Avoid This Character Flaw If You Want People To Like You

Jacob Grandstaff
3 min readOct 21, 2022
By Matt Brown

Ever wonder why some people act like they don’t want to be around you?

You know the type. You try to start a conversation, and they’re polite but short. You walk into a room, and they walk out.

It’s fine to chalk this up to their problem. After all, if people don’t want to be around your awesomeness, it’s their loss, right?

That’s a fine mentality until it’s your boss, a potential employer, a significant other, or someone you need to like you.

Before answering, think of some reasons why you don’t like being around some people.

Maybe they’re always late.

Maybe they’re not very resourceful as a coworker or friend and always take advantage of your time and money.

Maybe they’re uninteresting, and you just don’t share many common interests with them.

If someone with those flaws cheers you up when you’re around them, you won’t purposely avoid them. However, if someone is always on time, smart, and outgoing but has a rotten attitude all the time they’re going to be a drag to be around.

Here’s why it’s important to bring positivity to other people: People associate positivity with the norm. They associate negativity with malfunction.

A Penn State professor of applied linguistics and a University of Chicago graduate student conducted a study of 20-year-olds and 65-year-olds in Mexico City and Chicago on this subject. They found of the words the subjects used to describe emotions, fully half were negative, 30 percent were positive, and 20 percent were neutral. This remained unchanged regardless of age or ethnicity.

They attribute this to negative emotions’ causing a processing slowdown and therefore requiring more words to describe — i.e., “more detailed thinking, more subtle distinctions.”

In other words, being a fountain of negativity makes someone stressful to be around.

It’s true that people often bond over hate. What better way to strike up a friendship with a stranger than talk about what or whom you dislike?

But when the person you thought you were hate-bonding with doesn’t know when to shut up about it…

Jacob Grandstaff

MA in History; Mostly culture, trends, and occasional rants. History blog: https://historyhowithappened.com/