be more in the moment. 

Lacking empathy

When you lack empathy it's difficult to relate to other people and understand the things they're going through. The emotional understanding of others allows us to comfort them, put ourselves in their shoes, and even develop intimacy in our closest relationships. While most people have the ability to feel empathy, for some it's an emotion that needs to be worked on. Luckily, it is possible to learn to be more empathetic to those around you.


It's not always easy to tell when someone lacks empathy. Some of the things that you can look for, in yourself and others, are if they struggle with communication, are often argumentative, are impatient, and tend to blame others rather than take responsibility for the things they say and do. Basically, if someone has many of the habits you're reading in our list, they may lack empathy. If someone in your life isn't empathetic, talk to them about it. If someone approaches you about your own absence of empathy, listen.

Lacking emotional intelligence

A person lacking emotional intelligence struggles to understand and control their own emotions. It's a healthy thing to have increased emotional intelligence, and lacking it can make you appear less empathetic and less self-aware, and cause you to react before you process things. So, when something happens that upsets you, instead of taking a moment to think about what happened and the proper way to react, you may get upset, start crying and yelling, and let your pain or anger take over.


You can increase your emotional intelligence by being more aware of your feelings and learning to deal with them. It's not about ignoring the things that hurt or anger you, but rather looking at them through objective eyes. The more emotionally intelligent you are, the easier it is to take feedback from others, even if it's critical. It also helps you move on from mistakes, relate to other people, and be a better listener.

Being dogmatic

Being biased is similar to being dogmatic in that people who are one or the other prefer certain ideas that may or may not be right or popular. However, they differ in the fact that people who are dogmatic have an undeniable need to keep believing things they've always believed and refuse to learn new information that could prove their beliefs wrong. 


If you prefer to live in your own world where things never change and argue when people try to teach you something new because things are always changing in our world, you are dogmatic. You don't have to stay lost in your old dogmas, though. You can learn new things and adopt new ways of thinking. When you realize that a point of view or bias you have doesn't go along with the beliefs of other people in your life, take the time to learn from them. Be more open-minded and you can leave most, if not all, your dogmas behind you.

Interrupting people

Whether you like chatting while the boss is talking at the morning meeting or you just have to interrupt what your friend is saying because you already came up with the perfect response, being an interrupter is annoying to the people you're constantly trying to talk over. It makes it difficult for them to express their feelings, and cutting them off before they finish what they have to say may make them forget the rest of what they were trying to get across.


There are many reasons why people interrupt. They could be excited about something, they may be overly anxious to respond, or, on a less friendly side, they may want to control the conversation. If you're an interrupter, you can curb your need to do so by being a more active listener. When you're busy listening, you're not busy thinking of your response and then blurting it out before it's your turn. If you're with an interrupter who doesn't want to change, it's probably the control thing and it may be time to move on.

Being too nosy

When someone comes to your home and snoops in your medicine cabinet and through your old mail, it's not only annoying, but it is also extremely rude and invasive. Whether you're snooping through people's stuff or asking them too many questions too soon, being nosy can definitely be a turn-off. It's one thing to be curious and inquisitive, but it's another thing to constantly put your nose where it doesn't belong. If your nosiness is too invasive, it can make people not want to spend time with you and you may find they no longer invite you over.


If you spend too much time being nosy, it can start to be fun and perhaps you'll get addicted, in a sense, to it. Being nosy may also make you look like a gossip — people may think you're trying to gather information to use against them or that you're going to tell people about the things you learn from your nosiness.