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Ten simple ways to be more approachable

Updated on April 24, 2014
An approachable fridge magnet
An approachable fridge magnet | Source

By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

Making eye contact

I’m sure that you’ve come across someone who has the “it” factor. This person, ever the social butterfly, has the knack of being a true human magnet.

He has one or two people, or even a crowd, talking to him at once.

We’d do anything for a quarter of his approachability.

The good news is that while we may not be the most approachable people in the world, we can make others comfortable with us.

All of us can be a little more approachable. It takes putting a finger on what it is that gives people a little push back and understanding how we can seem a little more welcoming.

Magnets make friends.
Magnets make friends. | Source

Why we may seem unapproachable

A few reasons, some which you may not be aware of, can cause you to appear as though you’re a tough wall. This may not be the impression you’re trying to convey.

A good first step to becoming more approachable is to look at the reasons why you may seem that way.

1. It’s your look.

Perhaps you give off the energy that tells others to avoid talking to you. You might unintentionally be telling people to stay away lest you bite.

The impression you’re trying to give might be the direct opposite.

2. You have confirmation.

Perhaps others have told you that you don’t look very approachable. You become defensive and even more closed to people.

The truth is, you may not be that bad at all.

3. You don’t make eye contact.

Another reason why you may seem unapproachable is that you don’t make eye contact with others. It’s hard for people to approach you if you don’t look at them.

4. You seem ready for a fight.

You may have a confrontational demeanor that tells people that you’re ready to snap. While you may not start fights, you’re known to assert yourself when it’s necessary.

What people perceive as hints of aggression, at the wrong time, can push people away.

5. You are a nonconformist.

You like doing things the way you want to. You don’t go with the flow of the crowd, so people don’t see

you as easy to talk to. You may not seem as though you have anything in common with them.

6. You’re a loner.

You don’t mind being alone, and people have accepted you that way. It’s become a norm, so people don’t really try to reach out to you.

Be accessible so that your friends canl look for you.
Be accessible so that your friends canl look for you. | Source

Why we need to be more approachable

1. You widen those circles.

You make more friends when you look less stiff and stony. People are more willing to reach out to help you when you’re in need.

They’re more willing to be your companions when you’re alone at parties or events.

2. You open more doors.

You’ll be given more opportunities when you seem more friendly and accessible. People tend to give chances to those who are a little more social and open. It’s hard to do so with people whom they don’t know so well.

3. You look at things a little differently.

Knowing more people means broadening your perspectives. Everyone else will have a new way of looking at life. They help you grow and shape your own unique outlook.

4. You have better peace of mind.

You have greater peace of mind when you know that everyone is happy with you.

That alone gives the impetus to reach out to others.

Being more approachable

Magnets radiate positive energy.
Magnets radiate positive energy. | Source

What would make you more approachable

See results

Simple ways to be more approachable

1. Flash a smile.

A smile works wonders. It takes over 135 muscles to frown and only 27 to smile. I’d use my muscles in a way that requires less strain.

2. Let others reach you.

We’d need to be more accessible if we want others to reach us. If we are incommunicado, it’s difficult for others for others to know how to locate us.

If you haven’t already, get yourself on social media. You’ll find yourself widening your social circle quickly.

3. Don’t shield yourself.

Have you noticed people who love hiding behind plants or bookshelves at social functions? Small wonder that others find it difficult to talk to them.

In social situations, be a little more aware of your surroundings. If you’re being blocked, unblock yourself so that you’re a bit more obvious.

4. Keep your head up.

I used to have the habit of looking down whenever people came my way. It’s not a very inspiring habit and closes others off to us.

Keep your head up, because you deserve to, and it draws people to you.

5. Look them in the eyes.

As a teacher, I advised my students to look examiners in the eyes before taking any oral examination.

Those who did were a little more confident while speaking and really engaged the examiners they were talking to.

7. Move towards them.

This doesn’t mean moving so close as to be scary. But do establish body language that shows your interest in the other person.

It always encourages them to speak with you at length.

8. Ditch those nervous tics.

Emma Watson or Hermione recently shared that she loves to play with her hands a lot.

Star that she is, the young lady’s habit might put off new directors approaching her to star in movies.

Nervous tics do discourage people from speaking with us, because they are distracting and show some lack of confidence.

9. Be a mirror.

You’ve been warned. Use this technique with discretion.

Mirror the body language of the person you’re speaking to. It helps you maintain an appropriate tone when speaking to him or her. It also helps the two of you to connect.

Be careful not to overdo this lest you look awkward.

10. Give a little back channel support.

A few “uh huhs” helps to show the person that you’re listening. Known as backchannel support, it assists communication.

Again, be wary of overdoing its use. Too many “uh huhs” makes the conversation awkward and sends a totally different message from the one you want to convey.

Conclusion

Above all, being more approachable means being positive and leaving an aura that’s pleasant. No one’s drawn to gloom!


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    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Robie!

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Great least of things, useful in all kinds of interactions. :)

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Eddy!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Travmaj!!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Jhamann!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Janet!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Denise!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks so much! :) no Internet yet!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rebecca!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Nithya!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Interesting hub Michelle. I was walking Nell (adopted greyhound) around a lake today and boy, were we approached. Seemed like everyone wanted to stop and chat - although they were approaching Nell not me!!! I spend quite some time alone so I hadn't given much thought how people approach me. I'll be aware now. Thanks and voting.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      I haven't been on here all week due to not enough hours in the day as always ha !!However so nice to be back today reading another of your interesting hubs Michelle. Voting and sharing.

      Eddy.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Sometimes, I think I come off as being a loner because I don't always seek out others to be with. Maybe it is just an excuse, though, because I feel uncomfortable with myself.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you for this information, I have problems in this arena and have your words have helped me greatly. Jamie

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      cute mid

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      You have found very great points for being more approchable. Very interesting and informative hub.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub and you have pointed out great ways to be more approachable.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true statements here. I seed more and more young people who are unapproachable, and for many of the reasons you state. Good job!

    • chennaishopping profile image

      Gynye Online Shopping Chennai 3 years ago from Chennai

      Thanks for your valuble posting it was very informative i am working in Online Shopping chennai

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime

      All of your tips are great! Where were these gems 40 years ago when I was suffering from a severe case of anti-socialism? I must share.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good advice! As more people begin spending time on social media rather than in person, they may come to need these tips.