No matter how talented you are or what you\u2019ve accomplished, there are certain behaviors that instantly change the way people see you and forever cast you in a negative light.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ve all heard of (or seen firsthand) people doing some pretty crazy things at work. Truth is, you don\u2019t have to throw a chair through a window or quit in the middle of a presentation to cause irreparable damage to your career. There are so many things that can kill the careers of good, hard-working people. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences.\r\n"You can't make the same mistake twice, the second time, it's not a mistake, it's a choice." - Anonymous\r\nThere doesn\u2019t have to be a single, sickening moment when you realize that you just shoved your foot firmly in your mouth, either. Little things can add up over time and undermine your career just as much as (or more than) one huge lapse in judgment.\r\n\r\nSelf-awareness is a critical skill in the workplace. It's the foundation of emotional intelligence, a skill set that\u00a0TalentSmart\u00a0research shows is responsible for 58% of your job performance. If you remain self-aware, these mistakes are all things that you can control before they creep up on you and damage your career.\r\nOver-Promising And Under-Delivering\r\nIt\u2019s tempting to promise the moon to your colleagues and your clients, especially when you\u2019re honest and hardworking and believe that you can do it. The problem is that there\u2019s no point in creating additional pressure that can make you look bad. If you promise to do something ridiculously fast and you miss the deadline by a little bit, you\u2019ll likely think that you did a good job because you still delivered quickly. But the moment you promise something to someone, they expect nothing less.\r\n\r\nYou end up looking terrible when you fall short, which is a shame because you could have done the same quality work in the same amount of time with great results if you\u2019d just set up realistic expectations from the beginning. This is one of those situations where perception matters more than reality. Don\u2019t deliberately undershoot your goals; just be realistic about the results you can deliver so that you\u2019re certain to create expectations that you will blow out of the water.\r\nHaving An Emotional Hijacking\r\nMy company provides\u00a0360\u00b0 feedback\u00a0and executive coaching, and we come across far too many instances of people throwing things, screaming, making people cry, and other telltale signs of an emotional hijacking. An emotional hijacking demonstrates low emotional intelligence, and it\u2019s an easy way to get fired. As soon as you show that level of instability, people will question whether or not you\u2019re trustworthy and capable of keeping it together when it counts.\r\n\r\nExploding at anyone, regardless of how much they might \u201cdeserve it,\u201d turns a huge amount of negative attention your way. You\u2019ll be labeled as unstable, unapproachable, and intimidating. Controlling your emotions keeps you in the driver\u2019s seat. When you are able to control your emotions around someone who wrongs you, they end up looking bad instead of you.\r\nSucking Up To Your Boss\r\nSome people suck up to their boss and call it managing up, but that isn\u2019t the case at all. Sucking up has nothing to do with a real relationship built on respect; it is sneaky and underhanded. Suck-ups try to get ahead by stroking the boss\u2019s ego instead of earning his or her favor. That doesn\u2019t go over well with colleagues who are trying to make it on merit. Yes, you want to bolster your relationship with your boss, but not by undermining your colleagues. That\u2019s the key distinction here. For a boss-employee relationship to work, it has to be based on authenticity. There\u2019s no substitute for merit.\r\nEating Smelly Food\r\nUnless you happen to work on a ship, your colleagues are going to mind if you make the entire place smell like day-old fish. The general rule of thumb when it comes to food at work is, anything with an odor that might waft beyond the kitchen door should be left at home. It might seem like a minor thing, but the smelly food is inconsiderate and distracting\u2014and so easily avoidable. When something that creates discomfort for other people is so easily avoided, it tends to build resentment quickly. Your pungent lunch tells everyone that you just don\u2019t care about them, even when you do.\r\nBackstabbing\u00a0\r\nThe name says it all. Stabbing your colleagues in the back, intentionally or otherwise, is a huge source of strife in the workplace. One of the most frequent forms of backstabbing is going over someone\u2019s head to solve a problem. People typically do this in an attempt to avoid conflict, but they end up creating even more conflict as soon as the victim feels the blade. Anytime you make someone look bad in the eyes of their colleagues, it feels like a stab in the back, regardless of your intentions.\r\nNegativity\r\nSometimes when you\u2019re feeling negative and down, your mood can leak out and affect other people, even if you don\u2019t intend it to. You were hired to make your boss\u2019s and your team\u2019s jobs easier, not harder. People who spread negativity through their department and complain about the work or other people complicate things for everyone else.\r\nIf people always have to tiptoe around you so as not to dislodge that massive chip on your shoulder, they are unlikely to be willing to do it for very long.\r\nGossiping\r\nPeople make themselves look terrible when they get carried away with gossiping about other people. Wallowing in talk of other people\u2019s misdeeds or misfortunes may end up hurting their feelings if the gossip finds its way to them, but gossiping will make you look negative and spiteful every time, guaranteed.\r\nBragging\r\nWhen someone hits a home run and starts gloating as they run the bases, it\u2019s safe to assume that they haven\u2019t hit very many home runs. On the other hand, if they hit a home run and simply run the bases, it conveys a business-as-usual mentality, which is far more intimidating to the other team. Accomplishing great things without bragging about them demonstrates the same strong mentality\u2014it shows people that succeeding isn\u2019t unusual to you.\r\nAnnouncing That You Hate Your Job\r\nThe last thing anyone wants to hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job. Doing so labels you as a negative person and brings down the morale of the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down morale, and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements waiting just around the corner.\r\nBringing It All Together\r\nThese behaviors may sound extreme and highly inconsiderate, but they have a tendency to sneak up on you. A gentle reminder is a great way to avoid them completely.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAbout The Author\r\n\r\nDr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book,Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of\u00a0TalentSmart, the world\u2019s leading provider of\u00a0emotional intelligence tests\u00a0and\u00a0training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.