The above photo was the look on my face and the face of the friend at a networking event recently when one or two attendees were being, for lack of a better word, obnoxious. I didn’t have to tell my friend what I was thinking, and she didn’t even need to open her mouth to tell me what was going through her mind. We knew immediately from that look that we were both thinking the same thing – some version of (and this is the nicest way I can say this), “You’re obnoxious and inauthentic.”
You see, it’s one thing to be obnoxious. Every falling down drunk 20-something knows what it’s like to be seen as obnoxious. And it’s another thing to be inauthentic. Fake is easy to spot, right? But the most annoying combination is when you put the two together and might be obnoxious and inauthentic combined.
Here it is, Career Girls: 7 Reasons You Might Be Obnoxious and Inauthentic:
- You constantly call me “sweetie” and it’s crystal clear you don’t know my name. For more explanation, refer to this post from earlier this week.
- You’re an adult member of a clique. No joke, I’ve heard a group of grown professional women refer to themselves as “the bad blondes.” Quit. This is not high school, and you should not be a part of a clique.
- You lead with a hard sell. There are great marketers in the world, and great sales people in the world and not a single one of them would start their marketing or sales pitch by saying, “Are you ready to buy?” Nothing is more obnoxious than a Mary Kay sales person who approaches you with “Do you want to place an order today?” No, I don’t want to place an order today. I don’t know you yet. Hold up.
- You’re dressed inappropriately. If you show up at a professional development event with a dress cut up to you know where or showing crazy cleavage, I will find you obnoxious, and so will most of the other appropriately dressed women in the room.
- You’re the loudest person in the room all night long. Now, here’s the thing. I’m being very specific about this, because anyone who knows me in real life will tell you I’m generally the loudest person in the room. So read the last three words – all night long. It’s one thing to be the life of the party, and it’s another to be unnecessarily drawing attention yourself. That becomes distracting and, yup, you guessed it, obnoxious.
- You’re immediately argumentative. I was in a conversation with two women at a networking event months ago. When woman number one (a nonprofit employee) met woman number two (an employee at a large bank), woman number one immediately began going on and on about how much she hated woman number two’s employer. From their checking account policies to their customer service, she was mad and ready to be a complaining customer. What a terrible first impression, right? But far too many women do this to one another. We argue when we don’t have any reason to, just to prove a point or seem smarter.
- You talk to the person next to me, and never speak to me. This has happened to everyone. You’re talking with a friend and someone they know comes up and engages in conversation with them but never bothers to say, “Hi, I’m Jane. We haven’t met.” It puts you in a strange and awkward position and makes them look cold an mean.
So there you have it. Don’t be obnoxious, ladies. Or inauthentic. But above all, don’t be both at the same time!