There are plenty of ways to turn people off.
In fact, most of them don’t require very much effort. All it takes is one look at your social media activity or a casual in-person introduction to make someone realise they just don’t want to spend time with you.
We’ve rounded up some of the most common social turn-offs online and in person, as well as how to avoid them. Read on and see which ones you’ve been guilty of.
1. Having too many or too few Facebook friends
In one study, researchers asked college students to look at fictional Facebook profiles and decide how much they liked the profiles' owners. The study took place back in 2008, and the students had about 300 friends each.
Results showed that the 'sweet spot' for likability was about 300 friends. Likability ratings were lowest when a profile owner had only about 100 friends, and almost as low when they had more than 300 friends.
As for why 300-plus friends could be a turn-off, the study authors write, 'Individuals with too many friends may appear to be focusing too much on Facebook, friending out of desperation rather than popularity.'
On the other hand, the researchers acknowledge that if you look at a population where the most common number of Facebook friends is 1,000, the sweet spot for likability could be 1,000. (Keep in mind, though, that one survey found the average number of Facebook friends among adult users was 338 in 2014.)
Interestingly, the study also found that participants weren't consciously aware that they liked people less when they had too many or too few Facebook friends.
4. Posting a close-up profile photo
If your LinkedIn profile features an image of your face practically smushed up against the camera, you'd be wise to change it.
Research suggests that faces photographed from just 45 cm (about 1.5 feet) away are considered less trustworthy, attractive and competent than faces photographed from 135 centimeters (about 4.5 feet) away.
To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism.
In the study, college students were asked to write down how they'd answer a question about their biggest weakness in a job interview. Results showed that more than three-quarters of participants humblebragged, usually about being a perfectionist or working too hard.
Yet independent research assistants said they'd be much more likely to hire the participants who were honest, and found them significantly more likable. Those students said things like, 'I'm not always the best at staying organised' and 'Sometimes I overreact to situations.'
Another alternative is to talk about weaknesses that don't directly relate to the job -- for example, a fear of public speaking if you're applying for a writing position.
8. Getting too nervous
Never let 'em see -- or smell -- you sweat. Research suggests the odor of your nervous sweat may subconsciously influence people's judgments of your personality.
Back in 2013, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center had participants watch videos of women in everyday situations, like working in an office and taking care of a child. While watching the videos, they sniffed three kinds of sweat in a row: sweat that someone had produced while exercising, sweat produced during a stressful situation, and sweat produced during a stressful situation that had been covered up with antiperspirant.
Participants were then asked to rate the women on how competent, confident, and trustworthy they seemed.
Results showed that participants rated the women lower on all measures when they smelled the stress-induced sweat. When they smelled the stress sweat that had been covered up with antiperspirant, they rated the women more positively.
Bottom line? If you're prone to nervous sweating, be liberal with the deodorant.
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