You know for sure you’re a nice person, but for some reason it seems people never approach you. It might leave you wondering what you could possibly be doing wrong to drive people away. Perhaps it’s that some of the signs you’re not approachable resonate very closely to you. Much of how you present yourself verbally and nonverbally when you’re around others plays into how approachable you are or are not. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the signs that unapproachable person in the room is you, and how you can fix the problem.
It seems like no matter the event — whether it’s something related to work, a family gathering, or an outing to meet a potential significant other — you’re always somehow remaining as the one person who has no one to talk to. Then, you don’t know what to do, so you turn to your phone and scroll through that silently while everyone around you goes on having a swell ‘ol time. It's more than OK if you're not one who cares about actively meeting people, or if you don't mind being unapproachable. If these things aren't on your list of worries, you should never feel obligated to change yourself.
However, for those trying to amp up their approachability, you don't have to be sentenced to the corner at gatherings. All you need to do is alter some of the little behaviors that are giving off a major “don’t talk to me” vibe. You might not even realizing you’re doing these things, but they could be the difference in whether or not others feel comfortable approaching you. Here are 11 signs you’re not approachable, and how to change it.
1. You’ve Got A Black Cloud Over Your Head
Think about it this way — when you see someone who always seems to have a black cloud over his or her head, is that someone you want to approach? Likely, the answer is no. The flip side is true as well: If you’re in public with a gloomy demeanor, chances are you’re going to be chasing people away from you rather than attracting them to you. According to Marc Chernoff, a professional coach and blogger at www.MarcAndAngel.com, the key is to leave those problems you’re carrying around with you elsewhere, and try to maintain a positive attitude if you’re looking to draw people to you and increase your likability. This is make people want to come up and talk to you.
2. You Rarely Sport A Smile
On that black cloud note, think about how your smile (or lack thereof) might be negatively affecting your approachability. According to LiveScience.com, if definitely could play a part. In fact, the outlet cited findings that a smile is the key to being approachable. So, if you’re one to leave your smile at home… think again. Show those pearly whites proudly.
3. You’re Always On Your Phone
If you’re showing those around you that your phone is far more important than anything they could possibly have to say, why would they want to spend time talking to you? According to PositiveMed.com, cell phones can very easily make us appear to be unapproachable, as it shows other people, too, that we’re too busy to interact with them. Unless something comes up that actually is incredibly important, power that phone off for a little while.
4. You’re Never One To Share Anything
In that verbal sense that is. As the Huffington Post put it — people want to get to know you, so let them. If they can tell that you’re going to be standoffish in the sharing of information, it might not be worth it to them to try to pry that information out of you. If you find that you just never know what to say, the outlet suggested coming to the table with a couple of stories about yourself in tow, so that if you’re at a loss for words, you at least have those ready to share.
5. You Often Have Your Arms Crossed
Body language speaks a lot louder than you might imagine. A huge signal that you’re closed off is if you’re crossing your arms across your chest, according to YourTango.com. Next time you’re wondering why you’re not getting approached, check those arms. Are they crossed? If so, put them down, stand up tall, and remember to keep your frame open.
6. You’re Really Bored All The Time
Chances are if you’re someone who finds most outings to be boring, it might be quite obvious to those in your presence that you feel that way. According to Women’s Health, if you’re acting bored it can certainly make you come across as unapproachable. The outlet suggested if you want to be received openly and warmly, shake that sense of boredom and be happy to be where you in and in the moment.
7. You’re Always Out With A Large Group
The number of people you go out with can play a part in how approachable you are, too, according to Forbes. The outlet noted traveling with a big group of people — five or more — can make it feel intimidating to others to approach you. On the opposite end, though, only going out with one other person can make you unapproachable too the outlet said. Turns out to be most approachable you should aim to travel in packs of three, according to Forbes.
8. You’re Lacking In The Confidence Department
Confidence is important for countless reasons, but for this article’s purposes let’s focus on how it plays into approachability. According to Match.com, if you’re lacking confidence it might be very difficult for you to get approached. Confidence draws people in, so if you’re standing there thinking you’re not attractive enough or smart enough, it could be having the opposite effect. Even if you’re not feeling your best, fake it ‘til you make it! Think of all of the amazing things about you and remain focused on those. Trust me, there are plenty.
9. You Tend To Avoid Eye Contact
Another way your body language is making you less approachable — you’re avoiding eye contact at all costs. According to business strategist Saurabh Saxena who penned an article for LinkedIn on approachability, eye contact is really important in this department. For one, it shows that confidence we just discussed. Secondly, if tells people that you like them, and that you’re open to connection. So, even when it feels like eye contact might be awkward, just go for it. A few solid seconds can help do the trick.
10. You’re As Quiet As A Mouse
If you’re not big on talking, this could be working against you. Keeping your lips sealed is another sign you’re not approachable, according to Verily Magazine. The outlet recommended having some questions ready so that if you’re having a conversation with someone you’ll have something to ask without hesitation. This will not only make you more open, it’ll also make the other person feel comfortable in that you’re interested in what they have to say.
11. Laughing At Yourself? No Way
According to the Huffington Post, laughing at yourself is a great way to show vulnerability and increase your likability. When you’re tight-lipped and aren’t able to find the humor in anything, it’s doing the opposite — making you unapproachable. If you spill something accidentally or get some lipstick on your teeth, it’s more than OK to laugh it off.
If you fear some of the signs of unapproachability align very closely with you, don’t fear. Simply try some of the tips we talked about above and you might find your approachability factor increasing drastically.