It’s human nature to be happy and excited at one time and irritable and annoying the next. Everyone has been guilty of getting on someone’s nerves at one time or another. Although most people don’t mean to be annoying, it happens all the time. Most of the times, you aren’t even aware that you are annoying someone.
It is acceptable once in a while, but it should not happen regularly.
The first step towards improvement or to stop being annoying is to become aware of your shortcomings. Becoming aware of your surroundings and the people you hang out with will help you identify and overcome your negative traits. Here are a few things you can do to stop annoying others.
- Learn to read body language. Monitor how people respond when you talk to them. Watch their reaction when they are with you. If they try to avoid your company or if they tell you that they find you annoying, take it seriously and work on it. You can learn how to read body language like an expert here.
- Do a self-assessment. Conduct self-assessment and figure out what it is that people find annoying about you. It could be a specific trait, a habit or something about your personality that people find annoying.
- Ask for help. If you fail to notice any flaw or imperfections, ask a friend whom you trust. Let that person analyze you. Allow them to point out your shortcomings and weak points. Accept criticism positively to stop annoying others.
- Compare yourself to others. Make a list of the negative traits that you find annoying in others. Compare yourself to them and see if you have these traits. Make a list of the negative traits that you need to change. Move the ones that can be easily changed on the top and begin with that one and then move down .
- Listen intently. Most of the time conflicts happen due to misunderstandings because at least one of the people involved in the argument is not listening carefully to the other person. When you talk constantly, you don’t leave any space to listen to others. By doing this, you are indicating that the person you are having a conversation with is not important to you. This irritates others, and nobody likes to talk to a self-centered person. Stop talking constantly and listen intently, acknowledge what others are saying and ask questions. Don’t let the conversation be one-sided.
- Stop interrupting. Allow the person to finish talking. Even when you feel the urge to talk or give your point of view, hold on till the other person is done with their talking. Also, stop the urge to talk excessively about yourself to stop annoying others.
- Make conversation. Engage in interesting and intelligent conversations with people, even if you don’t know anyone at the event you are attending. Try to strike up a conversation with strangers. Make an effort to talk to people. If you are meeting a group of people for the first time, make an effort to talk to them, get to know them and try to be a part of the group. People will appreciate the fact that at least you are putting in the effort to know them and make friends with them.
- Stop fiddling with your phone. When you are out with someone or with a group of people, stop playing with your phone. Curb your urge to play mobile games and check social media updates while out with friends. By doing this, you are disrespecting others. You are indicating that they are not important enough for you to pay attention to. If you need to attend or make some important phone call, excuse yourself and do it. But don’t annoy people by constantly being on the phone when you are out with them.
- Don’t be a loud-mouth. Control your volume in public places. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep your conversations to yourself. Don’t embarrass the people who are with you by your loud volume. Try to be a little classy and be mindful of your words and your tone.
- Show manners. Say 'Thank You,’ ‘Please,’ ‘Sorry,’ ‘Excuse Me’ whenever needed. These small pleasantries go a long way in building a good rapport with people. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Avoid doing anything gross like scratching your private parts, picking your nose or chewing with your mouth full or talking crass in public.
- Be polite. Be nice to people when you meet them. When you are polite and considerate to people around you, your chances of being annoying decrease to a large extent.
- Be humble. Don’t act like you are better than everybody else. Don’t brag about your assets or your achievements. Nobody likes arrogant people.
- Don’t be a know-it-all. Don’t try to be a know-it-all. You might have seen it all and done it all, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what is best. Don’t be the one who knows everything about everyone around. Don’t try to tell people how they can do things in a better way or how better you can do things.
- Do not act entitled. People who think they are smarter than they really are, are actually clueless. If you act entitled, you push people away from you and make them resentful towards you. No matter who you are or what you do, you shouldn’t look down on anyone or mistreat people. Just be nice to them. If you have trouble being nice, at least try not to be rude to people.
- Respect others’ privacy. Every individual has boundaries. You should never try to cross them. Never try to be pushy or go somewhere uninvited. Give people the space they need. Don’t call or meet people every single day. Avoid butting in a conversation or asking people, ‘what are you talking about?’ If you hear two people talking and catch a few phrases or just the last sentence, curb the urge to interfere, just leave it and let them be.
- Don’t touch or go through people’s stuff without their permission. Do not go around poking people constantly. If they don’t like it, do not touch them. Never touch their things without their consent. Even if it’s not their personal stuff, if it’s something that is there in their personal space, avoid touching them without their permission. They may feel violated. Before borrowing anything, seek their permission first.
- Don’t hang around people. If someone is having a bad day, try to make them feel better. Stop bugging them or hanging around them all the time. Ask them if they need your help or talk about what’s bothering them only if they want to. Avoid talking about anything else other than what’s bugging them. If not, make sure to leave them alone.
- Avoid calling people constantly. Stop acting needy. If you are calling someone, don’t keep calling them every 10 minutes or until they pick up the call. Just call them once and leave a message or wait until they return your call.
- Don’t be repetitive. Don’t keep asking people for favor over and over again. When you keep pushing someone beyond their patience, they see you as annoying. Only ask once and then after a few days give them a gentle reminder. Even then if the person is not responding, don’t ask for the third time.
- Don’t criticize people. Avoid criticizing or putting people down. When you try to make someone look bad to gain attention or for validation, it shows how bad you feel about yourself. The way you treat others indicates how you feel about yourself.
- Don’t be judgmental. When you assume why someone does something without bothering to find out the real reason, you are being judgmental.
- Don’t ask too many questions. Asking too many questions makes you appear interrogating. It can be annoying to answer all those questions.
- Avoid arguing irrationally. Don’t act immature and argue about something you are not sure of. If you don’t know anything about the subject, just keep mum. Do not engage in petty arguments. If you disagree with someone, simply state it and refrain from acting as an expert on the subject. Never force anyone into a debate. If someone tells you that they do not want to discuss something, just leave it.
- Don’t be negative. When you have a negative attitude, it’s draining for people to be around you.
- Don’t whine & complain all the time. Nobody likes to be around miserable people wallowing in self- pity, especially around those who complain and gripe all the time. Also, don’t constantly insult or criticize yourself. It is normal to express your discontent once in a while, but don’t make it a habit or people will start avoiding you.
- Avoid laughing at inappropriate times. Are you the one who laughs at everyone’s jokes, even if they are not funny at all? Stop laughing at inappropriate times. Be genuine and be yourself.
- Be aware of your body movements. Be aware of your body. Stay away from fidgeting, squirming, slurping, chewing, cracking your knuckles, etc. These indicate that you are nervous and bored. Also, these habits are annoying for others. Most of the times, you are unaware of these body movements. So, make a conscious effort to improve your body language.
- Keep your word. When you are making plans with someone – be it a date, a trip or a meeting over a cup of coffee, try to keep your promise. When you break a promise, you are indicating that the person is not worth it.
- Be on time. If you are supposed to meet someone, and you are running late, inform that person as soon as possible.
- Stop being a bully. Do not use your knowledge to embarrass or humiliate others. Don’t correct people’s language inaccuracies, grammar or spellings. Don’t try to tell them how what they think is wrong.
- Be hygienic. Shower every day and maintain oral hygiene. You don’t want to annoy people with your bad breath or body odor.
- Avoid being a yes person. Learn to say no. Do not take on more than you can handle just because you hate saying no or you do not want to antagonize people. Don’t be a people-pleaser or try to make everyone happy. While you may be successful in making someone happy temporarily, it doesn’t work in the long run. And eventually, you may end up getting hurt.
- Refrain from talking about people behind their back. Avoid trash-talking behind people’s back. This makes you lose the trust of others. Gossiping shows a lack of character.
- Never assume things. We all make assumptions every day. The problem with assumptions is that they tend to be based more on our own experiences and interpretations of events rather than the truth. We are always viewing things through our own feelings and experiences without checking the facts. Doing this can be annoying as we assume we know what someone else is doing or why they are doing it. As the old saying goes, 'assume makes an ass out of you and me.' Check out your assumptions with the other person before coming to any conclusions.
Constant conversational interjection at the slightest segue, and then continue in a monologue about yourself. On and on. Also, so annoying anywhere, even on a cruise ship. I’m reading, the other person keeps interrupting my concentration by talking, every time I have to hold my finger to mark my place, stop, look up and listen. Finally I become frustrated and just close the book. So to read, I have to isolate myself , wear big sunglass reading glasses, foam ear plugs and become totally immersed. Everyone needs a little solitude.
I just want to thank you a lot for writing these individually useful tips. I have recently started to come to the realisation that I’m relatively very annoying, with the help of some people who have naturally observed this for me. A lot of the stuff I usually do is mentioned in the list above, which automatically tells me that what you wrote was genuine and not ad-hungry or over-attractive like some articles. So, thanks a lot. I have bookmarked this page as I’m certainly going to be going through it every day to effectively minimise my annoyance given to others and especially those I wish to be good friends with.
Thank you for your comment. We are so glad that we were able to motivate you.
And it is great that you have a realization of where the problem is. Simply inculcate the above mentioned practices in your daily routine to be a better person.
All the best!!!
Thank you v͙e͙r͙y͙ much for this a͙r͙t͙i͙c͙u͙l͙e͙
It will be very helpful to me when next i go to the office
Glad you liked it!
Thank you for this article. I’m living with someone who exhibits almost every one of these absolutely annoying traits. So…I’m going to print this article and leave in an inconspicuous place…like the refrigerator😂. Ok ok…I guess that’s a bit too obvious. I’ll leave on the kitchen table instead. Before I go from being a fairly happy-go-lucky kinda person to needing mental therapy!!
Im actually naturally loud and i laugh at a lot of things. It kind of offends me. How do I change that? Im very confused 😐