How to Be Less Annoying (36 Tips)

Let’s face it: sometimes, we can be a bit annoying without meaning to. Don’t worry — it happens to the best of us.

In this article, I’m going to share some tips to make sure you’re not that person everyone tries to avoid. You’ll still be you, just a little less annoying!

Want to see how a few small tweaks can make a big difference in how people see you? Stay with me, and I’ll show you.

Listen More, Talk Less

When you’re in a conversation, the key to not being annoying is to listen more than you talk. It’s simple — let others share their thoughts without jumping in too quickly.

If you’re always the one doing the talking, people might start getting frustrated. Really hearing what someone else has to say can mean a lot to them. So take a step back and let others speak up, too.

For instance, your friend is telling you about their day, and you’re all ears. They feel great because they see you’re genuinely interested and not just waiting for your turn to speak.

"One of the most annoying things a person can do is talk. A conversation is a pleasant experience for most, but when one person dominates that conversation and turns it into a monologue, no one remains interested and definitely isn't interested in repeating the experience."

Shayne Sherman | CEO, Techloris

Engage in Active Listening

Active listening isn’t just sitting quietly; it’s about being fully in the convo. Show the other person you are following along by nodding and giving them small responses. This shows you’re interested in what they’re saying and keeps the chat from being one-sided.

"Focus just on listening to them to understand where they're coming from. Do not focus on defending yourself! Only by understanding how the other person experiences you can you even consider taking steps to be less annoying to them."

Gina M. Weatherup | President, Chantilly Mediation and Facilitation

Stay Attentive During Conversations

Being attentive means keeping your focus on the person you’re talking to and not getting distracted.

If you’re looking at your phone or checking the time while someone is speaking to you, it can come off as rude and definitely annoying. Being present at the moment sends out the message that you think what they’re saying is important.

Avoid Interrupting Others

We’ve all been cut off mid-sentence, and it feels pretty annoying, right? When you interrupt someone, it’s kind of like saying your words are more important than theirs.

If you want to be less annoying, it’s crucial to wait your turn to speak. Keeping quiet until someone is done shows you respect what they’re saying. It’s all about letting the other person have their moment.

What it looks like:

  • Bite your tongue a little, even if you’re super eager to get your word in.
  • Even when you think you know what they’re going to say next, you wait.
  • Give a little nod or an “Mhm” to show you’re listening, not just waiting to talk.
"The world doesn't revolve around you and when you act as though it does, others notice. Don't cut people off to insert something about yourself."

Shayne Sherman | CEO, Techloris

Be Punctual and Value Others’ Time

Nobody likes waiting around for someone who’s late — it can throw off their whole day. Being on time is a way of telling others you think their time is just as important as yours. If you’re always late, people might think you don’t care much about them.

Punctuality is a form of respect and it definitely makes you less of a pain to be around. So, watch the clock and show up when you said you would. Or, if you’re running late, you let the other person know ASAP.

Keep Your Promises

If you say you’re going to do something, do it — it’s that straightforward. When you don’t keep your promises, you come across as unreliable or even careless.

Following through shows that you respect the person you made the promise to and that you take their expectations seriously. This trust you build makes you someone people want to have around, not someone they find annoying.

"Being flaky and being annoying go hand in hand. Breaking a promise is another way of saying that someone isn't worth your time. It really doesn't matter if it is a professional meeting, a coffee date, weekend plans, or a 15-day long international trip — it is indispensable to keep your word."

Girish Dutt Shukla | Freelance Copywriter | Social Media Manager | Author, Maroon in a Sky of Blue

Control Emotional Outbursts

When emotions run high, it’s easy to let them spill out everywhere — but those outbursts can be a drag for people around you. Staying cool is key; it means you can handle tricky situations without putting everyone through a rollercoaster ride.

It’s not about bottling up feelings, but instead finding a calm way to express them. Remember, screaming or throwing a fit often gets you nowhere and rubs people the wrong way. Be the one who faces problems with a steady head — it’s way less annoying.

Avoid Being Overly Negative

No one is a ray of sunshine all the time, but nobody likes a raincloud either. Continuously pointing out the bad stuff can be a real downer for those around you.

Keep things in perspective; sure, something might not be great, but it’s not the end of the world, right? Aim for a balance — you can acknowledge the bad but also look for the good. Your friends will thank you for not dragging down the mood.

Keep Personal Complaints to a Minimum

We all have off days, but offloading all your troubles onto someone else can be pretty heavy for them to carry. By all means, share what’s bugging you, but maybe steer clear of making that the only thing you talk about.

There’s a fine line between seeking support and becoming a walking list of complaints. Show some restraint and focus on more positive topics, too. Changing up the vibe can make hanging out with you something to look forward to.

Be Genuine and Avoid Pretense

Nothing’s more of a letdown than figuring out someone’s faking it. When you’re real with people, they can relax around you, knowing they’re seeing the true you.

Being genuine means you’re the same person in every situation — no masks, no acting. That’s refreshing, and definitely not annoying. Trust me, people can spot a phony from a mile away, and it’s way better to be appreciated for who you really are.

Respect Privacy and Confidentiality

Your friend tells you something in confidence and expects you to keep it that way. Spreading their news around is a quick ticket to Annoying-town.

Respecting someone’s privacy shows that you’re trustworthy and mature. When people know they can count on you to zip it, you’re seen as a true friend, not an annoyance.

For instance, a pal confides in you about their health issues. You keep it to yourself and they know they’ve got a friend who’s solid as a rock.

Keep Criticism Constructive and Private

Be the kind of person who lifts others up instead of putting them down.

If you’ve got some pointers, do it in private and make it about helping the person improve, not just pointing out flaws. A little tact goes a long way, and your advice will probably be taken a lot more seriously.

Avoid Gossip and Drama

Gossip can be like junk food — it might feel good in the moment, but it’s not good for anyone in the long run. Spreading stories about others can hurt feelings and make you the person nobody wants to tell anything to.

It’s simple: if you don’t want drama, don’t be the one who starts it. Stick to sharing your own news, and when someone else’s story comes up, let it pass by without adding your two cents.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Let’s be real: nobody wants to say it, but personal hygiene matters. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about consideration for those around you.

Washing up, brushing your teeth, and wearing clean clothes can make a world of difference in how people perceive you.

It’s pretty straightforward — stay fresh to keep friends. Plus, it’s much easier to focus on what someone’s saying if you’re not holding your breath, right?

Be Mindful of Your Volume

Paying attention when others are speaking shows that you value their words and respect their presence.

It’s easy to get distracted, especially with smartphones around, but keeping focused during conversations reduces annoyance and builds stronger connections.

Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues

People don’t just talk with words; their bodies do a whole lot of chatting, too. Watching for little things like crossed arms or a frown can tell you more than their words might.

A few things to consider:

  • Observe body language to gauge comfort levels and reactions.
  • If they’re looking around the room, maybe they’re bored, so you switch it up.
  • Adjust your approach based on the cues you pick up.

Tailor Your Sense of Humor Appropriately

A good laugh is awesome, but not every joke lands well in every crowd. Knowing what’s funny and okay to one person might not be to another is crucial. You don’t want to be that friend who always says something cringeworthy.

Instead, try to feel out what makes each group tick; a well-timed joke can be golden, but a bad one can leave things pretty awkward. Keep it classy with the comedy, and you’ll keep everyone grinning.

Don’t Make Everything About You

Everyone likes a chance to shine, so make sure you’re not always in the spotlight. When you let others have their moments, they’ll feel like they matter to you.

It’s a balance — share your own stuff, but let them share theirs, too. It makes everything more fun and friendly, and nobody’s rolling their eyes when it’s your turn to talk.

For instance, your mate just came back from a cool trip. Instead of jumping in with your travel stories, you listen and get stoked on their adventures.

Recognize and Adjust Your Annoying Habits

Everyone has habits that can be annoying to others, whether it’s constantly checking a phone during conversations or interrupting others. Recognizing these habits is the first step toward changing them.

Making an effort to adjust your behavior shows that you care about how you affect those around you. It makes interactions more pleasant and helps build stronger, more positive relationships.

"Being self-aware is the first step to adjusting the way we interact with each other. Whether it's personal hygiene, personal space, or just being oblivious to those around you, there are certain things that one should take into consideration when in social situations."

Adina Mahalli | Relationship Expert, Maple Holistics | Certified Mental Health Consultant, Enlightened Reality

Acknowledge Others’ Contributions and Successes

Sure, achieving your goals feels great, but so does recognizing when someone else has done a bang-up job.

When you give credit where it’s due, it’s like giving a thumbs-up to their efforts. It’s about being a team player or a supportive friend, not a solo superstar all the time.

Example: Your colleague finishes a project that benefits your whole team. You make sure to let them know just how awesome their work was for everyone.

Celebrate Others’ Successes

Life’s a party when we cheer each other on. It’s not a competition; it’s more about sharing the love when friends hit their high notes.

When you celebrate the victories of others just as much as your own, it sends out big-time good vibes. It’s like you’re saying, “Hey, your win is my win, too!”

Not gonna lie; it feels pretty good to be the cheerleader sometimes, and it keeps that annoying green-eyed monster at bay.

Avoid Overly Personal Questions

Digging too deep into someone’s personal life can make you the person everyone sidesteps at parties. It’s cool to be curious, but crossing that line into private territory? Not so cool.

People will open up when they’re comfy, and it’s up to them to set the pace. Trust me, people will feel more at ease around you when they don’t feel like they’re in a Q&A session.

Respect Personal Space

Imagine someone hovering over you while you’re trying to work or relax. It’s like, “Hello, ever heard of personal space?” Everyone’s got this invisible bubble, and it’s super important to keep that in mind.

When you give people room to breathe, they’re way more likely to enjoy your company. Whether it’s a physical step back or just giving them some quiet time, it’s all about that respect.

Ask Before Borrowing or Using Others’ Things

Borrowing your friend’s stuff without asking? That’s asking for trouble, my friend. Whether it’s a shirt, a charger, or even a french fry — it’s polite (and way less annoying) to get that thumbs-up first.

For instance, your coworker has a snack you’re craving. Instead of snagging a piece, you play it cool and see if they offer.

Be Considerate with Invitations and Host Duties

Whether you’re inviting friends over or organizing a big shindig, thinking about your guests makes all the difference. Pay attention to who gets along with whom, who has dietary restrictions, or who might need a quiet corner to chill.

As a host, your job is to make sure everyone’s having a good time, not just a few. Your thoughtfulness won’t go unnoticed, and it’ll probably score you some solid hosting cred.

After all, a party where everyone feels welcome and comfortable? That’s a win in anybody’s book.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

If you’re chilling at someone’s place, keep an eye on the time and the vibe. Your friends love having you, but they might also love getting their PJs on and binging a show solo.

So read the room — if people are yawning or they start doing their own thing, that’s your cue to say thanks and see yourself out. It’s cool to be the life of the party, but even the best DJs know when to play the last song.

Offer Help When It’s Needed

If your friend’s moving or your mom’s prepping a holiday feast, offering your muscle or cooking skills means a lot. It shows you’re looking out for them, and you’re not just around for the good times.

Example: Your neighbor’s car battery dies, and you’re right there with the jumper cables. Next thing you know, their car’s humming, and you’ve saved the day.

Be Aware of How Often You Contact Others

It’s great to check in with your pals, but there’s a fine line between staying connected and spamming them with messages. It’s all about balance.

Give people space to reply in their own time, and don’t take it personally if they take a bit to get back to you. They’ll probably get in touch when they can actually sit down and give you their full attention.

Embrace Differences and Be Tolerant

Everyone’s a unique mix of thoughts, backgrounds, and taco preferences. The cool thing about it? It keeps life interesting.

When you can chill with anyone, no matter how different they are from you, you show that you’re open-minded and not easily ruffled.

It might look like:

  • Making an effort to learn something new from someone who has a different perspective.
  • Not judging or poking fun at someone’s life choices that don’t match your own.
  • Finding common ground and focusing on that, instead of what makes you different.

Recognize and Respect Boundaries

Everyone has their own personal boundaries. Pushing past these without an invite is the human equivalent of cutting in line — not cool. Recognizing these lines and not crossing them without permission is key to being less of a nuisance.

For instance, if a friend declines to meet up, citing they need some alone time, respect their decision without questioning or guilt-tripping.

Be Positive and Encouraging

It’s amazing how a bit of positivity can turn someone’s day around. Being the person who cheers others on and sees the glass as half full is way less grating than being a downer.

Nobody’s saying you’ve got to ignore the tough stuff, but focusing on the good parts and giving a high-five here and there can lift spirits, including your own.

Limit Unsolicited Advice

You’re just trying to vent about a bad day, and suddenly, you’re swamped with advice you never asked for. It gets old quickly, doesn’t it?

If a friend wants your take on something, they’ll ask. Otherwise, maybe they just need you to listen and nod.

Hanging back instead of playing the know-it-all will save you from being the person who always has to fix things, and your friends will be grateful for the space.

"Do not offer advice unless you are asked for it explicitly. I used to believe that when people told me about their problems they were looking for solutions or best advice. However, often, people just want to vent."

Gisela Hausmann | Author

Share Responsibilities and Chores

Living with others means the work’s gotta be shared. No one wants to feel like the only one carrying the load; it’s a real drag.

Example: The trash is overflowing, and it’s your turn to take it out. You tackle it without a reminder, and your housemate gives you an appreciative nod.

Be Patient and Understanding

Life moves fast, but that doesn’t mean everyone can keep up the pace all the time. Being patient means you’re not breathing down someone’s neck, rushing them along. It’s a breath of fresh air when you let things roll at their own speed.

Understanding that people have “off days” or that they might need a bit more time to get things right makes you far less irksome.

Maintain a Balanced Conversation

Dominating the talk or letting someone else do all the chatting isn’t the way to go. A balanced conversation means everyone gets a turn to speak and to listen. It’s way nicer to walk away from a chat feeling like it was a team effort, not a solo show.

It is like:

  • Sharing a bit about your day and then asking about theirs.
  • Listening as much as you speak — it’s a two-way street.
  • Noticing if you’ve been on a talking roll and purposefully taking a break to hear from the other person.
"Don't relate every story back to something about you. Instead, consider what someone else is saying and ask them to elaborate on how that affected them."

Shayne Sherman | CEO, Techloris

Moderate Your Social Media Sharing

We get it; you love sharing life’s moments, but remember, not everyone needs a play-by-play. Some things are better kept offline or shared in smaller doses.

When you constantly flood feeds with your every move, it can become a bit much for your pals. Tone it down a notch, and people might actually start looking forward to your posts instead of scrolling past them.

Besides, keeping things a touch mysterious can make real-life catch-ups way more interesting.

Excerpts From the Experts

“Quite often, ‘annoying’ responses are a result of anxiety responses. They are a response to the voices in your head called “negative self-talk,” which cause you to call into question your responses, your connections with others, and their motivations for the relationship with you.

In essence, the self-talk in the mind of the ‘annoying’ person is so loud that they forget to empathize with the receiver of the text, and they push to be heard and get the response they are looking for.

For example, if you have asked someone to dinner via text, and they have yet to respond, the self-talk you experience may be: “They didn’t get my text”, “I need to know if we’re going”, “maybe I should text them again”, “maybe I should call…”.

Once you send a message or put something “out there”, forget about it. Go back to your work, read a book, or watch a movie. Continuing to ruminate about it and weigh the pros and cons of your next move will increase the likelihood of an annoying response.

Remember, your perception that you are annoying may be just that: a perception.”

Alison Maslin-Maratos, BA, BSW, MSW, RSW | Clinical Therapist | Founder, Maratos Counselling and Consulting Services

“…She heard him say, which was not the first time, “I don’t mean to be annoying. I’m just naturally annoying.” This frustrated her. If a husband knows that he’s annoying, why doesn’t he do something to change? He has a choice.

The scenario above is one of many possibilities in experiencing annoyance with others… If this husband can become very curious and humble himself to ask his wife questions, he could gain a deeper understanding into exactly what it is that he is doing that annoys her.”

Donna Shin, LCPC | Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor | Founder, Donna Shin Therapy and Wellness

“Lack of sleep affects your emotional state and outlook in life. This is because sleep triggers emotions like tiredness and fatigue, anxiety, and depression. When a person suffers from these feelings and disorders, they might seem burdensome and annoying to some people.

Better quality sleep improves your mental and emotional health since it gives you the rest your body desperately needs, and allows you to balance hormones that play a big factor in your emotions, such as oxytocin and serotonin.”

Liz Brown | Founder, Sleeping Lucid

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a person annoying to others?

A person may come off as annoying if they talk too much, don’t listen, constantly complain, invade personal space, or repeatedly do things that bother others. Lack of self-awareness often leads to irritating behaviors.

How can I tell if I’m being annoying?

You might notice people seem less engaged in conversation with you, they might avoid spending time with you, or you might receive direct feedback. Keeping an eye on others’ non-verbal cues and asking trusted friends for honest feedback can also help you identify if you’re being annoying.

Is it possible to be less annoying without drastically changing who I am?

Absolutely. It’s not about changing your personality, but rather about adjusting certain behaviors and being more considerate of those around you. Self-improvement involves enhancing the social aspects of your personality, not a complete overhaul of who you are.

What should I do if my efforts to be less annoying don’t work?

It can take time for people to notice changes in your behavior. Be consistent and patient. If your efforts aren’t working, consider asking for direct feedback and continue to work on self-awareness. Sometimes, it might also be a matter of compatibility. You can’t please everyone, and that’s okay.

Final Thoughts

Becoming less annoying takes time, but it’s worth it. Just think about how much better your relationships will be when you’re not making everyone crazy!

But really, don’t worry too much about it. At the end of the day, people like it when you’re genuine. Just be yourself, but be your best, least annoying self.

And if nothing else works, just remember: a little laughter helps a lot. If you can make people laugh, you’re already halfway there.

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.