“Why Don’t People Like Me?” 35 Tips If You Worry This Is You

Sure, it’s really hard to make friends as an adult when everyone already has their established friend groups and you’re just not in social situations all that often. However, when you have no one to chat to or hang out with outside of work and you feel pretty much completely alone all the time, it’s natural to start to wonder, “Why don’t people like me?”

While it’s likely untrue that no one likes you, if you do actually notice that people don’t really show an interest in getting to know you or even purposely avoid spending time with you, it could be down to your behavior. It sucks to have to own up to things you’re doing wrong, but nobody’s perfect and if you don’t know where you’re messing up, you can’t fix it. So, let’s hop to it.

“Why don’t people like me?” Here’s what might be going on

1. You’re constantly negative.

Negativity can be like a rain cloud that follows you around, dampening the spirits of those nearby. If you’re the type who always sees the glass as half-empty, it’s important to recognize that constant negativity can repel people. While it’s perfectly normal to have bad days and express your frustrations, dwelling on the negative can be exhausting for others.

People tend to gravitate toward those who radiate positivity because it energizes them and makes interactions more enjoyable. So, instead of always focusing on what’s going wrong, try to strike a balance. Embrace optimism and seek solutions to problems rather than just dwelling on them. You’ll find that people are more likely to enjoy your company when you bring some sunshine into their lives.

2. You’re completely self-centered.

Self-confidence is a wonderful trait, but there’s a fine line between self-assuredness and self-centeredness. If every conversation revolves around you, your achievements, and your problems, it can make people feel like they’re just background characters in your life story. Being too self-centered can alienate people because it sends the message that you’re not interested in their experiences or perspectives.

To build stronger connections with others, try practicing active listening. Show genuine interest in their lives, ask questions, and be empathetic. By sharing the conversational spotlight, you’ll create a more inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere where people feel valued, and they’ll be more likely to appreciate your company.

3. You gossip too much.

Gossip can be tantalizing, but it’s a double-edged sword when it comes to building relationships. If you’re constantly dishing out the latest dirt on others, you might find yourself with a reputation as someone who can’t be trusted. People generally don’t want to confide in someone who spreads rumors or airs their personal business for all to hear.

To change this dynamic, consider steering conversations away from gossip and toward more positive and meaningful topics. If someone tries to engage you in gossip, politely deflect the conversation or change the subject. By demonstrating discretion and respect for others’ privacy, you’ll foster an atmosphere of trust and respect that will endear you to those around you.

4. You don’t listen to what anyone has to say.

Conversations are a two-way street, but if you’re always talking and never truly listening, it can be a major turn-off for others. People want to feel heard and valued when they engage in conversations. If you habitually dominate discussions or interrupt others, it sends a signal that you’re not interested in what they have to say.

To improve your likability, make a conscious effort to become an attentive listener. Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding in agreement, and asking follow-up questions. Show empathy by acknowledging others’ feelings and experiences. By demonstrating that you genuinely care about what others have to say, you’ll build stronger connections and become a more likable presence in social settings.

5. You’re always late and don’t respect people’s time.

Punctuality is a virtue that’s often underestimated in social interactions. If you’re consistently running late or making people wait for you, it can leave a negative impression. Being late can send the message that you don’t value others’ time or that your schedule is more important than theirs.

If you want people to like you and they don’t, maybe work on being more punctual. Start by planning your time better, allowing extra minutes for unforeseen delays. If you know you’re running late, communicate with those who are waiting for you to let them know when you’ll arrive. Being respectful of others’ time not only fosters positive relationships but also shows that you’re considerate and reliable, qualities that make you more appealing to be around.

6. You’re a chronic complainer. 

Constantly complaining about everything, from the weather to your daily woes, can be exhausting for those around you. While venting is a healthy way to release frustration, making it a habit can create a negative atmosphere and make you less likable. Instead of dwelling on problems, strive to find solutions.

When you face difficulties, focus on what you can change or learn from the situation. By adopting a more solution-oriented mindset, you’ll not only improve your own outlook on life but also become a more pleasant and motivating presence in the lives of others. Remember, positivity is contagious, and people are naturally drawn to those who emit good vibes.

7. You’re not being your authentic self.

Authenticity is a quality that resonates with people. When you’re not being true to yourself and instead put on a façade, others can often sense it. Pretending to be someone you’re not can erode trust and make people feel uncomfortable around you.

If you want people to like you more, embrace your true self and be genuine in your interactions. Be honest about your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. When you’re authentic, you create a sense of trust and transparency that encourages deeper connections with others. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, just be yourself.

8. You’re always trying to compete with people. 

Healthy competition can be motivating, but when taken to an extreme, it can push people away. If you turn everything into a contest, it may seem like you’re more focused on winning than on the relationship itself. Instead of always striving to outdo others, try to appreciate the journey and enjoy the moment.

Celebrate others’ successes without feeling the need to overshadow them with your own achievements. By adopting a more cooperative and less competitive attitude, you’ll foster a supportive environment where people feel valued and appreciated, ultimately making you more likable.

9. You don’t respect people’s boundaries.

Respecting personal boundaries is essential in any relationship. If you’re constantly invading others’ personal space or prying into their private matters, it can make them feel uncomfortable and defensive. To make yourself appear more likable, be aware of people’s boundaries.

Understand that everyone has their limits and that these boundaries should be respected. If someone is not comfortable discussing certain topics or sharing personal information, honor their wishes. By showing respect for others’ boundaries, you’ll create an environment of trust and comfort, making people more likely to enjoy your company and open up to you when they feel ready.

10. You’re literally always on your phone.

In the age of smartphones, being glued to your device during social gatherings can send a message that you’re not fully present or interested in the people around you. It can be distracting and make others feel like they’re competing with a screen for your attention.

Practice being more mindful of your phone usage when you’re with others. Set boundaries for yourself and designate phone-free times when engaging in face-to-face conversations. By giving your full attention to the people you’re with, you’ll show that you value their company and are genuinely interested in connecting, ultimately making you a more enjoyable presence to be around.

11. You’re extremely judgmental. 

Constantly passing judgment on others can create a hostile and unwelcoming atmosphere. If you find yourself quick to criticize or make negative assumptions about people, it’s essential to dial back on the judgmental attitude.

Instead, practice open-mindedness and empathy. Try to understand different perspectives and withhold judgment until you have a more complete picture. By being less judgmental, you’ll create a space where people feel accepted, valued, and more comfortable around you.

12. You’re overly critical.

Offering constructive criticism can be helpful, but being overly critical can be demoralizing for others. If your feedback tends to focus only on what’s wrong or needs improvement, it can overshadow people’s achievements and efforts.

Strive for a balanced approach. Acknowledge what’s going well and provide feedback in a way that encourages growth rather than discouragement. This approach will make you a more supportive and uplifting presence in the lives of those around you.

13. You’re always playing the victim.

Constantly playing the victim in every situation can be emotionally draining for those around you. While it’s natural to experience hardships and challenges, it’s essential to take responsibility for your actions and choices.

Try to practice resilience and problem-solving. Instead of dwelling on what’s gone wrong, focus on finding solutions and taking control of your life. By showing that you’re proactive and accountable, you’ll inspire admiration and respect from others.

14. You’re not very supportive.

Being unsupportive of others’ dreams and goals can distance people. Instead of being critical or dismissive, try being their cheerleader. Offer encouragement and show genuine interest in their aspirations. When you’re a supportive presence in others’ lives, they’ll be more inclined to seek out your company and appreciate your positive influence.

15. You’re a one-upper.

Always trying to one-up someone else’s story or achievement can come across as self-centered and dismissive. While it’s natural to want to share your experiences, remember that conversations should be about sharing, not competing.

Celebrate others’ successes and acknowledge their accomplishments without feeling the need to top them. By being genuinely happy for others, you’ll create an environment where people feel valued and supported, making you a more likable presence.

16. You’re emotionally draining to be around.

Constantly venting your problems onto others can be emotionally exhausting for them. While it’s crucial to have a support system, it’s equally important to find healthy outlets for your stress and worries. To improve your likability, practice self-care and consider seeking professional help if you’re grappling with overwhelming emotions. By taking responsibility for your emotional well-being, you’ll become a more pleasant and balanced presence in the lives of those around you.

17. You’re not very empathetic. 

Empathy is a cornerstone of building meaningful connections. If you struggle to understand or share in others’ emotions, it might be time to work on your empathy skills. Practice active listening and try to put yourself in others’ shoes. By showing empathy and compassion, you’ll create stronger bonds and make people feel valued and understood.

18. You’re a flake.

If you often make plans and then cancel at the last minute, it can be frustrating for others and damage your reputation. To be more likable, work on being reliable. If you commit to something, follow through on your commitments as much as possible. Being dependable and respecting others’ time will earn you trust and respect in return.

19. You brag too much.

While sharing your accomplishments is great, constant bragging can come across as arrogant and self-centered. To be more likable, strike a balance between celebrating your successes and acknowledging the achievements of others. Be humble and show appreciation for the accomplishments of those around you. This attitude will make you a more gracious and enjoyable presence to be around.

20. You don’t respect other people’s time. 

Consistently running late or making people wait for you can be seen as disrespectful. To improve your likability, make a conscious effort to be more punctual. Plan your schedule more efficiently and allow extra time for unforeseen delays. By respecting others’ time, you’ll demonstrate consideration and reliability, which can enhance your reputation and make you more enjoyable to be around.

21. You lack humility and come off as arrogant.

Humility is an endearing quality that can make you more likable. If you never admit when you’re wrong or refuse to apologize, it can strain relationships. To improve your likability, practice humility by acknowledging your mistakes and taking responsibility for them. When you show humility, it fosters a sense of understanding and forgiveness in your interactions with others.

22. You’re always talking about yourself and never give anyone else the floor.

Conversations should be a two-way street, but if you dominate every discussion with your own stories and experiences, people may feel unheard and unimportant. To be more likable, practice active listening and make an effort to engage in balanced conversations. Show genuine interest in others by asking questions and giving them the space to share their thoughts and experiences. By being a better conversational partner, you’ll create stronger connections with those around you.

23. You’re too clingy.

While it’s great to be close to your friends, being overly clingy can be suffocating. To enhance your likability, allow others to have their space and independence. Trust that your friends and loved ones will reach out to you when they’re ready to connect. By respecting their need for autonomy, you’ll foster healthier and more enjoyable relationships.

24. You dismiss other people’s opinions.

Respect for differing viewpoints is essential in building positive relationships. If you’re always shutting down others’ opinions or belittling their perspectives, it can create a hostile environment.

Practice open-mindedness and engage in constructive dialogues. Even if you disagree with someone, approach the conversation with respect and a willingness to understand their viewpoint. By fostering an atmosphere of respect for diverse opinions, you’ll make people feel valued and heard in your presence.

25. You’re always interrupting people when they speak.

Interrupting others when they speak can be seen as rude and disrespectful. To improve your likability, practice patience and let others finish their thoughts before responding. Active listening and allowing others to express themselves fully will make you a more considerate and enjoyable conversational partner.

26. You’re never grateful for anything. 

Failure to express gratitude can make people feel unappreciated and undervalued. Gratitude is a fundamental aspect of building positive relationships. When you don’t acknowledge or thank others for their kindness or support, it can create a sense of discouragement. To be more likable, practice gratitude by saying “thank you” genuinely and regularly. Show appreciation for the efforts and contributions of others in your life. By expressing gratitude, you’ll make people feel recognized and cherished, ultimately enhancing your likability.

27. You hold grudges and don’t know how to let things go.

Holding onto grudges can poison relationships and make you appear unforgiving. To be more likable, practice forgiveness and let go of past grievances. Understand that everyone makes mistakes, including you, and that harboring resentment only perpetuates negativity. By being more forgiving and willing to move forward, you’ll create an atmosphere of understanding and healing in your relationships.

28. You’re just not reliable.

Being unreliable can erode trust and make people hesitant to depend on you. Work on being consistent and dependable. If you make commitments, follow through on them as much as possible. Being a reliable friend or colleague demonstrates your commitment and responsibility, earning you trust and respect in return.

29. You don’t know how to keep secrets and always running your mouth.

If you’re known for spilling secrets or sharing confidential information, people may be hesitant to confide in you. To enhance your likability, practice discretion and respect for others’ privacy. Learn to keep confidential information confidential. Being a trusted confidant who respects others’ privacy is a quality that makes you more appealing to be around.

30. You’re passive-aggressive and never say what you mean.

Instead of direct communication, you resort to passive-aggressive behavior, which can be frustrating and confusing for others. To be more likable, practice open and honest communication. Address issues or concerns directly and respectfully. By fostering clear and direct communication, you’ll create an environment of understanding and transparency, making you a more pleasant presence in others’ lives.

31. You take forever to respond to people.

Consistently taking forever to respond to messages or calls can make people feel undervalued and ignored. It’s essential to understand that timely responses are a sign of respect for others’ time and efforts to communicate with you.

If people don’t like you for this reason, strive to be more responsive. Set aside dedicated times for checking and responding to messages, and make an effort to reply promptly. By showing that you prioritize communication and value the people reaching out to you, you’ll create a sense of importance and respect in your interactions.

32. You’re a flirt and it doesn’t paint you in a good light.

Flirting can be enjoyable and harmless when appropriate, but if you flirt excessively, especially when it’s unwarranted or with those who aren’t comfortable with it, it can make people uncomfortable and create tension.

Try being more respectful of personal boundaries and context. Understand when flirting is appropriate and when it may be considered inappropriate or unwanted. By showing respect for others’ boundaries and comfort levels, you’ll create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, making you a more enjoyable presence in social situations.

33. You’re a total know-it-all.

Nobody likes a know-it-all. When you always act as if you have all the answers, it can make people feel undermined, unheard, or belittled. To improve your likability, practice humility and open-mindedness.

Acknowledge that no one knows everything and that others have valuable knowledge and experiences to share. When you approach conversations with a willingness to learn and an open mind, you create an environment where people feel valued and respected for their contributions. This, in turn, makes you a more appealing and likable presence.

34. You’re easily offended and people feel like they’re walking on eggshells.

Constantly taking offense at every little thing can be draining and tiresome for those around you. It’s essential to develop a thicker skin and learn to let some things slide. While it’s natural to feel hurt or upset at times, it’s equally important to discern when something warrants a reaction and when it’s best to brush it off.

If people don’t like you, practice resilience and emotional maturity. Choose your battles wisely and focus your energy on addressing meaningful issues rather than getting caught up in minor grievances. By showing emotional resilience and a positive attitude, you’ll become a more enjoyable and uplifting presence in others’ lives.

35. You don’t put much into the relationships you have. 

Building and maintaining relationships takes effort, and if you’re not putting in the time and energy, it can make people feel neglected or unimportant. To enhance your likability, invest in your relationships by being present, available, and engaged. Make an effort to reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances regularly.

Show that you care by remembering important dates, asking about their lives, and being supportive during both good and challenging times. By demonstrating your commitment to building meaningful connections, you’ll foster a sense of trust, closeness, and appreciation among the people you interact with, ultimately making you a more likable and cherished presence in their lives.

Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.