If you want to get ahead in business and life you know that it means continually working on yourself to get better. Part of that is acknowledging that no one is perfect, and there are certainly things you do that annoy people in your circles. Here are a few ideas on practices to avoid if you want others to see you in a positive light.

1. Stirring up drama at work (or anywhere).

According to Nancy D. O'Reilly, author of In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other in Work and Life, some people are addicted to drama and chaos. Don't let this be you. Instead, strive to find the opposite path. "You can avoid escalating the drama if you don't join the crowd or retaliate," O'Reilly writes. "Staying on the high road saves you energy and makes you a better role model for your workgroup."

2. Not taking responsibility when you screw up.

Everyone--including you--makes mistakes. What's more important is how you handle a failure. Making excuses and pointing fingers is ugly and makes you look even worse than you already do. Even if the screw-up wasn't 100-percent your fault, admit your part to whoever needs to hear it. In doing so, you'll demonstrate courage and honesty, which can only help your situation.

3. Losing touch with good friends when someone moves away.

Making a video call on your mobile phone is simple, so why aren't you using FaceTime, Whatsapp, or other ubiquitous tools to see the face of your best friend who no longer lives close enough to hang out in person? In a fantastic and self-deprecating piece titled "How to win friends--and keep them," published in The Guardian, writer Emma Beddington points out that:

[T]o move from acquaintance to casual friend takes approximately 50 hours of socialising and it takes 200 hours to cement a "close" friendship. If an average social event takes two hours, that's 25 interactions to make a casual mate: far more if your preferred mode of interaction is a quick coffee. How, in adulthood, with families, work, and partners, can we ever reach that threshold?

It's sheer wastefulness to let a good friendship die because of lack of proximity.

4. Being stingy with your time.

Your buddy, family member or co-worker has driven you the airport, helped you drywall your garage, or carried sofas, beds, and boxes when you moved across town. This same individual now needs a favor and you're feeling uninclined to help because your time is valuable. Know this: Helping others leads to success because it strengthens your relationships. And the quality of your relationships is a measure of the quality of your life.