What things make people feel uncomfortable?

People with whom we feel uncomfortable from the start

There are people with whom we feel uncomfortable from the start. But the first impression doesn't have to be right. Hence, we should analyze why we feel this way.

Last update: July 07, 2020

There are people with whom we feel uncomfortable from the start. This may be due to the way they look at us or how they act or how they take up space for themselves. Sometimes it's just how these people talk. It is as if an elaborate but primitive alarm system has been set off within us. This alarm is intended to advise us that it is better to stay away from this person.

We all know this feeling. Our brain has to filter an infinite number of stimuli, cues and gestures and therefore quickly makes a judgment. It wants to know if we can trust the person in front of us. However, we should take into account that our brains can also be wrong. As we get to know the person better, we may find that our first impression was wrong.

For this reason, we should understand where this discomfort comes from when we meet other people. Experts like Mark Schaller, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, point out that our brain uses certain cognitive responses and behaviors to “protect” us or to maintain our integrity.

But sometimes our reactions are more instinctual than objective, realistic perception. We therefore recommend that you assess and evaluate the influence of possible prejudices. Ideally, we combine logic and intuition when we get to know someone.

Believing everyone is dangerous, but not believing anyone is more dangerous.

Abraham Lincoln

Should we trust our instincts?

We all rely to some extent on "protective bias". In other words, we judge people almost automatically. This instinct is based on our instinct for self-preservation. To protect ourselves from strangers, we try to be careful with them.

Various studies, such as a study carried out at Arizona State University, indicate that this process is built into our brain as an adaptive response to protect us from danger. However, as we have already read, this can lead to misjudgments and stereotypical prejudices. Therefore, we shouldn't always rely on our instincts.

So when we meet a person with whom we feel uncomfortable from the start, we should think about some of the following.

How does the other person look at you?

Some people judge and despise others at first sight. Studies like the one carried out at Tel Aviv University in 2018 also show that that many women are very uncomfortable with the way some men look at them. In this study, the researchers found that women often experience this primarily in the workplace. Because some men regard women as sex objects or look at them contemptuously.

Your intuition can make you feel uncomfortable

Intuition is not a hunch or a cognitive process. Nor is it any other supernatural or unscientific mechanism. Indeed, this ability enables us to act quickly in the face of daily challenges. It is based on our previous experience and our personality.

Intuition is like a trunk in which we stow everything that we have experienced and felt. We also keep our emotional essence and personality there. So when we have to react spontaneously to something, our intuition guides us.

When we are uncomfortable with a person, there is almost always a reason for it. Intuition may tell us that this person is similar to someone we have met before and with whom we have had negative experiences. Therefore, our inner voice warns us to be careful. It is therefore a good idea to listen to this internal warning signal.

Opposites that make you feel uncomfortable

Sometimes it is only by looking at someone that we know that it is very likely that we are incompatible with that person. An example of this is when an introvert meets an extrovert. Because being in the same room with an extroverted person can become a challenge for a calmer person. This is because the extroverts might invade their space, talk excessively, or make fun of their calm nature.

In conclusion, just as there are people we feel uncomfortable with, there are people we like from the start. Still, it's always a good idea to question our first impressions.

Sometimes it pays to give the other person a little more time, as we can be pleasantly surprised. However, if our discomfort does not go away, we should listen to our intuition and stay away from this person.

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