Becoming more approachable...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2012 10:33 PM GMT
    A few weeks ago I was talking to my cousins wife and she said that when we first met, since I was so quiet, she thought that I was judging her. Sort of like I was deciding whether she was good enough to get to know. This made me a little sad because I don't think that I'm like that at all. I'm just naturally quiet, especially when I meet new people. I like to listen and take things in. But she isn't the first one to tell me something along those lines. One of my good friends said that she thought that I was a bitch when she first saw me. Not because of anything I said, but I guess because of my demeanor.

    I really don't want to give people this impression but I don't want to walk around with a fake smile on my face all the time either. What can I do to change this perception people have about me?
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    Aug 26, 2012 10:39 PM GMT
    Branden81 said I'm just naturally quiet, especially when I meet new people. I like to listen and take things in.

    I'm sitting right behind you sailing in the same boat as you are! icon_confused.gif
  • FuriousGeorge

    Posts: 181

    Aug 26, 2012 11:07 PM GMT
    I used to get this all the time. I can be very stoic at times. I guess I got around it by asking questions. Alright, you want to sit and listen to someone speak, so ask some questions and let them know that you're interested. Crack 'em a little smile too. You don't have to plaster on a huge fake grin, but just smile at the fact that you're meeting someone new, and that's pretty cool. I like to grin playfully at people, like I know something they don't. icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 26, 2012 11:34 PM GMT
    Yeah, story of my life. I do what Furious George basically does. I ask questions about them. What they do, or how they met a mutual friend, etc. I'm starting to smile more too. It's something I have to consciously do, as it's really not in my nature to be so inquisitive and chatty. But it helps. icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 27, 2012 1:28 AM GMT
    FuriousGeorge saidI used to get this all the time. I can be very stoic at times. I guess I got around it by asking questions. Alright, you want to sit and listen to someone speak, so ask some questions and let them know that you're interested. Crack 'em a little smile too. You don't have to plaster on a huge fake grin, but just smile at the fact that you're meeting someone new, and that's pretty cool. I like to grin playfully at people, like I know something they don't. icon_wink.gif


    ^ ^ ^ ^
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    Aug 27, 2012 1:52 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI know the whole "keep a smile on your face at all times!" seems to be a bit much but I would suggest you possibly occupy your thoughts with things that you love. Your hobbies, your favorite this or that. Just keep your mind occupied on the things that you love. People will pick up on this and will find you more approachable.

    With that being said let me also say this:

    Sadly, people are not very good judges of character. They simply make a quick assessment based on their perception of your body language and facial expressions. I used to have so many problems with people because they thought I was a dick. They would disrespect my personal space and at times there was confrontation. But their perception of me was that I was imposing myself intentionally on them. But really I was simply immersed in my own thoughts and was not focusing or directing any attention whatsoever toward any of these people. They were reacting to their own perception of me.

    Nowadays if I have the same thoughts I fake my shit and try to be aware to have a subtle smile on my face and the way people treat me now is a complete 180 degree shift. That alone proved to me that people aren't truly perceptive, they're rather stupid and wrapped up in their own world. And because they saw my unpleasant expression they immediately reacted by thinking it had to do with them or that I was judging them. Now that I learned this bullshit trick it has mildly soured me to a degree because people more often than not demonstrate that they completely lack the ability to see the big picture of things.

    Rant over. icon_smile.gif


    This really does work. I have a hard time just randomly smiling cause there really isn't much to smile about so the general consensus from people was that I was angry or upset where I was just deep in thought or just didn't have any reason to acknowledge them. When I do smile at work I get a completely didn't reaction or vibe. People are nicer and more open. Sometimes it gets irritating because its just so predictable. Smile more icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    I think that I am the same way, but no one has ever been brave enough to tell me about it. I only go by the way people act around me.

    It's funny that people think this is our problem when really it's other people projecting their own insecurities. Some people can't handle silence. It drives them nuts. I don't think it's very fair that people expect us to change to make them more comfortable. If you want to change so that you're more outgoing and make friends more easily, that's different.

    I think this falls into the category of being introverted, which doesn't necessarily mean shy.

    Quote from another thread:

    xrichx saidRelated:
    http://www.carlkingcreative.com/10-myths-about-introverts

    10 Myths About Introverts

    Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
    This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

    Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
    Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

    Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
    Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

    Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
    On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

    Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
    Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

    Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
    Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

    Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
    Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

    Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
    Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

    Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
    Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

    Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
    A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    Branden81 saidWhat can I do to change this perception people have about me?


    Mirror them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:27 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said10 introvert myths

    Get out of my head
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    im aaallways told i look sad..i tellem no, im not...my lips r just kinda pouty icon_evil.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    Neight saidGet out of my head


    You're not the boss of me.
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:10 AM GMT
    TerraFirma said
    Branden81 saidWhat can I do to change this perception people have about me?


    Mirror them.


    Most of us subconsciously mirror each other--some more than others--but to purposefully mirror another in order to make them like you is manipulative.

    I can't really offer any advice, since we all have to figure out for ourselves how we should relate to others. But it might be helpful to inquire into how you relate to yourself first.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 27, 2012 3:11 AM GMT
    Interesting topic. I have been I have this issue by more than one person, including my partner. The thought was, I tend to be reserved when meeting people at times and that behavior can be misinterpreted as "unapproachable", "arrogant" or at least an attitude. I can say, I have friends that have said they've never seen that and I've always come across the way I do here.. friendly and approachable.

    I think the way around this is to take the initiative and be the first to shake hands with those you are meeting.. and come across as genuine and interested. It might take some effort, but I think it is worth it!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    There's nothing wrong with being an introvert.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice. Tomorrow starts a new week, so I'll try it right away. Hopefully the bitch perception will soon be a thing of the past.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    Afterwards said
    TerraFirma said
    Branden81 saidWhat can I do to change this perception people have about me?


    Mirror them.


    Most of us subconsciously mirror each other--some more than others--but to purposefully mirror another in order to make them like you is manipulative.

    I can't really offer any advice, since we all have to figure out for ourselves how we should relate to others. But it might be helpful to inquire into how you relate to yourself first.


    How I relate to myself?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 4:26 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    I think this falls into the category of being introverted, which doesn't necessarily mean shy.

    Quote from another thread:

    xrichx saidRelated:
    http://www.carlkingcreative.com/10-myths-about-introverts

    10 Myths About Introverts

    Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
    This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

    Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
    Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

    Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
    Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

    Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
    On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

    Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
    Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

    Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
    Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

    Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
    Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

    Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
    Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

    Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
    Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

    Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
    A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.


    Wow this is spot on. I can relate to most of what's mentioned here. I have to share this with some friends. Great read LOL
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 4:29 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidDang, the ten myths about introverts pretty much applies to me.

    I've been defined! icon_eek.gif


    Same here, that list was spot on. People misunderstand my personality all the time icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    so yea...that list just basically nails my personality..
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    Aug 27, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    Branden81 saidThanks for the advice. Tomorrow starts a new week, so I'll try it right away. Hopefully the bitch perception will soon be a thing of the past.


    I'm starting a new work shift tonight too.. wish me luck. Kind of want to kick things off right.. a think a new environment kind of changes things up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2012 5:12 AM GMT
    Who the fuck said I wasn't approachable?!

    Was it you?!

    2hec77q.gif