If you want to be in a healthy relationship of any kind, whether a friendship or romantic partnership, you need to show that you’re a good person that people want to be around.
Some people engage in horrible, toxic behaviors that are instant turn-offs to others, and even those who may have been interested in furthering a relationship will say “no thank you.”
While scrolling through my favorite Reddit community, R/Askreddit, I stumbled upon a thread asking users to share things that make them instantly lose interest in engaging with another human being.
Most of the behaviors listed are red flags of further toxicity, and many of us stay away from folks who act this way. If you do any of these things, consider changing your habits to maintain your friendships.
Talking Bad About Others
Don’t constantly tear others down to build yourself up. Most people can see right through that, and it typically has the opposite effect.
One Redditor said that the type of people who constantly bad mouth others “only understand 24/7 drama, victimhood, and negativity, and are absolutely draining to be around.”
Others mentioned that people who bad mouth others to you are most likely bad-mouthing you to others in return and can’t be trusted.
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Purposely Making Others Uncomfortable
When someone tells you they’re uncomfortable with something, you should stop that behavior. It’s not cute, fun, or flirting to continue purposely.
One user said it’s an instant turn-off when a romantic partner does stuff like that. “When I tell them I don’t like something, or something makes me uncomfortable, and they continue to do it intentionally as if it’s flirting,” they shared.
“It’s not funny when someone says that it bothers them, and you continue to do it,” added another.
Jokes are only funny if everyone is laughing. Intentionally creeping over boundaries isn’t exciting; it’s disrespectful. Don’t do it.
Having a Superiority Complex
Confidence is great, but it becomes problematic when you think you’re better than everyone else.
“It’s fine to be confident, but if you need to put others down to feel that way, you’re just insecure, and it’s not cute,” said one user.
“Be on the same level playing field. No one is above others. Treat others the same as other people treat you, with respect,” another added.
Mistreating Service Workers
Mistreating people you deem “beneath you” is a serious red flag. First, no one is “beneath you,” regardless of what job either of you has. Second, everyone deserves to be treated with basic human dignity.
“I had a distant relative in her 60’s with whom I went out for a few meals. The way she spoke to the waiters and waitresses just made me so uncomfortable – snapping at them grumpily and talking down to them as if they were way below her,” shared one user, adding, “I’ve never understood that.”
Some people need someone to look down upon, but those folks won’t make good friends or romantic partners.
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Some folks don’t know how to let others participate in a conversation. They endlessly blather on about themselves, oblivious to others in the room.
“We recently met a nice couple, and we’ve been hanging out, but his wife is just too much to handle,” started one user. “She won’t even let you finish your sentence before she jumps in to inject her views or experiences regarding whatever you were just talking about. It’s rude and annoying. Huge turn-off. We’d hand more often if she was not so overbearing.”
If you want to make and keep friends, you should involve everyone in the conversation.
Lack of Effort
All too many relationships are one-sided. Unfortunately, we can’t always identify users immediately, but when we recognize it, it’s a turn-off.
“The moment I can tell that they aren’t trying. Either they aren’t all that interested in me, or they expect me to do all of the “work,” so to speak. Either reason is a good enough one to step away,” responded one user.
Lack of Empathy
Empathy is one of the most important traits we can develop. It helps us understand others’ perspectives and feel what they are going through.
One user said a lack of empathy is an instant turn-off in any type of relationship. People who lack empathy won’t help when things get rough and won’t care if you need help.
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Inability to Be Wrong
Engaging with people who refuse to admit they’re wrong is exhausting. We’re all wrong sometimes, and if our egos are so fragile that we can’t admit it, we’ll struggle to keep friends.
Another user added that admitting you’re wrong is only part of it. They added that the “inability to take responsibility for your actions after you admitted you were wrong” is also a huge turnoff.
It’s okay to be wrong. And when you know you’re wrong, step up and try to fix it.
Racist idealogy is a huge turnoff. Many Redditors refuse to be friends with racists and will cut off a romantic relationship at the first sign of racism.
Hating others for the color of their skin is ugly. Most people don’t want to engage with people who can’t respect others as human beings.
Many people call themselves “brutally honest” as an excuse to say mean things without repercussion. The “I’m just being honest” trope is tiring, and users are starting to call it out.
“You can be as honest as you want, but at least say it in a way that is nicer or don’t do it in a crowd,” said one user, adding, “I just think its bullying/rude then.”
All too many people think saying that they’re “honest” gives them free rein to be cruel. You can be honest while remaining tactful.
Read Next: 10 Tips for Being True To Yourself Despite What Others Think
Be Nice, and People Will Flock to You
Most of the behaviors mentioned in the thread showcase selfishness and negativity. If you find yourself friendless, consider whether you act this way and try to flip the script.
Try saying nice things instead of mean things. Let others get a word in while you’re talking. Respect people’s boundaries and show them you care just as much as they do.
Be a good person, and you’ll start developing excellent interpersonal relationships.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.