By David Joel Miller.
What you are doing to drive people away and how to fix it.
You find it hard to make friends and harder still to keep them. Does it often feel like people around you don’t like you? Chances you are doing things, and more importantly, you are thinking things, that are making it hard for others to like you. One big reason you may be feeling rejected is that you have been rejecting yourself.
If you don’t like yourself, you make it hard for others to like you. Are your insecurities getting in the way of having good relationships? People who are insecure often adopt negative behavior patterns to protect themselves from rejection by others. Some of the things you have been doing to try to make yourself feel more self-confident may be making you hard to be around.
Being arrogant drives people away.
The definition of arrogant is to have an exaggerated belief in your own importance and abilities. If you find you need to brag about everything you do, puff yourself up, to get other people to notice you, they may perceive you as arrogant. Arrogant people are conceited, afraid to admit when they made a mistake and are very egotistical.
The solution to being perceived as arrogant is to be humbler. Being humble does not mean low self-esteem. It means thinking and treating others as your equal. Respecting other people’s opinions and being willing to ask them for help when you need it.
Selfish, self-centered people are hard to like.
Taking good care of yourself is not the same things being selfish. Selfish people are concerned only about themselves. They lack concern or even consideration for others feelings and needs.
The cure for being selfish is to work on the ability to genuinely care about others.
Are you always negative?
Negative people are a real downer. We all understand that our family or friends may have difficult times. We want to be there for them through those challenges. But if you’re one of those people who sees everything and everyone as bad and worthless, your constant negativity will drive people away.
People who can see the good in others are enjoyable to be around. If you would like to have more friends you need to practice your ability to see the good in others. It’s often easy to see the mistakes others make, but a focus on those mistakes eliminate your ability to ever see the good that anyone has done. The cure for negativity? Become a positivity expert!
Are you an emotional vampire?
Some people practice the skill of sucking all the joy out of the room. If spending time with you wears people out and they feel like you’re sapping their energy, they will stop coming around.
Practice enthusiasm and you will feel more energized. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people like to be around people who enjoy being around them.
It’s hard to care about people who are apathetic.
If you do the minimum to get by, people are likely to pass you by. If you don’t care about the things you’re doing, start doing something differently. It’s fun to be around people who love what they’re doing. Being around people who just don’t care is likely to make you not care.
If other people are seeing you as apathetic, maybe even lazy, find some goals you can be passionate about.
People who are no fun are hard to like.
If you take everything in life deadly serious, people will only be able to take you in small doses. It’s easiest to make friends with people who are fun to be around. Take the serious stuff seriously. But there are a great many things in life every day that are not a matter of life and death. Learn to enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy, and people will be attracted to you.
Want to be that fun person to be around? Learn to play more.
Rigid, defensive people create resistance.
If you are set in your ways, expect other people to take a different path. If you are defensive, people will begin to feel self-protective around you. They are walking on eggshells. Having to constantly worry that you will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and upset someone is a difficult situation. If you are not able to give as well as take, people will avoid you.
People who are flexible and accepting are easier to like. Work on being more open to alternatives. When you meet people, who are different from you, view this is an opportunity to learn from them.
Look at yourself and your personality. If any of these characteristics of unlikable people fit you, consider this an improvement opportunity. Learning to be a likable person is an opportunity for personal growth. The more likable you become, the more you will discover you like yourself. Practicing likability is a great way to improve your self-esteem.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books