Psychology: You annoy others with these 5 behaviors

No matter how benevolent and patient we are, some behavior simply annoys other people – and they annoy us. And that’s exactly why we don’t want to make these behaviors a habit.

Some people don’t like the way someone chews, others have trouble with high voices, some get restless when speaking at a slow pace, and very, very many forgive almost anything – especially their loved ones. Almost every person is sensitive to something that others do, and so far this hasn’t resulted in us all hating each other or living lonely and isolated lives. In this respect, we can be reassured: Even if we have something annoying about us or do something annoying from time to time, we are okay the way we are, at least from the perspective of those around us. And yet…we don’t have to put other people’s goodwill and patience to the test too much.

Research has shown that the following behaviors are particularly difficult for many people to endure. If we use them every now and then, it’s certainly not a problem. However, if we make it a habit, we are probably not doing ourselves or those around us a particularly big favor.

According to Science: 5 Behaviors That Make You Unpleasant to Others

1. False-modesty-bragging

When a person brags and constantly brags about something, it can be just as annoying as when someone constantly downplays their own achievements and qualities. According to a 2017 study by Harvard Business School, one type of self-presentation seems to be particularly unpleasant: humblebragging, a combination of false modesty and boasting. Examples of humblebragging would be:

  • “I don’t know why I get so many compliments, I’m just who I am.”
  • “I don’t earn that much; in my neighborhood we always toast with champagne.”
  • “I don’t speak French very well; I’ve forgotten a lot since my semester abroad at the Sorbonne.”

According to the study, this type of boasting tends to offend people even more than blatant boasting – so no false modesty!

2. Oversharing

Finding a healthy level of openness or discretion is not always easy. If we share too little, no one can identify with us, trust us or assess us. However, if we share too much, we not only make ourselves vulnerable – we can also pique other people. According to research from the University of Illinois, many people feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed when we reveal more about ourselves than they feel is appropriate in a particular context. They experience it as crossing boundaries and feel forced to react, even though they don’t want to.

The basic rule that emerges from the study is that we can hardly share too much with close people such as friends or partners. With people we are less familiar with, or when we are getting to know each other, it is better to open up carefully and only to the extent that the other person follows suit.

3. Interrupt

Interrupting other people in a conversation not only comes across as rude and disrespectful, but it also makes the conversation stressful and unpleasant for them. According to psychologists, most people unconsciously perceive interruptions as a devaluation of themselves and feel attacked and insulted as a result. So if things aren’t really burning on our tongues at the moment, it’s better to learn to keep a thought in our head until the other person has finished speaking. For his sake – and for ours.

4. Pessimism

Everyone is allowed to feel sad, angry, hopeless, disappointed or disillusioned. Always, unreservedly. However, we know from neurobiological studies that the feelings and moods we radiate usually rub off on those around us. This is primarily beautiful because it reflects the social connection we have with our fellow human beings. But at the same time it means: If we are constantly in a bad mood and see everything in the dark, people in our society will feel uncomfortable over time.

Occasional low moods are natural and almost everyone can and will forgive them. However, if we are in a constant low state, it puts our environment to the test – but it undoubtedly puts us even more to the test.

5. Self-righteousness

Self-righteous behavior tends to include several unpleasant traits such as ignorance, unreflectiveness, arrogance and bias – no wonder many people are sensitive to it. For example, anyone who says something like “How can you watch reality shows? I would never waste my time doing that” or “Giving a tip less than 15 percent is not possible, I would never do it” is setting themselves up as the standard for all people and rigorously devalues ​​alternative views and living conditions.

Most people show signs of self-righteous behavior, since we all see the world primarily from our perspective and have to assume that the way we live is largely correct. But those who are at least somewhat interested in their fellow human beings and are willing to question themselves and their own views usually compensate for these approaches sufficiently.

Sources used: “Humblebragging: A Distinct – and Ineffective – Self-Presentation Strategy”, “Taking turns: Reciprocal self-disclosure promotes liking in initial interactions”, : “Evidence for mirror systems in emotions”,,,


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