“You never know just how you look through other peoples’ eyes” – this is a line from a well known song when I was growing up (Pepper by the Butthole Surfers for those interested). There is definitely a lot of truth to this. That said, there are some things that, if you do them, are guaranteed to piss people off.

Now just to be clear here, the following are things I recommend you don’t do. And one more thing: I’m certainly not perfect, and there are a few things on this list that I’m guilty of doing. If anything, writing this list has helped me identify some areas I can work on. Here then are 10 traits that are sure to annoy others:

1. Be Cheap

Frugal is good, cheap is bad. Now, if you are cheap and no one else is affected, obviously there is no harm in that. But if you are cheap in certain social situations, such as going out to dinner with friends, then you are sure to get under others’ skin.

2. Break Your Promises

Trust is a cornerstone of happy and healthy relationships. Break a promise once, and you will probably be forgiven. Do it again, and you may just find that the relationship is permanently damaged. I am always extremely careful before making promises, and I suggest you do the same.

3. Be Late

Time is a valuable commodity, and if you don’t respect others’ time then you will quickly lose friends and infuriate people . Sure, sometimes things happen and being late is unavoidable. But I’m sure you know people who always seem to be late. In my opinion, being on time comes down to staying organized and respecting others’ time.

4. Never Have An Opinion

There are circumstances where I understand why a person may want to reserve their opinion. But to never have an opinion – meaning they always take a position of neutrality or indecision – is both annoying and boring. Take the time to think about certain issues and consider where you stand. And if the topic comes up in conversation, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.

5. Don’t Listen

Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who seems to only be interested in what they have to say? Even when you are talking, you can tell they are just waiting for an opportunity to cut in and start talking again. Annoying, isn’t it? Don’t be that person.

6. Be Negative

I can’t stand to be around negative people who constantly complain. For starters, I consider negative thinking to be a self-defeating exercise. And as to why I avoid negative people, I simply find that it is both drains my energy levels and is extremely contagious.

7. Don’t Reply to Important Emails/ Text Messages

If there is one thing on this list that I am most guilty of, it is this one. And yet I know how annoying it is when people do it to me. Strange. Lets just say it is something I am working on :) .

8. Insist On Always Being Right

I’m always amazed at people who insist on always being right, even when it is clear that they are wrong. Everyone makes mistakes or gets something wrong every so often (or if you are like me, quite regularly!). If takes more courage to admit an error than it does to stubbornly refuse to be in the wrong.

9. Don’t Finish What You Start

If you start a project or chore, and don’t see it through to completion, you are sure to annoy a few people.

Note: someone in your life annoying you with one of these things? Why not send them a gentle hint by emailing them this article, saying something like “Hey, I just read this great article that lists some extremely annoying traits….”

If you are reading this because someone just sent it to you – sorry – I guess someone thinks you’re annoying :) .

Photo by William Franklin

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.