3 signs you're less likeable than you think you are

fizkes/ShutterstockWhether you’re dating, networking, or trying to make new friends, the impression you leave on others can affect your career success and overall wellbeing.
  • Likeable people aren’t necessarily born that way – having a friendly personality, good listening skills, and manners all contribute to whether you form connections or push people away.
  • Whether you’re dating, networking, or trying to make new friends, the impression you leave on others can affect your career success and overall wellbeing.
  • Here are a handful of signs that you aren’t as likeable as you think, according to performance psychologist Dr. Rob Yeung.

Rubbing someone the wrong way not only can give you a bad reputation, but can also hinder your chances of creating meaningful connections. This, in turn, can affect your success at work and in life.

“Recent research suggests that most untrained interviewers have made up their minds within the first 15 minutes of an interview,”Dr. Rob Yeung, a performance psychologist and author of “How To Stand Out: Proven Tactics for Getting Ahead,” told Business Insider. “The rest is just courtesy.”

Sometimes a person others find annoying doesn’t even realise he or she is pushing people away. Here are a handful of signs that you may not be as likeable as you think.


1. You don’t pick up on social cues

Antonio Guille/ShutterstockThe ability to listen well and respond to both verbal and nonverbal communication from the person you’re interacting with is critical for likeability.

Not being able to identify cues in a social situation can lead to confusion, awkwardness, and even repulsion by the other person.

A study published in The Journal of Social Psychology examined how Canadian subjects interpret verbal and nonverbal communication cues. The researchers found that nonverbal cues can influence impressions and whether people like each other. Being able to detect the interest level of others through social cues determines whether or not you’re categorized as boring, for example.

The ability to listen well and respond to both verbal and nonverbal communication from the person you’re interacting with is critical for likeability.

“For example, there’s a considerable body of research showing that most people are happy to punish transgressors who disobey social norms,” Yeung said.


2. You like to ‘one-up’ others

Gleb Leonov/Strelka Institute/Attribution Licence/FlickrMany people don’t like to think of themselves as ‘one-uppers,’ although it’s easy to spot when someone else is doing it.

Many people don’t like to think of themselves as “one-uppers,” although it’s easy to spot when someone else is doing it, according toLoretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., a professor emerita of management at California State University East Bay.

One-uppingis a symptom of reverting back to the mammalian instincts in us, Breuning wrote inPsychology Today. When we encounter another person, we are inclined to compare ourselves to that person. The brain releases serotonin, which makes us feel good, when we are in the “one-up” position over someone else, because that promotes survival, she wrote.

If you feel tempted to tout your own accomplishments every time someone else mentions theirs, it could be making you less likeable.


3. You have an arrogant personality

sirtravelalot/ShutterstockArrogant behaviours include interrupting others, considering people you don’t like as enemies, bragging, and believing you’re better than everyone else.

People who exhibit arrogant behaviour only care about themselves and show little concern for the wellbeing of others, Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., wrote in Psychology Today. In addition, frustratingly, arrogance can put people ahead of their competitors in politics and business, leading them to success, she wrote.

Arrogant behaviour can include taking credit for other people’s work and achievements, overreacting to criticism, and belittling others, according to a study published in the journal Human Performance.

These traits may be easy to point out in the abstract, but in the moment, an arrogant person may be so used to acting that way that they don’t realise how they’re coming across.

“Evolutionary psychologists believe that one of the reasons humans came to dominate the planet is that we evolved to cooperate with each other, which means being able to trust other people,” Yeung said. “As such, certain habits that promote aggression, status, or dominance over other people tend to erode trust.”

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