Have you ever been in a situation where you are finally ready to open yourself up to meeting new people, getting to know them and perhaps becoming friends (sometimes more than friends), but somehow you are being avoided like the plague?
You sit there with your Martini in your hand, looking all cool and collected – who would not want to be friends with you? If this is the case, you might be suffering from what the world likes to diagnose as the chronic Resting Bi… I mean, Witch Face Syndrome and I would like to formally welcome you to the club. In this club meeting, we will brainstorm ways to appear more approachable and forthcoming, but also accept and celebrate each other.
Although the world has diagnosed us, they have failed to see what strong people we really are; we have great personalities and we are more than willing to go the distance for someone we love. So, I believe the time for marginalization should come to an end.
However, before we can move out of the shadows and into the light in order to welcome an abundance of new people into our lives, we need to come to the realization that something in the way we appear and present ourselves might be at fault and that we might be sending out signals that tell the world (which should be our oyster) that we are unapproachable and aloof.
So without further ado, here are five warning signs that you might be more unapproachable than you thought:
1. Alpha female in the house
You walk in, head up, shoulders straight and your butt swaying just a little. A remix version of Demi Lovato’s Confident and Beyoncé’s Who Run the World is blazing in your head. You are feeling confidence and openness radiate from you – tonight you will be open to new things and meet great people. Yeah, maybe not.
It is great that you are confident and that you feel friendly and open to meeting new people, but what the world might have just witnessed is an aloof and arrogant woman walking into the building pretending everything and everyone belong to her. This woman definitely seems unapproachable and is definitely placed in the ‘avoidable’ box.
It was never your intention, but it is what is perceived by the people around you. Tone it down a bit. Never lose your confidence and swag, but be sure to seem like you have both feet planted on the floor. No one likes a snob, even if that is not really who you are. Remember these people does not yet know how great you are.
2. The busy bee
You either have your face stuck in your laptop or mobile device or stuck in a good book at Barnes & Noble – so why would they approach you? You look busy and they probably do not want to disturb you.
Many times this is the scheme we use to avoid making eye contact with a specific person and having him or her come over. However, if you do want to be approached, perhaps it is time to put that device or book away, make eye contact and give a Colgate smile.
Life is too short to spend it glued to a fictional world, including the image portrayed on your social media. Put yourself out there and meet new people, you might be surprised at what you get to experience and with whom you get to experience it with.
3. Traveling in a pack
There is nothing wrong with going out with a group of friends – they are your people and anyone who wants to be a part of your life has to know that your tribe is a part of the package deal. However, if someone is interested in you and you are among eight other people, they are less likely to approach you than if you were with one or two other people.
Now, this should not make you want to ditch your friends just to get attention from another person – but, if you are up to it, why not make the effort. Perhaps break away to get a drink and make eye contact. Surely, all of you do not have to go and buy drinks together. Remember that approaching someone is a challenge on its own – let us not make it harder on the poor lad or lady.
4. Sharing is caring
People want to get to know you better – and yes, although this concept makes some of your faces (including mine) cringe and contort in such a way that they can cast you as the next masked killer in Scream – it might just be worth the risk of being seen as vulnerable.
Share information about yourself, what you like and dislike. If you find yourself nervous in these types of situations and do not know what to say, come up with stories that you can use about yourself and share them.
However, oversharing is overbearing. Do not go into subjects that are too deep and too personal for someone you just met. It will most likely chase them away. This should only be done when you know them a lot better.
You have to remind yourself that not everyone out there is going to hurt and betray you – and if they do, learn and grow from it. It only makes you a better and stronger person who can take on life with a new set of glasses. Embrace it.
5. Body language is key
The first point I wrote about deals with this but is also involved with the vibe you sent out. This point will look more closely at the little things we do that might send guys and girls walking right past our “welcoming” attitudes.
According to Forbes, a body language is 75% of any person’s first impression of you and one of the vital physical and social messages that people incorporate that might put them at risk of appearing disinterested, unwelcoming or in the case of women, simply Bi…Witchy.
For instance, crossing your arms make you seem closed off, whereas having your arms on your hips make you seem bossy. If you have one drink in your hand and the other one crossed over, you might seem bored, instead of cool; you might even seem defensive as if you are putting a wall between you and the rest of the world.
Try to keep your hands by your side and instead of crossing your arms, perhaps cross your legs, specifically towards the person you are interested in. Most importantly, remember to smile. Do not go overboard and scare them away, but keep it confident and friendly.
Working on some of these aspects that make you appear unapproachable will allow you to grow as a person and is sure to open new possibilities and adventures with people that exceeded your imagination and expectations, just be willing to embrace change, even if it is within yourself.