You may have come to the conclusion that you are not approachable after noticing that people either hesitate interacting with you or act like you’re invisible. When you go out with a friend or group and a stranger comes by, they will speak with anyone aside from you. The main reason people don’t bother making small talk with you is probably because you appear to be too intimidating or aloof. People might assume that you’ll ignore them or respond coldly if they tried initiating a dialogue. If you want to improve your social status and expand your network, let me give you a handful of tips to be more approachable.
The first step towards becoming an approachable person is to believe that you are one. Visualize what an amicable person looks like and embody that vision. Since this is easier said than done, I present fifteen awesome tips to help you get there:
1. Make Eye contact
If you avoid looking people in the eye or lower/avert your gaze when someone glances your way, you are indirectly telling them to walk away. If you do this while talking to a person, they are going to assume that you don’t care about what they have to say. It is critical to maintain eye contact while conversing with another person, as it signifies that you are in fact listening to them. Looking people in the eye during interaction also makes you look confident, which is an attractive quality.
2. Smile more often
People who frown all the time or wear a grim expression seem unfriendly, and sometimes dangerous. Smiles on the other hand are infectious and make a person look at least ten times more appealing. Therefore, next time you attend a social event, turn your frown upside down. Most introverts have a hard time socializing with new people, but smiling and nodding doesn’t require too much effort. Smiles are inviting, which is why people are automatically drawn to cheerful individuals.
3. Stop Slouching
Slouching is unattractive! Period. Slumping in your seat, hunching your back while walking, and scrunching up shoulders to the ears are all examples of gestures that display a lack of confidence. People who slouch all the time suffer from anxiety, stress, insecurities, or all of the above. Training oneself to keep an upright body posture at all times requires sheer will. Slouching does not only make you look insignificant, but also affects your back bone. Long-term slouching can cause spinal deformities, which may become irreversible. Relax your shoulders, hold your head high, and keep your back straight to appear self-assured.
4. Pay Attention
Another reason people may not be keen on approaching you is that you’re forgetful and possess a short attention span. If you want people to like you and include you in discussions, you need to exhibit that you are interested in their affairs. Listening to their banter and remembering details is crucial to developing an association. Observe what a particular person likes to eat, what brand clothes they fancy, how they like their coffee, what hobbies they enjoy, and other habits they frequent in your presence. Paying attention to little things shall allow you to understand a person, which makes it easier to strike a conversation.
5. Be Liberal
People with far too many opinions and complex standards are rarely agreeable. If you’re extremely picky about making friends and acquaintances, expanding your social circle is going to be a tough challenge. You need to be more accepting and broad-minded if the ultimate objective is to be approachable. Discriminating, showing favoritism, and singling out others chases people away. Don’t judge a person before knowing them and treat everyone with respect, regardless of their origin, culture, and social status.
6. Volunteer to try new things
You cannot be more approachable if you never leave your comfort zone. Stop being a loner and participate in various activities going on around you. If nobody asks you to join, reach out and surprise them. When you eagerly take part in recreation and adventure pursuits, you enhance your visibility among the crowd. People will remember you as someone who is fun to have around at parties, so the chances of making it to their next invitation list are good.
7. Contribute to Conversations
If you’re hanging around with a group of people, quit being the quiet one in the corner. Don’t wait for someone to beg you to say what’s on your mind because that’s not going to happen. If you can think of feasible opinions, feedback, or relative stories to share, you should make a habit of voicing those thoughts as well. Express yourself to reveal who you are and establish a connection with kindred souls.
8. Break your Nervous Habits
Biting nails, playing with a pen/keys, touching the face or hair again and again, and tapping a foot are a few things people do when they are nervous. These habits are usually annoying and give the impression that you are on edge. When you look like a cat on a hot tin roof, spectators will reckon that reaching out would further upset you. Most people don’t want to deal with drama that doesn’t concern them, so they prefer communicating with individuals who appear calm and collected.
9. Ask for Advice
There will be times when you feel reluctant about taking a step, and wish that there were people you could refer to for second and third opinions. Talking to each other helps us acknowledge different perspectives and make better decisions. If you find yourself in a similar situation, go ahead and request guidance. People love giving free advice, so ask away and let them feel important. Sooner or later, they will return to counsel you and that’s how you get them in your corner.
10. Compliment people
Human beings crave appreciation and approval, no matter how smart and independent they are. If you want your colleagues to be friendly towards you, start saying nice things about them. Make it your agenda to pass a compliment to three people every day. Giving a compliment is not as complicated as it may sound; the key is to keep it short and casual. For instance, you can tell a coworker that you like the color of their dress or that a new hairstyle suits them perfectly. Believe it or not, when you compliment someone, they warm up to you instantly.
11. Try to Blend in
Sometimes, a person is considered unapproachable because they are too closed off or different. This often happens to people who go to for study or work in a foreign country. Your values, culture, and mannerisms are strange for the people around you, so they don’t interrelate. Since you are the ‘odd one out’, it’s up to you to initiate communication and become part of the community. In order to blend in, you have to observe the lifestyle and behaviors of people in your surroundings, and adapt.
12. Keep Sarcasm and Criticism to the minimum
When we say that a person is easy to talk to or approach, it implies that they have a kind and positive attitude. Anyone who responds to everything with sarcasm or criticism does not fit the bill. Perhaps you think you’re being funny or honest, but others may beg to differ. Many people don’t get irony and satire, so your attempts at projecting humor may elude them. Nobody likes negative remarks even if they’re true, so you can either give away empty praises or say nothing at all. If you absolutely have to be honest, be subtle about it; the tone and wording used changes everything.
13. Make room for company
Are you familiar with those kind of people who place their bag or stuff on the seat next to them in a train/bus? If you want to be more approachable, don’t be like them. Accommodating people and inviting them to share a space is critical to demonstrate that you don’t want to be left alone. Offer help, share your things, ask questions, and be responsive – eventually, others will return the favor.
Elijah Cole is the founder of The Witty Minds blog and a professional content creator. His expertise lies in creative writing and lifestyle blogging. At Witty Minds, he is the lead writer, editor, and publisher of all original content.