Unpleasant, Me? Maybe A Little...

Last updated by Katie M.

It began in a completely mundane way. A friend came up to me, said hello, asked if I was ok, I answered, and she asked me outright if I was sulking. It wasn’t the first time I’d been asked this because obviously, I was unpleasant… Me? Unpleasant? Possibly, but I’m just being myself!


And besides, what does it mean to be unpleasant?

Being unpleasant means feeling an aversion, disagreeable feelings towards behavior or a person and showing this aversion, opposition, or even disgust. It happens to us all. Sometimes, we meet someone we don’t like, someone who irritates us and to whom we don’t want to talk. Most of the time, we force ourselves, we put on a good face, and sometimes we don’t… sometimes we’re unpleasant.

What makes you unpleasant?

The problem is that antipathy, as you’d expect, is quite harmful to relationships. Indeed, by being unpleasant, you show the other person that you feel superior to them or to what they say. Antipathy creates a gap between two people and is often born of fear of the other person and all the negative emotions they can inspire in us: disgust, anger, impatience, exasperation, etc.

>>> You may be interested in this article: The power of positive communication in relationships

And why do people say I’m unpleasant?

Well, yes, sometimes I’m clearly and ostensibly unpleasant. It’s horrible, but a hairdresser who forgets about me for 20 minutes by the sink with wet hair, making a joke about blondes, yes, it gives me a certain aversion. The problem is that my antipathy is often pointed out in situations where I’m trying to be on my best behavior. So what’s going on?

Introversion, resting bitch face, bad mood, etc., all that works against me

So yes, I might not spend my time smiling and yes, I admit it, I’m not always nice. I’m a human being. And often, too often even, I want people to like me, so I’m polite and nice, sometimes even too nice, but that’s also because I’m nervous because I’m shy and introverted, and I’m often uncomfortable around people and also above all because I don’t know how to make conversation. So I keep quiet and observe. And while I observe others, well sometimes, I must admit, I escape into my thoughts, I daydream, and then bam: resting bitch face.

Resting bitch face? Resting bitch face is the face we make without intending to, without even realizing, a sort of resting face, but one which is seen from the outside as a glaring face, judging, criticizing. This face is regularly told to smile🤮

⚠️ Good to know: men can also have a pouty face, but as we don’t ask them to look as happy and smiley, it’s less noticeable.

So one of my problems is that when I don’t pay attention, my face looks like I’m pouting, judging those around me, and thinking I’m above everyone. Basically, I don’t really look very nice. But is it a big deal?

>>> You may like this article: How to become a great conversationalist

I’m not always nice and that’s ok

Yes, sometimes I’m in a bad mood, I dislike someone, I’m sad, I’m shocked by something I hear, or I want to be alone when I’m surrounded by people, and so sometimes, especially when I’m with my close ones I love and trust, I’m unpleasant and sometimes even a little unsympathetic. I don’t laugh at jokes, I don’t smile during an uninteresting conversation, I’m a bit less nice, and it shows, but sometimes you just have to let off steam.

Questioning yourself

Foremost, it’s good to know that not always being nice doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unpleasant. Being yourself, being natural is very good, but to maintain peaceful relations with other people, you sometimes have to make the effort to go up to them, understand that they’re also human, sensitive beings with feelings who seek mutual understanding. And if ever you think you’re too unpleasant or not nice enough, a little self-questioning is necessary:

  • do I like showing interest in others?
  • are people happy to spend time with me?
  • do I like pleasing others?
  • do I like sharing moments with nice and friendly people?
  • do I know how to show empathy?

If you answer yes to these questions most of the time, then don’t worry, you’re not as unpleasant as you think!

Why do we become more unpleasant as we get older?

Have you ever noticed that older people are always a bit more unpleasant than others? Apparently, there’s a reason for it: as we get older, we become less tolerant of other people’s stupidity. Age also teaches us to think a little more about ourselves, we give priority to our own development before that of others, and above all, we know who to rely on. Indeed, social success often comes with time, when the interest in making new friends is smaller because we already have the circle of friends we need. And let’s face it, often with age, priorities change, and experience has taught us to be warier, to know what’s good for us… which allows us to be happy and fulfilled.

Editor’s note: Talk about it!

If you’re frequently criticized for being unpleasant and this hurts you, talk about it openly with your close ones: why do they tell you this? In what context? What for? Communicate, express the emotions it generates in you. 

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy… It’s here and now!


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Article presented by Katie M.

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