5 Secret Signals That Say You’re Unapproachable
Many people assume that they are approachable and appear friendly in public based on their personality and willingness to meet new people. Unfortunately, it can be easy to come off guarded and intimidating due to body language and different habits that you’ve acquired. You may have a great attitude internally, but your external actions can relay the wrong message. To appear more approachable and welcoming, there are a few mistakes to avoid while you’re around new people.
1. Being Glued to Your Cell Phone
When you’re waiting in line for coffee or are attending a friend’s birthday party, it can be easy to feel bored or awkward and head straight to your phone. Texting a friend or sitting on your phone playing a game can make you appear unapproachable and too busy, which will make it difficult for people to approach you. Do your best to make conversation with someone nearby or take in your surroundings as you wait.
2. Wearing a Neutral Expression
If you fail to appear happy in public, it will quickly discourage people from wanting to meet you. Put a smile on even if it feels uncomfortable at first and do your best to show the great personality that you have. According to a study conducted by Darren W. Campbell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, those with mildly positive expressions are much more approachable than those with neutral facial expressions. Make it a point to look positive and easygoing to make it easier for others to introduce themselves.
3. Keeping Your Arms Crossed
Body language is one of the main ways that reveals your mood and how you feel in a public setting. Avoid crossing your arms, which can make it look like you’re guarded and in a bad mood. It’s also important to avoid putting your hands on your hips, which can appear dominating and bossy for body language that may not truly reflect your mood. Cross your legs, but keep your arms in your lap for an easy way to stay comfortable and approachable.
4. Avoiding Eye Contact
When you’re shopping at the grocery store or meeting new people in the workplace, it can be easy to appear disinterested if you avoid eye contact with other people in the room. Acknowledge those who are a few feet away by smiling and showing that you are aware of their presence. You may be hesitant to strike up a conversation, but your demeanor will at least welcome them to meeting you if they choose to do so.
5. Overdressing with Your Attire
If you’re dripping in designer labels and expensive accessories, then it’s likely that people won’t be able to relate to you or will immediately assume that you think too highly of yourself. Avoid overdressing and wearing clothing that is too high-end, which can make it easy for others to feel intimidated by your appearance even if you have a friendly personality.