Too many human being succumb to the mistaken idea that being likable originates from organic, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the extremely talented. It’s basic to autumn prey to this misconception. In truth, being likable is under your regulate, and also it’s a issue of emotional knowledge (EQ).

You are watching: Forbes 9 things that make you unlikable

In a examine performed at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 descriptions of human being based on their viewed significance to likability. The top-rated descriptors had nopoint to do through being gregarious, intelligent, or attrenergetic (natural characteristics). Instead, the peak descriptors were sincerity, transparency, and also capable of understanding (an additional person).

These adjectives, and others favor them, describe civilization that are professional in the social side of emotional knowledge. TalentSmart research study data from even more than a million world mirrors that world who possess these skills aren’t just very likable; they outperform those who don’t by a huge margin.


Likability is so powerful that it can entirely alter your performance. A College of Massachusetts examine found that supervisors were willing to accept an argument with no sustaining evidence if he or she was likable, and Jack Zenger found that just 1 in 2000 unlikable leaders are considered reliable.

I did some digging to uncover the crucial actions that organize world back when it concerns likcapability. Make specific these actions don’t catch you by surpclimb.

1. Humble-bragging. We all understand those people who like to brag around themselves behind the mask of self-deprecation. For instance, the gal that provides fun of herself for being a nerd when she really desires to attract attention to the fact that she’s smart or the male who makes fun of himself for having a strict diet when he really wants you to know exactly how healthy and balanced and fit he is. While many human being think that self-deprecation masks their bragging, everyone sees ideal through it. This makes the bragging all the more frustrating, because it isn’t simply bragging; it’s likewise an attempt to deceive.

2. Being as well severe. People gravitate towards those who are passionate. That shelp, it’s basic for passionate world to come across as as well serious or uninterested, bereason they tfinish to obtain absorbed in their occupational. Likable people balance their passion for their job-related via their ability to have actually fun. At work-related they are serious, yet friendly. They still obtain points done because they are socially effective in short quantities of time and also they capitalize on helpful social moments. They emphasis on having systematic interactions through their coworkers, remembering what civilization sassist to them yesterday or last week, which reflects human being that they are simply as essential to them as their work is.

Subscribe To The Careers Newsletter Sign up here to acquire optimal career advice yielded directly to your inbox every week.

3. Not asking sufficient inquiries. The best mistake world make in conversation is being so focused on what they’re going to say following or how what the various other perboy is saying is going to impact them that they fail to hear what’s being shelp. The words come through loud and also clear, however the definition is lost. A straightforward method to prevent this is to ask most questions. People choose to recognize you’re listening, and somepoint as easy as a clarification question mirrors that not only are you listening but that you likewise treatment about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised exactly how a lot respect and appreciation you get simply by asking inquiries.

4. Emotional hijacqueens. My firm offers 360° feedearlier assessments, and also we come throughout far too many type of instances of civilization throwing points, screaming, making world cry, and also other telltale indications of an emotional hijacking. An emotional hijacking demonstprices low emotional intelligence. As soon as you present that level of instcapacity, people will certainly question whether or not you’re dependable and also capable of maintaining it together when it counts.

Exploding at anyone, regardmuch less of just how a lot they can “deserve it,” transforms a substantial amount of negative attention your method. You’ll be labeled as unsteady, unapproachable, and also intimidating. Controlling your emovements keeps you in the driver’s seat. When you’re able to regulate your eactivities approximately someone that wrongs you, they end up looking poor instead of you.

5. Whipping out your phone. Nopoint turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, emphasis every one of your power on the conversation. You’ll uncover that conversations are even more enjoyable and effective once you immerse yourself in them.

6. Name-dropping. It’s excellent to recognize important and also amazing human being, however utilizing eincredibly conversation as an possibility to name-drop is pretentious and also silly. Similar to humble-bragging, world watch ideal via it. Instead of making you look amazing, it makes civilization feel as though you’re insecure and also overly concerned through having actually them like you. It additionally cheapens what you need to sell. When you connect everything you understand with who you know (instead of what you know or what you think), conversations lose their shade.

People are averse to those who are despeprice for attention. Ssuggest being friendly and also considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and also concise manner, world are a lot more attentive and persuadable than if you try to display them that you’re essential. People capture on to your mindset conveniently and are more attracted to the appropriate perspective than who you understand.

7. Gossiping. People make themselves look destructive as soon as they get carried away via gossiping. Wallowing in talk of various other people’s misdeeds or misfortunes might finish up hurting their feelings if the gossip ever before finds its way to them, yet gossiping is guaranteed to make you look negative and also spiteful eexceptionally time.

8. Having a closed mind. If you desire to be likable, you have to be open-minded, which provides you approachable and also interesting to others. No one desires to have a conversation through someone that has actually currently developed an opinion and also is unwilling to listen. Having an open mind is essential in the worklocation, where approachability means accessibility to new ideas and also assist. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you have to view the civilization via other people’s eyes. This doesn’t call for that you believe what they believe or condone their behavior; it sindicate implies that you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand also what makes them tick.

9. Sharing too a lot, too beforehand. While obtaining to recognize civilization calls for a healthy amount of sharing, sharing too a lot around yourself appropriate off the bat comes throughout wrong. Be careful to protect against sharing personal difficulties and confessions too easily. Likable civilization let the various other perkid overview them regarding as soon as it’s the ideal time for them to open up up. Over-sharing comes across as self-obsessed and insensitive to the balance of the conversation. Think of it this way: if you’re gaining into the nitty gritty of your life without discovering around the various other perchild first, you’re sending the message that you view them as nopoint even more than a sounding board for your troubles.

Bringing It All Together

When you construct your awareness of how your actions are received by various other people, you pave the method to becoming more likable.

What other things make world much less likable? Please share your thoughts in the comments area below, as I learn just as much from you as you carry out from me.

See more: What Ever Happened To " You Think You Do, But You Dont, You Think You Do, But You Don'T (Full Answer)


I am the writer of the best-marketing book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and also the cofounder of TalentSmart, a consultancy that serves more than 75% of Fortune 500 suppliers and is the world’s leading provider of emotional knowledge tests and training ( My publications have actually been interpreted into 25 langueras and are obtainable in even more than 150 nations.I’ve created for, or been extended by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune,, Rapid Company kind of, Inc., USA Today, The Wall surface Street Journal, The Washington Post, and also The Harvard Firm Review.I’m a world-renowned expert in emotional knowledge who speaks on a regular basis in corpoprice and public settings. Example engagements incorporate Intel, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Fortune Brands, the Fortune Growth Summit, The Conference Board: Learning from Legends, and Excellence in Government.I organize a twin Ph.D. in clinical and also industrial-organizational psychology. I got my bachelor of scientific research in clinical psychology from the University of The golden state – San Diego.