How to make sure nobody likes you

11 Jul

If you have been to any networking or social event, you have met this person: the person nobody likes.  Chances are good that this person has not one single solitary clue why nobody seems to be wanting to interact, exchange business cards, or just chat.

Here’s what to do if you want to be just like that person:

  • Talk endlessly about yourself (and never ever ask the other person anything).
  • Use big words or obscure references, forcing whoever you are interacting to ask you what you mean.
  • Brag (I don’t mean talk about your accomplishment, but actually brag, like this: Well, when I was on safari last year with Robert Redford, we ran into a pack of rare pink Rhinoceros…).
  • Don’t maintain eye contact. People just love shifty-eyed people–gives them a vote of confidence.
  • Have a clammy or limp handshake (or worse, a clammy AND limp handshake).
  • Shift the burden of conversation to the other person.
  • Denigrate whatever the other person is saying (“Oh, you think that is a big deal? I got a bigger deal!)
  • Live in the past or in another place: you know, things were much better then and there.
  • Speak ill of the host, venue, group, etc. I don’t mean constructive criticism like “I thought the parking was a bit difficult here,” but something like “Jane Doe and her group just don’t have a clue! “
  • Have poor hygiene or grooming.

Unfortunately, the first impression you make is usually a lasting one. However, you can also not try to so hard to be likeable, people see through that too.  You have to be who you are, but be aware that what you say and do do affect how other people perceive you.

Next, we’ll talk about how this personal behavior is often seen in marketing communications (and especially in social media).

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One Response to “How to make sure nobody likes you”

  1. Daria Steigman July 11, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    A bad handshake & poor grooming is the one-two punch for kiss of death. Well, that, and only be interested in yourself because there’s no room there for conversation.

    The item I’d add to this list: looking over your shoulder (different from shifty-eyed) to see who’s more important in the room. At that point I’m always thinking, “Oh, dude (or dudette), that would be anyone but you.”

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