Just as certain behaviors are always attractive, other certain behaviors always push people away.
We know you aren’t trying to push people away with these behaviors, so we’re also going to discuss how you can stop and even reverse each one.
1) Being selfish
Selfish behavior may not even be demonstrated outwardly, but if you are pursuing something with a selfish intent, people know you’re doing it. It’s an intuition human beings share: we can tell when someone is trying to get something for themselves, or get something to share. So if you’re pursuing things with selfish intent, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that people push you away or just stay away form you in general.
It’s fairly easy to reverse this behavior though: act selflessly instead of selfishly. Give freely when and where you can, and don’t worry about it. Selfless acts always manifest for the person who is being selfless, so your good deed(s) will come back to you many times over.
2) Being Self-Righteous
Self-righteousness is a behavior that creeps up on you…one minute you’re bragging about your new yacht and the next minute, everyone’s gone. Why do they do that? It’s probably because you’re exhibiting some classic signs of self-righteous behavior, and in doing so you are characterizing yourself as better than they are. Nobody wants to sit around and listen to that all day.
To stop doing this, first realize that nobody is better or worse than anyone else: we all have unique values. That includes you. Try to talk less and listen more, especially when talking about yourself, items you own, etc. If you feel like you may be bragging, you probably are, so work to be aware of that. Then simply don’t do it. Ask someone else what their weekend was like or how they’re doing today. Take yourself out of the equation.
This isn’t particularly difficult to illustrate: if you complain a lot, and people are staying away from you, realize that absolutely nobody wants to hear a chronic complainer and will do just about anything to avoid a conversation with one. Nobody else airs out their dirty laundry the way you do. A small complaint here or there is one thing, but when it’s the only kind of conversation you know how to make? Then it’s a problem.
Happy and successful people don’t complain very much, which probably has something to do with why they are happy and successful. The best thing you can do for your complaints is to seek solutions to them. Try to help yourself get out of the situation you’re in and into a better one, whether it’s your mortgage rate or your wife’s third pregnancy. See how you can resolve the problem away from the workplace and social gatherings and then, try asking and listening. Ask how others are doing and listen to them. If they ask you a question, answer as briefly as possible and keep the conversation focused their way for awhile. They deserve some time in the sun, after all.
4) Being Conceited
Talking about yourself when it’s coming from your authentic self, is light, and is a couple of sentences total, is good. Talking about yourself when it’s coming from a puffed-up ego and telling story after story which just illustrates how wonderful you are is sure to turn others away from you. Who wants to hear an arrogant jerk blabbing about how awesome he is?
The nice thing about conceitedness is, it’s pretty easy to realize (is your captive audience slowly finding their way out of the situation, and is it more of an audience than an actual conversation? Then you’re being conceited.) and even easier to fix. Just shut up and start asking others how they are doing, what’s going on in their lives, how a recent vacation went, etc. Share instead of hogging the spotlight and people will want to be around you. And that is really winning.