There are Nine Things That Make You Unlikeable

Nancy Anderson
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Likability is a hard quality to measure, but it is an important factor in your career. Become more likable to increase your chances of getting hired and decrease your chances of being fired. Although you may think likability is a fixed trait, there are many characteristics that might push you into the unlikable category. Work to minimize the following nine traits to improve your likability.

1. Oversharing

Sharing too many intimate or mundane details about your life too early might make your associates feel uncomfortable. If you have a tendency to ramble when you're nervous, practice taking a deep breath, and practice being comfortable with a moment of silence. Let others set the pace for conversations, and save discussions about your personal problems for close friends.

2. Gossip

Although your coworkers might seem eager to hear a juicy story, they are also probably wondering what you say about them when they aren't around. Avoid gossip at all costs to remain trustworthy and likable in the eyes of your co-workers.

3. False Humility

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments, but pretending to be humble and then bragging about the things you have done might turn people off. Become more likable by building up an honest confidence that doesn't lead to excessive self-praise.

4. Emotional Drama

Try to keep strong anger or emotional tears out of the office. Flying into a rage over a mistake, whether yours or someone else's, is not going to win you a promotion. If you are honestly upset about something, take a break to pull yourself together to keep drama out of your workplace.

5. No Capacity for Fun

Seriousness has its place, but no one likes that person who doesn't laugh at a good joke. Become more likable by maintaining an openness to fun and humor while still making sure you get your job done.

6. Lack of Tolerance

Avoid being judgmental or close minded, especially during job interviews or while networking. If you are always expressing strong opinions, others are likely to label you narrowly and limit the opportunities they share with you. Spend time listening to others' opinions and keeping an open mind about new ideas to become more likable.

7. Making Assumptions

It is nearly always better to ask a question than to make an assumption. This is especially true in the workplace. If you don't know something, ask.

8. Name Dropping

Name dropping implies that your personal worth is connected to who you know. It also comes across as bragging. Learn to value yourself for your own capabilities and leave that story about that meeting with that important person untold.

9. Focusing on Your Phone

During job interviews, networking meetups and really any conversation, keep your phone tucked away. If you need to look at your phone for an important reason, try to wait for a break in the conversation and then explain why you need to check it. Ideally, you should excuse yourself briefly to do that. Become more likable by giving every conversation your full attention and saving your phone for when you are alone.

Increase your chances of getting hired by improving your likability. In addition to cutting out undesirable behaviors, work at being honest, confident, kind and friendly to become more likable.

Photo courtesy of aechan at


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  • cynthia j.
    cynthia j.

    It is very helpful, however, in the modern workplace what do you mean kind and friendly?


    Good tips!

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