Do You Have a Bad Reputation?

I think it’s safe to assume you don’t want to be that guy. No, not “the guy.” We’re talking about the flip side.

For one reason or another, you’ve built a reputation that's wrecking havoc on your ability to make friends, move up in the office, and feel more enjoyment from life.

Most people insist that if they had a reputation problem they would fix it immediately. But your mind tends to be self-protective. This can be a very good thing in terms of confidence. And yet it's a very bad thing when you're trying to fix a situation you didn't even realize was broken. 

Many variables can cause relationships to break down. Your job is to figure out what to do to fix the relationships once a situation is off. But oftentimes fixing the problem is the easy part; knowing that you are the issue (because no one will tell you), is what allows a few potential misunderstands to transform you into the bad seed.

Here are three common signs that can help you recognize when you’re on the outside, so you can make whatever changes are necessary.

1)   Awkward Silence

In every situation there are those who are talkers and those who take a back seat in conversation. This is human nature and it’s good to know or embrace your role. What’s not good? When an the leader goes silent. If you know someone is typically gregarious but doesn’t speak up when around you, odds are conversation is being avoided for a reason.

2)   Bad Vibrations

Do people oftentimes answer for you in a negative way? This is usually a sign that your peers have grown distaste for your attitude.

Northwestern researchers found that our perceptions are influenced by prior, unconscious interactions that make us very sensitive to negativity. It’s an evolutionary thing.

We are hyper aware of negative information as a mode of survival. So if you’ve been negative a little too much, people will assume that negativity and cut you out of conversations as a means of self-preservation and avoidance of potential bad vibes.

Not sure what this means? If you’re in a conversation and your peers proactively say something like, “We already know you think it’s a bad idea.” Or, “Well, you wouldn’t care anyways so don’t worry about it,” these are warning signs of anticipated negativity and a bad reputation.

3)   Lack of Recognition

This one is simple but important. If you find that your friends or peers do not recognize your work or contributions, it can be a sign that you’re hanging out with a bunch of a-holes, or maybe you’re the perceived a-hole in the group.

Bonus tip: If you’re always the last one to know about a social event or are conveniently forgotten repeatedly (key is repeatedly, mistakes happen), this is usually a bad sign.