5 Innocent Things That Science Says Make People Hate You

#2. Your Voice Is Too Masculine (for Men) or Feminine (for Women)

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According to pop culture, the perfect guy has a deep, soothing rumble of a voice that spills out of his mouth like a landslide, and the perfect girl communicates exclusively via coquettish, youthful squeaks. That's the ideal we all subscribe to, wearing our pricey voice augmenters and taking all those voice-enhancement supplements the spam keeps selling us -- all in the name of trying to conform to the part we think we should play. But researchers have found that, despite what society tells us, people actually don't like the stereotypical masculine and feminine voices. At least not when it comes to relationships. In a study by McMaster University, researchers recorded feminine and masculine voices, then altered them to make versions that were higher (for the women) and lower (for the men). They had these voices make short, neutral sounds, like "aah," "ooh," and "touch it."

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Why is this image after that sentence so disturbing?

Then they brought in participants of both sexes and had them listen to the voices and rate them on their respective attractiveness. Scientists found that men rated the more feminine, high-pitched voices as the least datable, while women did the same for the more masculine, low-pitched voices. It gets weirder: Without knowing anything else about the person, both sexes believed that the owners of the voices at either end of the spectrum were not only less datable, but also the most likely to cheat on their partner. Seems awful specific just for the pitch of a voice, doesn't it?

There's a reason for it: Men with the lowest voices are also men with the highest testosterone, which bestows a tendency to run around and cheat; and for women, those with the highest pitches had the most estrogen, which made them more "adventurous" as well. Researchers believe that the dislike of both deep and high voices evolved to stop us from getting together with less loyal mates.

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Sorry, opera fellows.

Hey, there's a reason why James Earl Jones and Barry White had multiple marriages.

#1. You're Too Nice

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Jesus. Don't talk too deep, don't stand close to anybody, don't squint your eyes, don't cover your genitals -- what can you do? Are people really influenced by all this trivial crap? Whatever happened to just being a nice person and letting people like you for that?

That's still an option! The worst option.

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"Let me help you up out of there, you dumb whore."

To study the nature of "niceness" and likeability, researchers had participants play a computer game with five other players, who, unbeknownst to them, were actually computers with pre-programmed personalities. Three of the four were average players -- not too nice, not too mean -- and they played the game fairly. The fourth player, however, would vary between either excessively selfish or exaggerated selflessness -- either flipping the proverbial board after every game, or throwing themselves on the carpet so the player didn't get their shoes dirty when they went to use the bathroom.

Afterward, scientists asked the participants how much they'd like to play with those "people" again. The experiment was actually meant to study how we punish cheaters -- the good guy was only put in there as a control -- but researchers found that people were actually just as unwilling to play with the nice guy as with the jerk, because they believed that the player had ulterior motives, or that their crazy, unrealistic goodness made the participant look bad by comparison.

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"Whoa, you think you're better than me now?"

That's not to say that being a good person is a bad move or anything: You just can't be so good that other people feel bad about themselves for being around you. People only dislike the nice guy if they think he's "raising the bar" for everybody else via his impeccable, shining visage. It's better to be perceived as an average person, with your own set of relatable human faults. But if you're still dead set on being so blasted "generous" and "giving," at least remember to mix it up: For every four good deeds, reach up and just smack somebody in the mouth.

That's the secret to popularity.



If you don't completely dislike XJ (which you shouldn't), you should read his posts about writing on his blog and follow him on Twitter.

For more reasons you're probably screwed, check out 5 Reasons Being Single Sucks Even More Than You Thought and 5 Random Factors That Determine Whether You Succeed in Life.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 5 Least Anticipated TV Shows of January 2013

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