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One of the hardest things to do is take a good look at yourself in the mirror and admit your flaws… not just physical imperfections, but personality glitches.
Think about it.
Do you have a tendency to be overbearing?
Are you messy?
Maybe you are the queen of guilt trips?
Or the king of procrastination?
And whether you think so or not, you are likely annoying those closest to you with these traits… and chances are, they’re too afraid to tell you.
But their silence is doing you no favors.
In this article, we’re going to offer 7 easy-to-execute and somewhat subtle tips for how to be less annoying.
Believe me, you’ll thank me for it. And so will your friends and family.
7 Tips on How to Be Less Annoying
Tip #1: Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
On the surface, mindfulness differs from mediation in that it’s less about relaxation and more about self awareness. However, they do compliment one another.
If you are able to quiet your mind and get to the root of your feelings, you may stumble upon why you sometimes act the way that you do.
For instance, maybe you are overbearing with your kids because you feel as if you’re constantly being watched at work?
Without mindfulness, you wouldn’t be able to make that connection and ultimately get to the root of your behavior.
Tip #2: Seek Constructive Feedback from Those You Trust
There are times when we find ourselves too close to something or someone to see clearly and objectively.
When that happens, you need to step away and try and change your vantage point.
The same goes for taking a look at yourself.
If you’re trying to figure out how to be less annoying, it can be helpful to turn to another set of eyes, or ears, for advice.
Someone who knows you well and will tell you the truth, in a tactful and meaningful way.
To be clear, you’re seeking constructive criticism that is positive… not damaging. That means that if this person can’t help you see the error of your ways, or provide you with helpful feedback without making you feel bad, they may not be the best person to ask.
You are not looking to feel worse about yourself here, but rather find your best self.
There is a difference.
Also, before you ask a family member or friend to offer you their insight… be sure you’re prepared to handle whatever it is they may say.
It’s not always easy to hear that your behavior or personality is less than ideal in some way; however, handling that constructive feedback with grace and gratitude is a step in the right direction towards changing the way others perceive you.
Tip #3: Become an Observer of Other People’s Body Language
So when it comes to gauging whether or not you are annoying someone, it can be helpful to pay attention to their body language.
Without even realizing, people have “tells” when they are nervous or uncomfortable.
When they are scared or annoyed.
Or when they are holding back on what they really want to say.
We can fancy ourselves as being cool as a cucumber when someone is annoying by trying not to react… yet not reacting can say even more than words.
When someone finds you annoying, there may be a tendency for them to avoid eye contact. Their body may tense up. They may walk in circles or pace back and forth.
These are just examples of things you can look for when trying to figure out how to be less annoying.
Words may not always tell you everything because people are often careful with them… as to avoid conflict.
But the body’s non verbal communication can speak volumes.
Tip #4: Keep a Diary
If you are in the proper headspace, and willing to look inside yourself, it may be helpful to pay a visit to your dear ol’ diary.
Journaling can be a therapeutic and non-threatening way to sort through your feelings.
It may also be helpful in detecting patterns or triggers for why you behave the way that you do.
Let’s say your husband finds your nail biting habit annoying… rather than try and quit cold turkey with disgusting tasting nail polishes or pepper under the fingernails, why not instead look for clues as to why you’re engaging in the bad habit.
Journaling may provide the answer.
Suddenly, you notice the nail biting is worse on the days when you have weekly staff meetings with your boss.
And before your son’s wrestling match.
When your husband has to travel for work.
While these are hypotheticals, the process is sound.
Writing down your feelings will be helpful when it comes to analyzing your reaction to those feelings. Keeping a journal will paint a visual picture with words as to what sets certain behaviors in motion.
Tip #5: Question Your Beliefs and Assumptions
If you want to figure out how to be less annoying, you may be required to “check yourself” from time to time.
Basically, you can’t always be right.
And there is rarely room for the “my way or the highway” mentality in a healthy relationship.
You may have different points of view on politics, religion, gender equality, marriage, workplace philosophies, childrearing… etc.
But the second you aren’t able or willing to open your mind to other people’s viewpoints is the very moment you risk becoming annoying.
People do not want to be around someone who doesn’t understand logic or compromise.
The art of patience.
You often need to look at both sides of the coin in order to see where your beliefs are stemming from. Then you can decide whether or not your points of view are based in anything substantial enough for you to be unwavering.
Tip #6: Make “Me Time” a Priority
Many things can have an effect on a person’s mood.
This means that It’s not always another person causing you to behave the way you do.
It may be that you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Or that you’re overworked.
Tired from cleaning up after the kids all of the time.
Perhaps you’re not meeting your weight loss goals at a fast enough pace.
Maybe the weather is running havoc on your mindset.
While many factors can influence your behavior, there is one thing they all have in common… YOU are ultimately in control of how you act.
Whether you realize it or not, you have the power to choose how to be less annoying.
One way is by choosing to give yourself some much deserved “me time”.
Think about it, if you are always on the go and feeling like you live to please everyone else… you’re bound to just “lose it” at some point.
You’re only human.
But when you lose your cool, you also run the risk of becoming annoying.
Annoying because now you’re on someone else’s case to pull their weight.
Or annoying because you’ve become demanding of attention.
It could really go multiple ways, but if you step back and give your body and mind some dedicated alone time… you’ll start the self healing process.
Put yourself first every now and again and I promise you’ll be happier for it… which means you’ll likely be less annoying to everyone else.
Tip #7: Be Selfless on Occasion
One of the most annoying types of people are the ones who never seem to think about anyone else.
The boss who assigns work over the weekend because he just went through a miserable divorce and has nothing better to do.
The friend who always decides on your plans for the evening.
Or the person who always talks more than she listens, as if your feelings are less significant.
If you want a quick fix for how to be less annoying… you need to be selfless from time to time.
That is not to say you should become a people-pleasing pushover and always put your thoughts and ideas on the backburner.
And you certainly don’t want to try and be everyone’s best friend by being overly agreeable.
But it is meant to create pause before you speak and act.
For instance, if you give your husband a hard time whenever he wants to go out for a beer with his friends and leave you home with the kids… he will likely find it annoying and perhaps even resent you.
Conversely, if you come to an agreement to each spend a few hours apart each month… you’ll now be seen as the cool and understanding wife.
As a bonus, you’ll get yourself some of that “me time” that is so important… whether it’s a massage for yourself or lunch out with a girlfriend.
Selflessness and compromise go a long way when you’re trying to be less annoying.
Pick your battles and you’ll come out on top.
Final Thoughts on How to Be Less Annoying
I have never met a single person who admitted they were annoying.
The fact of that matter is, most of us don’t realize we are being annoying… until someone painfully points it out. That or else we start to see them distancing themselves from us.
Neither is good.
The best thing you can do is this.
First, acknowledge that you are not perfect. That we all have annoying qualities, characteristics or behaviors.
Then, put one or more of the actionable steps outlined here in place… so that you can either prevent or stop yourself from becoming annoying.
If you can do these things, you’ll not only become a more likeable person to others, but to yourself as well.
And loving yourself can open doors to true happiness… mentally, physically, emotionally and socially.
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications, and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization, and product reviews.