It can be hard to see ourselves through the eyes of other people, which is why we usually ask our friends to confirm whether or not we overreacted to what our SO said, if we were too quick in responding to that text, or how we should’ve responded to that difficult interview question. Sometimes we’re so unaware of how others see us, we don’t know that we’re giving off subtle vibes that we don’t want to be disturbed – ever.
Whether it be our perma-scowl or our nervous habit of wrapping our arms around our bodies, it can be difficult to determine the reason why we’re not being approached. We’re here to tell you it’s not about whether or not you’re good-looking enough or hot enough – sometimes it’s the opposite! It’s all about these small cues that can turn people off because they think you’re too intimidating. It’s easy not to realize what we’re doing, which is why this article exists! So, learn to mend your anti-social ways and figure out what exactly it is that is making you unapproachable.
15 You Don’t Make Eye Contact
Meeting new people can be difficult, awkward, and downright uncomfortable, but when you avoid eye contact with other people, it can read as you being dismissive or disdainful of their very existence. If you can’t be bothered to even look at them, why would strangers think you would bother talking to them? And, conversely, why should they bother trying to talk to you? Sometimes it can be chalked up to awkwardness or nervous agitation, but when you’re focusing anywhere other than on another person’s face, it can look like you’re anxious for whatever is happening to be over.
An easy solution to this is to give a quick scan of any room you’re in, so it doesn’t look like you’re in a daze and focused on the ceiling or in the distance. However, prolonged eye contact can also make people uncomfortable, giving you an intense, semi-psychotic vibe that is unapproachable in a whole other way.
14 You’re Confrontational
Being assertive is a great personality asset, because it can get your voice heard, the credit you deserve, and what you want out of life. However, it’s very easy for people to confuse assertiveness and aggressiveness. Instead of being a strong, independent woman, they’ll equate your assertiveness with being loud, rude, and pushy – basically the human version of a steamroller.
If you prefer to cut to the chase and lay your cards out on the table, those around you might think you’re itching for a fight so you have the opportunity to slap down your opponents. A lot of social interactions require a delicate balance between saying what you think and knowing when to keep your mouth shut. If you start paying attention to people’s sensitivities when you’re engaging with them, you’ll increase your emotional intelligence so people actually want to talk to you rather than avoid you at all costs.
13 You’re a Nonconformist
Everyone else is all about country music, but you’re really a metalhead at heart. Or, your workplace has your female coworkers donning cute dresses but your style gears more towards biker chic. While you love being yourself and standing out in a crowd, other people can interpret your personality as intimidating and unapproachable.
With your look, you’ve made a clear differentiation between you versus them, which puts you on the outside. Unfortunately in our society, going with the flow is preferred because it doesn’t upset the status quo. By acting and dressing differently, some people might think you see yourself as better than them, or that their opinions of you don’t matter. While it’s totally cool to rock your own vibe, some people might take that as an affront to their own way of doing things, which means they might avoid getting to know you and seeing who you are beneath the clothing you wear.
12 You Smell Bad
Maybe you’ve been a little lax on your shower routine lately or have been trying out a new body lotion or perfume. If you’re layering on the strong scents, it can be a turn-off for people to approach you because you smell so off-putting!
Think back when you were around a person who had bad B.O. or was heavy-handed on the perfume – didn’t you unconsciously back away and avoid them? You may be a culprit of the exact same crime. Since smell is the strongest sense tied to memory, people who’ve been around you before might go out of their way to dodge you when they see you coming, because they remember how you smelled. Not paying attention to how you smell around other people is a sign of your carelessness in terms of your own personal hygiene, and what that happens, people just think of you as gross. No one wants to hang out with someone like that.
11 You Have RBF
Sometimes you just can’t help how your face looks when you’re relaxing, which is what sufferers of Resting B*tch Face (RBF) want you to know! If your face relaxes into a scowl or even a neutral expression, you’re not exactly appearing approachable or welcoming. And RBF is a real thing! Even in a supposedly neutral face, the expression of RBF can be read to comprise up to 6% of the expression, according to scientists. (Read more about that here.)
To be fair, we’re not telling you to always smile like those obnoxious guys on public transportation (you know the ones), but even a close-lipped half-smile will do the trick! A smile seems more open and welcoming, or at least like you don’t hate the rest of the world. If you’re finding that you have a stony, closed-off expression like Kristen Stewart or Aubrey Plaza, don’t be surprised if the friends you currently have admit to being a little intimidated by you when you first met.
10 You’re Always Around People
Think of those times when you’ve been at a bar with your squad and no guy comes up to buy you a drink or strike up a conversation. You were looking super hot and totally giving off the right body language, so what gives? Well, like that bar, it can be really hard to approach one person when they’re in the middle of a large group. They risk being sized up by the whole crowd, which means any potential rejection or humiliation is ten times worse.
When you already have a big group hanging around you, new people are usually unwillingly to break into that circle, which means that your armour of friends will eventually leave you standing all alone. Plus, when you have a group to stand behind you, you can get more judgemental of those who do dare to cross over, and that attitude is hard to win people over.
9 You Enjoy Being Alone
On the flip side, if you seem to enjoy spending your time solo, people might interpret that as a lack of interest in outsiders. If you’re constantly wearing your earphones or burying your head in a book, you’re sending a clear vibe that you don’t want to be disturbed. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing – generally when you’re engaging in those behaviours, it’s because you truly don’t want to be disturbed. However, if you’re constantly finding yourself spending quality time with you, it might be because people assume that’s what you always want. It’s the same idea with skipping out on plans: if you’d always rather spend your evening on the couch with Netflix rather than out partying, those invites might dry up because people assume it’s not worth asking you anymore. Humans are pretty social creatures (shocking, right?), so your desire to spend time alone might read like you’re only interested in enjoying time with you.
8 You’re Always On Your Phone
Like the no eye contact sign, if you’re always busy on your phone, it can seem like you’re interested in any human contact and would rather be wherever the person you’re texting is. Being on your phone all the time can also be interpreted as a sign of rudeness or self-absorption – two qualities that make a lethal concoction for unapproachability. Basically, you’d rather be doing something else, or you’re too busy updating your Instagram or taking a selfie to pay much attention to the world around you.
If you’re in social situations where your head is buried in your phone, in can also appear like you’re too busy to talk to other people – or that you don’t want to talk to them at all. While it’s easy to reach for our phones when we’re feeling awkward or waiting for something, it doesn’t help initiate conversation or strike up new relationships.
7 You Overdress
Sometimes looking too put-together can actually hinder your chances of meeting and getting to know new people, rather than help them. If you’re always dressed to the nines no matter what the situation calls for, you might reek of desperation and over-eagerness. On the other side, looking polished to the point of perfection can come across as phony or insincere because let’s face it: perfection is just plain unlikable.
Since we automatically compare ourselves to others, if you’re looking past the point of perfect, people might assume that you think of yourself as better than everyone else. That perceived superiority is really intimidating and your straight-laced look is definitely unapproachable. Even if you’re actually super friendly, draping yourself in expensive designer labels and the hottest trends can read like you have a superiority complex and no one wants to hang out with the girl who thinks she’s better than all the rest.
6 You’re Too Flirty
Contrary to the advice you’ve been given a lot of them time, being too flirty with everyone around you can read as desperate and phony rather than cute and friendly. If you feel the need to touch the arms of all your coworkers or rest your head on the shoulder of anyone at the bar, how is anyone supposed to determine your true intentions or who you really are?
Instead of giving off that cool, easy confidence that makes people flock to your side, flirting with everything that moves is a painfully obvious ploy to be liked, and that your feelings towards people aren’t genuine – they’re just a way to get what you want. Most people can pick out a phony after a few minutes, and when you’re falling all over yourself with your fake laughter, it’s not only unattractive, but a reason not to approach you – and it’s not because they think you’re intimidating.
5 You Cross Your Arms
You’ve probably heard this one before, and while it’s an oldie, it’s still definitely a goodie! Crossing your arms is clear body language that you want people to stay far, far away. Scientifically, it’s an unconscious protective gesture we use to shield ourselves from others, as we’re literally covering up our vulnerable mid-section (where all our important organs are stored).
Literally closing yourself off by wrapping your arms around yourself is a signal to people that you don’t want to engage with them, and that you’re not particularly happy or comfortable in your current situation. If you’re finding yourself taking on this stance more than you’d like, try and keep your arms by your sides if you’re standing, or in your lap if you’re sitting. It visually opens up your body and makes you look more approachable to those around you. If you still feel the need to protect yourself, try crossing your legs instead.
4 You Fidget
A person who is approachable is generally one who gives off a calm, easygoing, and confident vibe. It’s clear that they’re at home in their own skin, and feel at ease with where they are. That body language and attitude is incredibly attractive, and encourages others to gravitate towards them.
If you’re the total opposite of this, it might be tanking your chances of meeting new people. If you find yourself messing around with your hair, biting your nails, or tugging at your clothes, you’re giving off an anxious, nervous energy that other people just don’t like to be around. Plus, all that nerviness can seem like you’re not exactly open to chatting. It can be hard to calm yourself, especially if you’re in a situation outside your comfort zone or if you’re just not good at small talk, but taking note of these nervous tics can be helpful in the long run. Try to redirect your energy elsewhere so that you seem to welcome conversation, rather than be freaked out by it.
3 You Gossip
Everyone is guilty of dishing more than they should about a sensitive subject, especially when we’re gossiping with our best friends. It helps us bond and strengthen relationships to trade stories about people we know. But if you’re becoming known for flapping your lips in every direction, it’s only a matter of time before people stop talking to you altogether, for fear that their secrets will spill out of your mouth.
Saying obnoxious things about others and spreading rumours isn’t only unattractive – it’s juvenile. A good rule of thumb most people has is that if you’re talking to them about someone else, you’re probably talking to someone else about them. Gossiping is another phony feature that immediately turns people off, because it makes you look catty and shallow. Instead of trying to find out and celebrate the worst in people, try and focus on their good qualities. And just learn to keep your mouth shut.
2 You Shut People Down
Talking to you takes guts, because you’re not shy about shutting down a conversation if you’re not feeling it. Instead of engaging in a short and pleasant chat to be polite, you’re cool with brushing people off so that you can be ready for something better when it comes along.
If other people are witnessing you pull the plug on a conversation, they’ll be less inclined to head up to you afterwards for fear of getting the same result. It takes a lot of courage to approach a total stranger, and if they’ve seen you shut someone down right away, they’ll save themselves the trouble. While this personal quirk may help you avoid your fair share of creeps, it also might limit your chances of meeting someone awesome. Not giving a fair chance – even a brief one – reads as superior and snobby, two qualities that make people unapproachable and all alone.
1 You’re Too Hot
This might surprise you, but when you look too attractive, you might shut more people out than you’d think. Perfecting your contour and taking the hottest selfies might make you Insta-famous, but it might leave you friendless. Taking pride in your appearance might read as another sign of your inflated ego, which means you definitely don’t come across as approachable.
It can be intimidating to walk up and talk to you if you’re looking like some otherworldly goddess, because it implies you’re quite literally flawless! As humans, we find it comforting to know the other people have vulnerabilities like us because then we have a common link. If you’re spending hours baking your face and rocking the sexiest clothes, you read as more superficial than serious about taking care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to break your hot girl vibe by cracking a joke or showing off your smarts – it’ll definitely make people more interested in getting to know the woman beneath the mask.