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How To Become A Person Everyone Wants To Approach

How To Become A Person Everyone Wants To Approach

Ever wonder why people gravitate toward some individuals and not others, maybe even you? It could be at a party or a professional networking event, but wherever you’re, there’s always someone people pay the most attention to. Being that go-to guy or gal will pay off at both work and in your personal life, notes Lolly Daskal, founder of Lead from Within, a global consultancy that has counseled heads of state, consulted with leaders of multinational companies and coached entrepreneurs.

But there are several reasons why some people just don’t seem approachable, even if they really are friendly and interesting. Here are ways to generate positive vibes and have people flocking to be your friends or bosses assigning you the next big project.

Reasons Why People Seem Unapproachable

1. Wearing a frown or unpleasant look on your face. This instantly steers people away from you. They perceive you as unhappy and negative and they don’t want that experience.

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2. Being critical or judgmental. Most people don’t want to be the subject of your criticism or judgment, nor do they want to hear you bash others.

3. Using body language that closes yourself off. If you’re standing in a room with your arms crossed, that gives an instant signal that you do not want to be bothered and are not approachable.

4. Avoiding eye contact. If you stare at the ground or off in the distance, people cannot read your expression and will pass you by.

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5. Putting up barriers. Even holding your glass in front of you or your mouth gives the impression that you don’t want to talk to anyone. Hold the glass at chest level or by your side.

How To Be More Approachable

1. Offer a compliment

By extending a compliment specific to a person, they’ll see that you’re taking the time to chat briefly with them. A quick “love that tie” or “great purse” to a co-worker in passing will give off positive vibes. Letting someone know that you love their shoes at a party may open up a window of opportunity to start speaking with them. Be sure your compliment is genuine, though, and not fake. Most people can sense the difference. Extending a compliment to someone and eliciting a smile in return also will brighten your day.

2. Simply smile

Shocker, right? The more you smile, the friendlier you seem to others, notes novelist Lisi Harrison. Also, studies show that people tend to mimic the expressions on others’ faces, so if you make it a habit to genuinely smile at others, they tend to smile right back. Another perk–research shows that simply smiling at others will make you happier, too.

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3. Be engaged

Don’t hog the conversation or spotlight, but subtly encourage others. Listen to them, their stories. They’ll recognize you as a great listener and positive person.

4. Appear to be open and friendly

Pay attention to your body language and make eye contact, position yourself in front of the person and keep your arms open, says David Morin, social life expert. Do not pay more attention to your phone or turn your back on the person speaking. Also keep your head up, not down, so people can clearly see your face and make eye contact.

5. Try trait transfer

This is a tried and true technique shared by New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin where what you say about others influences how people feel and see you. If you talk highly of a co-worker, for example, then your audience will perceive you as someone who is just as worthy.

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6. Ooze with energy

There’s actually a phenomenon called emotional contagion where people “catch” the emotions of other people and they really prefer to “catch” energetic, positive and upbeat moods. Even if you’re entering a boring business meeting, be positive and peppy. If you see yourself as more of a smart aleck with a little edginess, you can still present yourself as warm with those personality quirks.

7. Remember names

Calling someone by their first name during a conversation or passing by in the hall really means a lot to that person. You noticed them. That practice can go a long way in the work world.

So, even if you know you’re witty, you’re fun, you’re a great person, but you just aren’t drawing attention at networking events or social outings, reevaluate how you appear to others, what you say and how you act, because you might inadvertently be giving off signals that you’re unapproachable. Simple changes, such as making eye contact, offering up sincere compliments, and being positive will help to make you a magnet to others.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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