There is a very old joke about a guy who goes to the doctor. He says, “It hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies, “Then don’t do that.”
Sometimes change doesn’t have to involve a total personality readjustment. It can be simpler than that. Look at what is getting you into trouble, and then don’t do that.
- If you know that popping your gum annoys your colleagues, don’t chew gum at work.
- If correcting you friends’ grammar upsets them, then don’t say anything when they confuse ‘who’ for ‘whom.’
- If you eat an entire pizza when you order in, don’t order in.
- If colleagues visibly tense up when you make comments on their work, then don’t make comments unless asked.
Notice that, with the possible exception of the pizza, none of these things is a fault. You are not a bad person because you chew gum. And you may really have others’ best interests at heart when you correct their grammar or comment on something you see as a problem.
But, face it, if people are getting mad at you, then your message probably isn’t getting across anyway.
I’m not saying change who you are but to simply see if a certain behavior is preventing you from being effective with others. If so, then don’t do that.