Social Question

NostalgicChills's avatar

How to gradually become more approachable?

Asked by NostalgicChills (2755 points ) November 29th, 2012

To put it simply, I’m not outgoing. I will NEVER go up to someone and introduce myself- it just won’t happen. But being that I have no friends, I’d like to make a change in my life. So I’m desperately coming to Fluther for help. If you had low confidence issues and/or were really shy, how did you overcome that? And how can I make myself seem more approachable? __And what is the meaning of life?__ Scratch that last one.

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14 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Smile at others,make direct eye contact, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and attempt to make small talk if someone seems interesting to you as a friend or potential lover. Research and take a personality test to determine your particular style of relating and what is “normal” for your specific temperament style.
Baby steps and fake it til you make it.

Challenge yourself to do something once a day, every day, even if it is as simple as approaching a stranger to pet their dog and make 30 seconds of contact.
” Oh, what a beautiful dog, is he/she friendly, may I pet them?”
” Oh what a cute baby, how old is he/she, what’s his/her name?”
Give compliments!

“Oh,I really like your fill in the blanks hair, shoes, dress, shirt etc.”
” You have beautiful… eyes, hair, skin, nails, smile, teeth, baby, dog, purse..”
Pay attention to your body language.
Notice if you are avoiding eye contact, not smiling, arms folded tightly across your chest, which signifies self protection and closed off-ness.

Celebrate the tiny victories!

I am on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, an extrovert to the 10th power, not loud or obnoxious but very gregarious. I do make friends easily and am very approachable,but…the downside is I can be a little too assertive at times. haha
We all have our challenges.

Good Luck!

thorninmud's avatar

@SpatzieLover recently posted a link to this TED talk in another question, and I found it very helpful. I now use some of her suggestions before I have to give public talks.

Shippy's avatar

It’s really OK, to be “not outgoing”. I was considered a very out going person, but you know, really I was a very shy, nervous person. But I acted if I was so much, I began to believe it. There are Pro’s and Con’s to that situation. Now I prefer to just be as I am, which is probably an extroverted introvert. Meaning I like my own time, I like being on my own, but when I feel like it, I like company.

I am not sure if this has some sort of gravitational pull, but I am never short of visitor’s (sigh see my other questions) or people who wont stop talking my head off when I am out. I think it might be because I kind of am OK with who I am in terms of this anyway.

I am attracted to less outgoing personalities, maybe because I have had a life filled with salespeople, both in my family and the family I married into. All big mouths and blah blah! So I like the nice stillness and gentleness of a person who is a little more quiet. That probably makes no sense to you. But it certainly does to me!!

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy Yes,I call myself an extroverted introvert too. I love socializing and am not afraid to approach people but..I also really love my solitude.
Infact my personality type is known as the most introverted of the extroverts. Kinda an oxymoron but I so relate.
I am the life of the party at times, but, I also like my hermitage.

If I have a couple of quality social interactions I am good to go for another week or two.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I find that with myself I am not an outgoing type of person, but then if I am doing something with my archaeology I am a completely different animal. I have seen me conducting tours to 40 people, answering questions (some of them quite baffling so I use big words as a reply to baffle them back), and even given tours to people at the top of the field (pun fully intended) without batting an eyelid.

I think what I am trying to say is that I wish I could bottle up how I am in that situation and apply it to elsewhere as I know it is obviously a confidence thing and that I feel relaxed in that setting so maybe spend time thinking of a situation where you know you feel comfortable and use that as a base to work from. I do know that it is a difficult road to travel along though.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@thorninmud Thank you for that link. I watched the whole thing. 21 minutes well spent. All my life I have been unknowingly doing many of the alpha poses. I already know my T level so it fits.
I confess I teared up at 18:38. Too much estrogen I guess.

Hey @NostalgicChills Watch that video.

Shippy's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine You turn from a Hedgehog to a…?

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy well after it I think a peacock with my feathers on full display. I guess at the start since its digging holes perhaps a mole?

thorninmud's avatar

@LuckyGuy Yeah, I lost it there too

Coloma's avatar

I’m an Alpha bitch for sure. lol
Seriously, personality types naturally fall into the Alpha/Omega/Beta/Gamma zone.
The usual nature/nurture dichotomies. :-)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@thorninmud I heard the tremor in her voice for about 30 seconds before she dropped the perfectly timed bomb. She has done this before. You can tell. That only added to the power of her message.
Now stand up, stretch, and rub your crotch like an alpha male. I just did and feel better already.

Coloma's avatar

Well ya know, us Alpha bitches just thrust our chests out when we posture. haha

Paradox25's avatar

Wow, can you imagine if a guy wrote something like I will NEVER go up to someone and introduce myself- it just won’t happen, he would probably get jumped on. As a guy who would never just approach and talk to someone (including women) without a specific reason to do so I would recommend learning to talk to people when they talk to you and be personable. I’m likely not writing what you want to hear, but you can’t just expect people to blindly approach you. It’s not that difficult to start a conversation with someone, even if it’s simple small talk or a compliment. You have to be willing to make at least some effort.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I try to make casual direct eye contact to show a new person I’m interested, and then back off and let them approach me if it’s a member of the opposite sex. When someone is approaching me they’re less likely to be defensive than if I approach them. With other males I just wing it and play off what they give me.

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