People usually have a very good opinion about themselves. We think we are friendly, kind, and fun to be around. But before you also start thinking highly of yourself, you might want to pay more attention to the people around you to see if they have the same opinion. Sorry to burst your bubble, but instead of the fun and nice person you think you are, they might see a rude, arrogant individual.
But if they don’t tell you what they really feel about you, how can you tell? Good thing you asked. To help you figure out if you’re hard to be around and people are doing their best to keep well away from you, we’ve rounded up a list of signs that should be pretty self-explanatory.
They find an excuse to leave when you come around
If you notice that the moment you approach a group of people, they start leaving one by one, you might be the reason. It might be that you’re stressing them out or doing something that makes others avoid you like the plague. People try to remove stressors from their lives, so, if you’re seen as a potential stressor, don’t be surprised if no one wants to interact with you.
You can feel the energy shift when you enter a room
Do you think people consider you rude? The easiest way to confirm or refute your theories, is to observe what people do when you enter the room, says Florida-based licensed psychologist Jamie Long. If there’s a shift in the energy in the room, that should be your cue that you’re not exactly welcomed. “If you enter a room of laughing and smiling individuals, who suddenly become quiet soon after you enter or start talking, it might be because your energy is incongruent with positive vibes your friends were just enjoying.”
They avoid eye contact
Another way to tell if someone perceives you as rude is to look them in the eyes. Non-verbal signs and language, such as eye contact, are the “single best indicator of whether or not someone likes you,” says Brooke Sprowl, LCSW, a clinical psychotherapist and founder of My LA Therapy.
If an individual is avoiding eye contact, either by looking down or around the room, that’s a clear indication that they don’t feel comfortable talking to you, they want to change the topic or stop interacting with you altogether.
They cross their arms when speaking to you
Another non-verbal indicator that you’re creating some sort of discomfort to others, is when another person moves their arms in a certain way when interacting with you. If the person in front of you keeps their arms crossed, it’s a message that they are trying to create a barrier between you and them.
If you see someone making this gesture towards you, they might be unintentionally trying to protect themselves against your rudeness. In contrast, if someone is comfortable in your presence, the use of their hands is an indication that they are engaged in the discussion, more relaxed and open.
They give you one-word answers
If you’re engaged in a conversation with someone, but all you’re getting is one-word replies, it might be an indication that they don’t see you as the best conversational partner out there. One-sided discussions might mean that others think that what you’re saying is disrespectful.
“Adding depth to answers allows for a conversation to build and continue,” according to Jennifer Brown, a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina. “If a person responds to you with answers like ‘no’ or ‘whatever,’ take that as a sign that they don’t care to extend talking time with you.”
They sigh a lot
According to extensive research conducted in 2009 and published in the journal Psychophysiology, sighing is associated with a negative mood, be it disappointment, frustration, stress or agitation. Therefore, if you’re talking to someone and that person constantly sighs during the conversation, you should take things quite seriously. It might be that their reaction is an involuntary response to your rude behavior.
On the other hand, if you want to make things right, here are 12 Smart Ways to Make People Instantly Like You.
Their smile doesn’t reach their eyes
People might be smiling back at you, but it doesn’t mean they like you. This is especially valid when the smile doesn’t reach their eyes. If someone sees you as rude and hard to be around, good manners and decency might prevent them from saying it to your face. However, if you pay attention to the way they smile during your interaction, you’ll know exactly what they think of you, says Lynell Ross, founder of Zivadream.
When someone truly smiles, their “eyes are sparkling and crinkled in at the corners,” says Ross. If someone puts on a fake smile, you’ll see that the corners of their mouth are turned up but their eyes are expressionless and impassive.
They seem tired after spending a long time with you
Fatigue is often associated with increased stress. If you notice someone looks extremely tired during or after interacting with you, you might be the reason for their physical and mental exhaustion. Voluntarily or not, you might be doing something that makes them feel anxious and uncomfortable.
They move away from you physically
A “key sign of whether someone likes you or not” is physical distance. According to Rachel Vida MacLynn, founder of The Vida Consultancy, people tend to stick closer to those they like and stay as far away from individuals whose presence makes them uncomfortable. Another non-verbal cue that people don’t want to be around you is the direction of their feet. According to MacLynn, feet “naturally point away from someone if you dislike them,” as if pointing “towards an exit” from an awkward or rude situation.
They seem to drink more when you’re around
When dealing with too much stress, including the stress of interacting with someone rude, people sometimes resort to less orthodox solutions, like alcohol. As a matter of fact, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the UK Mental Health Foundation, 74 percent of people surveyed claimed they felt extremely stressed over the past year while 29 percent admitted to turning to alcohol as a means of coping.
Therefore, if you notice someone chugging drinks just to avoid having to talk to you, you might want to give them some space.
They make plans without you
When you are perceived as rude and arrogant, people will not exactly bend over backwards to spend time with you, warns Christine Scott-Hudson, MFT, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio. After all, nobody wants a Debbie Downer to rain on their parade.
If you notice that people in your group like socializing with everyone else but you, be it at “events, outings, lunch, or the movies,” the reason everyone skips on you and you are never invited anywhere might be that people are turned off by your annoying attitude.
They don’t ask you personal questions
Needless to say, we all like to talk about ourselves and share our opinions and personal experiences. It makes us feel better about ourselves, like we’re providing valuable knowledge to others. The feeling is even better when others ask us questions about ourselves and want to find out more, according to Harvard researchers. However, when people don’t ask anything about you and are not interested in the stories you want to share, it might be because they’re tired and annoyed of constantly hearing you talk about yourself.
They answer a phone call while you’re talking
Answering a phone call when someone else is in the middle of the sentence is rude, especially when someone does it on purpose. But when that person is using their phone as a means to get away from you, you might want to ask yourself why. It could be that you’re so annoying that they just can’t deal with you any longer.
They have stopped calling, emailing, or texting you back
It’s one thing to call someone and not have them call you back. It’s also no big deal when you have a missed email reply. But it’s a completely different story when people have stopped calling, emailing and even texting you back altogether. Before you start pointing fingers, you might want to ask yourself why are they all avoiding you? Is it because you’re rude? Exasperating? Hard to be around?
Their pupils constrict
Want to know if someone thinks you’re annoying? The answer is, again, in their eyes. More specifically, in their pupils. According to psychotherapist Stephanie Newman, Ph.D., if someone’s pupils constrict when talking to you, it’s a clear indication that their blood pressure got higher because they are irritated or annoyed with you for some reason. If you don’t know why, check out 17 Things People Do Without Realizing They’re Being Rude.
Conversations are full of awkward silences
It’s not unusual to run out of conversation topics every once in a while, but it might be a reason for concern when it happens to you a lot. People don’t just stop talking for no reason.
If what you’re saying is followed by an awkward silence or an abrupt change of topic, then you can be 100 percent sure that you’ve said something that ticked people off. It probably wasn’t the first time either, says national certified counselor Sophia Reed, Ph.D.