Berger Leadership Blog

Feb 10, 2017

9 behaviors that lead to unlikability


When you think of likable people in your life, personal or professional, you think of people who are good listeners, humble, take an interest in you and who are transparent – people who are cognizant of how their actions are perceived by others.

Forbes contributor Travis Bradberry writes that “likability is so powerful that it can completely alter your performance.”

But while there are some skills that make people likeable, the opposite is also true. Bradberry warns against nine behaviors that hold people back from being likable. They include:

  1. Humble-bragging. Bradberry lists as examples those who make fun of themselves for being nerds while implying that they are smarter than everyone else, or those who “complain” about eating a certain diet in an attempt to show how healthy and fit they are.
  2. Being too serious. You need to balance your passion with fun.
  3. Not asking enough questions. People like people who show they are listening to them.
  4. Emotional hijackings. If you show emotional instability, it will affect peoples’ opinions of you.
  5. Whipping out your phone. Commit to your conversations; don’t let yourself be distracted.
  6. Name-dropping. You don’t need to show how connected you are to get people to like you.
  7. Gossiping. This behavior only makes people seem negative and spiteful, Bradberry writes.
  8. Having a closed mind. A likable person is approachable.
  9. Sharing too much, too early. Over-sharing can come across “self-obsessed and insensitive,” Bradberry explains.

Any other unlikable behaviors you would add to this list?

Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).