The Silicon Valley Voice

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Dislikable You

You know what’s wrong with you?

Absolutely nothing.

That’s why everyone likes you. And that, likeable reader, has simply got to change.


I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Because you are so darn likeable you never have a moment to yourself. You’re so busy being so likeable that you could go absolutely moo-moo goo-goo, and do something really desperate – like locking yourself in the supply closet and not coming out until you’ve given names to all the Sharpies.

Fortunately, there is one thing I can tell you that you don’t know – how to make people just hate your guts. In the interests of full disclosure, I must tell you that I did not come up with this recipe for being loathed. I learned the secret in a Shana Lebowitz post on Business Insider. The title of the piece is “9 things you’re doing that make people dislike you immediately.”

Clearly, these are 9 things you are absolutely not doing, or not doing enough. But that could change. Once you know what Lebowitz thinks you shouldn’t do, you can start doing it. With enough effort on your part, I’m sure it will be time at all before everyone at your work place hates your guts.

Dislikeable habit No. 1 is “Sharing too many photos on Facebook.” Seems strange, I know, but your daily Facebook postings chronicling the antics of Mr. Mittens, the world’s first super-cat, really aren’t sufficient to make people hate you. You’ll have to up your game. Commit to 10 photos a day, or maybe 20. Be sure to include plenty of photos of Mr. Mittens charming habit of bringing home mauled birds and tailless salamanders. Mr. Mittens is certainly a worthy subject for the Kim Kardashian level of social-media fame, and is sure to infuriate your Facebook friends, both of them. [Let’s just hope Mr. Mittens doesn’t get a swelled head.]

Speaking of Facebook friends, “having too many or too few friends on Facebook” is another source of irritation for many people. Too few, and people think you’re a loser. Too many, and people think you’re a stalker. According to Lebowitz, the perfect number of friends is 300. If you can’t hit that sweet spot, you may have to break one of your personal rules and start sending friend requests to your imaginary friends. If they won’t agree, being too nice may not be your biggest problem.

“Disclosing something extremely personal early on in a relationship” is another dislikeable habit. I know that you are reluctant to talk about your personal interests, and always wait at least 30 seconds into any conversation before disclosing that you spend all your spare time with your My Little Pony Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Playset. If your goal is to be disliked, there’s no reason to hold back. If you want to be given a wide berth whenever you walk through the office, make sure you never come alone to a staff meeting. Always bring your Friendship is Magic Starlight Glimmer Figure, and make sure you have a cup of water handy. As you well know, a My Little Pony can get My Little Thirsty.

“Posting a close-up profile photo” is another way to make people despise you. According to research, “faces photographed from less than 45 centimeters – about 1.5 feet – away are considered less trustworthy, attractive and competent than faces photographed from 135 centimeters, about 4.5 feet, away.”

This is going to be a difficult change for you to make. Since you posted that boudoir photo, you’ve had so much positive feedback, and so many interesting job offers. But if being disliked is your goal, it’s time for your close-up. And don’t worry! A person as good-looking as you has beautiful pores.

“Acting too nice” is a surprising way to make people not like you. In fact, the nicer you are, the more people think you’re rotten, through and through. Can’t think of ways to be nasty, intimidating and thoroughly unpleasant? Study your managers and do what they do. When it comes to being borderline psychotic, they’re great at it.

“Humblebragging” is a universally dislikeable behavior. This is when you pretend to be apologizing, but are actually bragging. Like when you “confess” to your boss that you have a problem with working too hard or caring too much. Unfortunately, humblebragging is something that will not be easy for you do.

I’ve studied your work habits and your career path and, frankly, you have nothing to brag about.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at


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