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8 Terrible Traits That Make You Unpopular

8 Terrible Traits That Make You Unpopular

It seems fitting I would sit down to write this article on a Monday morning, a time when many 9-5ers are at their worst. We all have bad days, and probably exhibit these traits at least once in a while, no matter how good of a person we really are. However, if you find yourself exhibiting any of these traits on a daily basis, it might be time to seek some help before your actions begin affecting your relationships at home and at work.

1. You are arrogant

An elitist attitude will get your nowhere in life. To project to the world that you think you’re better than everyone else out there simply shows how short-sighted and narrow-minded you are. The smartest and most successful people in the world got that way because they know there is always someone better than they are, and they continuously strive to improve. Believing you’re the best will impede your progress, and leave you stagnant. You should always remain humble, and always look for ways to improve your skills in some way.

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2. You are rude

Rude people have no filter, and don’t pay much attention to social conventions. They don’t take other people’s feelings into consideration, and believe the world exists only for them to live in it. Rude people often ignore others, and in turn are very lonely. You never know what connections you may make if you open yourself up to others rather than shutting them out. Even something as simple as holding a door open for someone could end up making his or her day. Being polite will almost certainly lead to bigger and better things.

3. You are dishonest

Everyone probably has told small lies once in a while. However, chronic lying can lead to disaster. Dishonest people try to weasel their way out of bad situations, instead of facing the truth and admitting mistakes. The problem with this is they must continue to construct lie after lie in order to hide the truth, while it would be much more productive to simply tell the truth and work toward improving their life from there. Obviously, people who lie are not trustworthy, and will lose friends and relationships if they continue to live a lie.

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4. You are temperamental

Some people are so inconsistent with their moods that it’s impossible to approach them, since you have no idea which side you’ll be getting. Those that are happy one day and miserable the next (when there is no obvious reason for the change) are uncomfortable to be around, as they often can be “set off” by even the slightest occurrence. Try to stay even keel when interacting with others, regardless of what situations you’re dealing with in your personal life. That way, when you truly are upset about something (and deservedly so), people will support you rather than run from you.

5. You are unreliable

It’s one thing to not offer to help someone out, but it’s another to make the offer and not follow through. Friends and coworkers who say they’ll do something for you, but put it off til the last minute (if they get to it at all), have proven to you that they can’t be trusted. Once you offer to do something for another person, completing the task should be your first priority (barring emergency circumstances, of course). Showing you can be counted on is one of the most important personality traits you can exhibit if you wish to build on a relationship.

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6. You are pessimistic

Nobody likes a “Debbie Downer.” Sure, there are a ton of problems in the world, but there is also a lot of good as well. Focusing on the negatives is no way to go through life, and no one will want to be around someone that always sees the glass as half empty. Even if things aren’t currently going your way, it never hurts to look on the bright side of life. Sure, things could always be better; but they could also be a lot worse. Count your blessings and give thanks for everything you do have in life, rather than wish you had more.

7. You are controlling

Controlling people micromanage the lives of everyone around them. The indication here is that they don’t give others credit for knowing how to live or do their job. Overbearing parents, bosses, and spouses leave others feeling unworthy and less likely to strive to do better. Controlling people are often abusive and condescending, and their counterpart will feel as if they have to walk on eggshells for fear of angering them. Being democratic and allowing others to be free to “do their own thing” will certainly lead to much better relationships across the board.

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8. You are mean

I saved the most obvious one for last. Nobody wants to be around mean people who constantly angry at everything around them. Like rude people, they have no filter; however, mean-spirited people will actively go out of their way to upset others. If you’ve ever worked with a mean person, you probably have gotten that bubbly feeling in your stomach every morning before you stepped into the office. One bad seed is enough to bring down an entire environment. Though mean people will always exist, it’s important for you to combat the trend by being as kind as possible to everyone around you.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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