You think you're adorable, but the truth is you're getting on someone's last nerve. And that's not a cute look on anyone. However, by tuning in to subtle signs you annoy someone you can fix your situation and learn about yourself, all at the same time.
It's never too late to work on your interpersonal skills, because, let's face it, life is a lot more fun when you get to hang with people who enjoy your company. And although you definitely don't want to live your life to please other people, you do want to be cool with your friends, colleagues, and family, right?
Toeing the line between being yourself and acting in accordance with social norms, paying attention to social cues, and learning how to navigate being in a social setting is hard work. But it can be done with a little introspection and a couple of tweaks to your behavioral patterns. Medical doctor and life coach Dr. Susan Biali told Psychology Today that people adapt their personality traits in the social world all the time. Having said that, Biali emphasized that self-awareness is everything, and that while it's important to be cognizant of how you come off to others, it's equally as important to be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to figure out what about yourself is worth adapting and what you need to change. The following are subtle signs you may be annoying people, and solutions on how to remedy the situation without losing yourself in the process.
1. Their Body Language
Forbes decoded several types of body language, and noted that nonverbal language is deeply engrained in people from a young age, and tends to come out in people when they are under stress (like being annoyed). Crossed legs or crossed arms signals resistance, which is a subtle sign of annoyance, rather than the more blatant eye roll.
Solution: Reading body language has to be taken with a grain of salt, noted the same article in Forbes. I might be crossing my legs because I have a kink in my back and I'm uncomfortable. On the other hand, NBC discussed a study that indicated body language is a more accurate gauge of how a person really feels than facial expressions. So, before before making any serious changes to your social situation, either wait for more cues you're being annoying, or politely ask if something you're doing is irritating someone. Blogger Jen Kim told Psychology Today that a polite way to ask if you're being annoying is to be straight up. She suggested a simple, "I'm being annoying right now, right?" If you get no reply, that's a "yup."
2. They Sigh
Post-grad doctoral researcher Jordan Gaines Lewis, and author of the blog Brain Babble on Psychology Today wrote that sighing is a subtle sign of annoyance. People sigh when they're bored, frustrated, anxious, or trying to calm themselves down. This is especially true in a social situation.
Solution: My feelings are hurt when people sigh when I'm talking. But then again, what I said might have just touched a nerve. Who knows? Lewis noted that sighing is also just a sign of the body needing to "reset." So before you get totally self-conscious that you're annoying, wait for more cues, or ask politely if you're bothersome. An exaggerated sigh, however, is definitely a sign that something you've said is not sitting well.
3. They Interrupt You
Being interrupted is offensive. No two ways about that one. However, after you've processed the feeling that someone was just rude to you, pause and think about your own behavior. Gurl reported this is a sign that you're annoying. But, it's also a sign of poor manners, so get ready for a confrontation, or at the very least a discussion about what's going on in this social situation.
Solution: CBS discussed ways to deal with someone constantly interrupts you. The first is to keep right on talking. Another technique is to ask if you can finish what you were saying. If you're being annoying, most likely your company will tell you so at this point, and you can decide where to go from there.
4. They Don't "Hear" You
People can pretend not to hear you when they're annoyed at you in one of two ways. They can completely act like you haven't said a word (ouch) or they can "huh," you, an expression usually coupled with a tilt of the head and massive amounts of sarcasm.
Solution: Kim suggested taking the time to pause the conversation if you feel like you're the only one talking, or have been for quite some time. An easy solution to this problem is to talk less, listen more.
5. They Appear To Be Zoned Out
If someone appears to be zoned out while you're speaking, that other person might be exhausted and out of it, or, it's a subtle sign that you're annoying, Kim wrote in Psychology Today.
Solution: Business Insider reported that signs that someone isn't listening to you include fidgeting, having their feet pointed towards the door, and a not-so-subtle "back turned" away from you maneuver. This isn't that rude of a gesture in my book, so I'd just change the subject and make a mental note.
6. They Talk Over You
Licensed clinical social worker Diane Barth told Psychology Today that the best kind of communication involves a give and take between talking and listening. People might talk over you when you're being annoying to shut you up.
Solution: Although you might be annoying, a person who talks over you is rude. In this case, once you identify what's going own, Barth recommended that you take some time out to have a conversation about how to reset your conversational dynamic.
7. They Lock Eyes With Others While You're Talking
Gurl reported that when other people in the group lock eyes, that's a subtle sign you're being annoying, and your peers are trying to communicate with one another and bond over this fact. Ouch.
Solution: Psychologist Dr. Jamie Turndorf told Psychology Today that ganging up on someone is a form of bullying. If you're feeling ganged up on, don't play victim, she advised. Although you might feel hurt when your friends lock eyes, you should assert yourself and voice your discomfort at their behavior.
8. They Don't Ask You Anything Personal
If your friends don't ask you anything personal about yourself, this might be a subtle sign that they don't want to get to know you better. Maybe your friends stink, or maybe you're annoying because you talk about yourself all the time, and don't leave any room for people to ask questions.
Solution: You can find out if you're self-centered or someone who thinks of others by taking a self-assessment quiz in Psychology Today made up of scenarios and personal questions.
9. They "Yes" You Nonstop
There's a big difference with "Yass" and the constant "Yes." Respectively, there's a difference between people trying to please you with a constant, "yes," and people "yes-sing" you to, well, er, get you to stop talking.
Solution: Once you figure out if people are doing the latter, reflect on your behavior. Although Psych Central noted that you can't spend your entire social life wondering if you're being annoying, you do want to engage your company in a way that's pleasant for all involved.