It happened again. And one of the loudest thoughts in your head right now is saying, “People don’t like me.” You wonder if they ever did.
Maybe you’re not always easy to be around. But you do have redeeming qualities. So, you don’t know why people don’t like you.
And you’re not sure what you can do about it.
Read on to learn the reasons why people scuttle or make unhappy noises when they see you coming.
Then choose a solution to focus on today.
- How to Tell If People Don't Like You
- Why Don't People Like Me? 21 Reasons and Solutions
- Reasons People Don’t Like You: Things You Can Work On
- 1. You Like to Be in Control, and It Shows
- 2. You Have Anger Issues
- 3. You’re Quick to Criticize Others and Offer Unsolicited Advice
- 4. You Don’t Listen
- 5. You’re a Cheapskate
- 6. You Don’t Speak Up When You Should
- 7. You Blame Others When Things Go Wrong
- 8. You’re All Talk
- 9. You’re Too Clingy
- 10. You’re Too Negative
- 11. You’re Too Self-Centered
- 12. You’re Quick to Judge
- 13. You Try Too Hard to Impress People
- 14. You Make People Nervous
- 15. You’re Honest to a Fault
- Reasons People Don’t Like You: Things You Can’t Control
How to Tell If People Don't Like You
Maybe you’re reading too much into someone’s unfriendly behavior. Or maybe you’re better at reading nonverbal cues than you thought.
In either case, check out these tell-tale signs that someone doesn’t like you:
Have you notice any of these signs when you're around people? Are they happening more often than you'd like?
It's time to take matters into your own hands and become the likable person you know you are in your heart.
Why Don't People Like Me? 21 Reasons and Solutions
When you’ve just been brushed off or excluded from something, it’s tempting to ask, “Why doesn’t anyone like me?”
You feel like an outcast, and you don’t understand why it seems no one wants you around.
When you look deeper, though, you can probably think of at least one person who likes you, even if you don’t hang out on a regular basis.
Think about that person (or persons) when you ask, “What do people like about me?”
Make a list and keep it handy while you look through the reasons and solutions below. You’ll see them divided into two sets: those you can work on and those you can’t control.
Because sometimes, people dislike you for reasons that are more about them.
Reasons People Don’t Like You: Things You Can Work On
We all have stuff to work on. Look through the following reasons and be honest about which ones sound familiar.
1. You Like to Be in Control, and It Shows
You need to be in control of your environment, and that includes the people in it. But most people don’t want to be your obedient pawns, and they’ll either defy or avoid you.
Respect other people’s autonomy and stop trying to change them or steer them in a direction more to your liking. You don’t need to control other people. Exercise self-control instead. Practice putting aside your preferences and letting others take the wheel.
2. You Have Anger Issues
People have learned to walk on eggshells when they’re around you, because you’re quick to lose your temper and lash out in anger. Being around you is stressful and exhausting.
Practice putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective. Focus on understanding rather than reacting. If there’s a physical or emotional reason for your shortness of temper, look into that and take steps to correct it.
3. You’re Quick to Criticize Others and Offer Unsolicited Advice
No one feels safe when they’re around you. They’re bracing for your critical comments and unwanted advice. It’s easier to just avoid you, so that’s what most people will do.
Try to practice more empathy and self-control when you’re listening to others. Be the kind of listener you would want if the roles were reversed. They don’t need your advice, your pity, or your criticism. They need someone who values them enough to be the friend they need.
4. You Don’t Listen
You interrupt. You listen only to wait your turn. You look at your phone or use dismissive or indifferent body language. It’s off-putting and alienates people. It’s also fixable.
Practice active listening, which is listening to understand the other person, showing genuine interest in what they’re saying, and paraphrasing or summarizing to make sure you understand what they’re trying to tell you.
5. You’re a Cheapskate
Stinginess communicates one thing to other people: you don’t value them enough to share more than the bare minimum of what you have. So, why should they share with you?
Make a point of being generous. Look for opportunities to give until it hurts.
And learn from the generous people in your life — especially those who aren’t rich but who willingly share what they have. Give regularly to causes you care about.
6. You Don’t Speak Up When You Should
Harmony is more important to you than honesty. So, you keep quiet when others are counting you to have their backs or say what needs to be said.
Practice speaking your mind, even when you know some who hear you won’t like what you say. Show your friends you value them enough to risk criticism by standing with them. Let yourself be seen and heard standing up for a cause worth supporting.
7. You Blame Others When Things Go Wrong
If you can’t take responsibility for your own mistakes, people will get tired of hearing you blame everyone and everything but yourself when things go wrong.
Make a list of things you’ve blamed on others and be honest about how you might have contributed to it. Then make a list of people you’ve blamed when the greater responsibility was yours. Prepare your apologies. It’s not a quick fix, but it matters.
8. You’re All Talk
You talk a good game, but when the going gets tough, you bail, leaving others to face the consequences. It’s hard to admit cowardly behavior, but it’s the first step toward courage.
Make a list of people who have been hurt by your brag-and-bail behavior, and be real with them. Apologize, and be honest about how you see yourself. It might not win them back, but if they matter to you, they’re worth the risk. Show them.
9. You’re Too Clingy
You live in fear that the people who matter most to you will reject or abandon you. So, you’re constantly seeking reassurance and not letting them have time to themselves.
You’re clingy because you have a hard time loving yourself, so you don’t expect others to love you for long. Get to know your lone self and make time for things you enjoy. Let the people you care about see that you love and respect yourself as well as them.
10. You’re Too Negative
You whine. You mope. You dwell on the negative. Everyone disappoints you, and no one who has ever hurt you deserves forgiveness. You’ll carry your grudges to the grave.
Focus on reasons to be miserable, and you will be. Focus on reasons to be grateful or happy, and life gets easier. That said, if you’re struggling with depression, there are ways to manage it. Talk to someone who can help you address the hurt behind your negativity.
11. You’re Too Self-Centered
You don’t take an interest in other people’s lives. Your favorite topic of conversation is yourself, and people have noticed you are self-absorbed. It gets old.
Take an active interest in other people’s lives, not to be nosy but to become a better listener and a better friend. Make time to do things other people enjoy just to be there for them. Find out what matters most to them. Make yourself available when they need you.
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12. You’re Quick to Judge
You’re convinced of your own moral superiority, and everyone knows it. You’re quick to let them know what God (or you) thinks of their behavior and where they’re probably headed.
Don’t presume to think you know another person’s soul or final destination. Those who are quickest to pronounce judgment know least about anyone’s soul, including their own. Practice compassion toward others and toward yourself. Be kind, or say nothing.
13. You Try Too Hard to Impress People
You want so badly to be admired, you brag about anything that makes you sound impressive to yourself — and, you hope, to everyone listening. It’s not working.
When you’re tempted to brag about something, stop yourself and, instead, show interest in something that interests the other person. Listen with as much real attention as you hope to receive. And whatever you do, don’t start humble-bragging instead. It’s not better.
14. You Make People Nervous
Because you are, and people can see that. You’re fidgeting and saying whatever comes to mind. And those things usually don’t need to be said. Hence the growing awkwardness.
A better use for your voice would be asking questions to learn more about the other person. And know you’re not alone if being around people is a daily struggle for you. Many of us struggle with social anxiety. Sometimes, just being honest can help you through it.
15. You’re Honest to a Fault
You say it like it is. You don’t lie to make people feel better. But maybe, sometimes, you put the honest truth into words that do more harm than good.
Honesty and kindness can go together. Remember that when you’re tempted to be as blunt as you are honest. Put yourself in the other person’s place and be as compassionate as you are sincere. And don’t say more than needs to be said.
Reasons People Don’t Like You: Things You Can’t Control
16. Your Independence
Those who want you to look to them for approval or permission are likely to take offense and try to manage you, only to dislike you more when you don’t cooperate.
Get used to the fact that some people will take your independence as an insult. That’s their choice. And you’re not obligated to make them feel better. Treat others with the same respect you want for yourself, and let them worry about how they take it.
17. Your Courage
You’re not afraid to speak your mind. It doesn’t mean you’re always right, but you’re not afraid to stand up for what you believe, even when you know you’ll be standing alone.
Cut yourself some slack. Courage is a good thing. Keep learning, and be open to other people’s viewpoints. Be willing to change your position if you learn that you were wrong about something. And show the same courage when you admit your mistakes.
18. Your Success
Some people will resent your success, because it makes them feel smaller. They look at your accomplishments and invent a reason for them that puts you in a negative light.
You can’t control how others react to your successes, nor are you obligated to punish yourself for them. Be grateful for your success while remembering to be kind to those who are still struggling to get to where you are. Find a way to do them good.
19. Preconceptions Based on How You Look
Some people will choose not to like you based on what they see on the outside: your clothing, attractiveness, etc. You don’t meet their “standards,” so they write you off.
It’s harder to be kind to those who treat you as less of a person because of what they see. It’s beyond frustrating. It’s also entirely on them, and you deserve better than to dwell on it. When you feel devalued, show yourself some love.
20. Preconceptions about Your Race, Gender, or Sexual Orientation
Other people’s bigotry isn’t your fault. You can hope they’ll one day realize how wrong they are and make amends. For now, they seem determined to see you as a lesser being.
Allow yourself to feel what you feel when someone treats you as less than human because of your race, your gender, or your sexual orientation. Then do something to honor the very thing they hate you for. Cancel out the hate with self-love and compassion.
21. Your Personality
Not everyone is going to like your personality type. That’s okay. You don’t have to be liked by everyone. Sometimes, another person’s dislike is just a matter of timing.
Get to know your unique personality and make a list of everything you like about it. You can be honest about areas you need to work on. But allow yourself to be proud of your strengths. That way, you’re more likely to put them to good use.
Are you still wondering, “Why don't people like me?”
Now that you’re more aware of the reasons why people don’t like you, which solutions will you work on as you get to know yourself better?
Pick one for today, and decide how you’ll put it into practice.
Choose some new habits to cultivate — like daily self-care, active listening, or being generous to people and causes that are important to you.
Ask yourself what you can do today to start building a new habit. And visualize yourself as a happier person, enjoying the company of friends, and being a better friend to them.
It won’t always be easy. But you’re worth it.