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How to Get Noticed Before a Word Is Spoken

How to Get Noticed Before a Word Is Spoken

Let’s play a game. It’s called How to Get Noticed.

Pretend you are at a crowded party or social gathering and you see a cute guy/girl that you want to talk to–how would you go about getting his/her attention? Do you:

  • A. Make a loud noise such as clearing your throat, coughing or sneezing?
  • B. Walk straight up to your crush, interrupt the conversation and introduce yourself?
  • C. Linger in the background listening to the conversation and then at the perfect moment interject a witty comment or expound on a point made in the conversation showing how intellectual you are?

For most people the method depends on personality and level of intro/extroversion. However, the truth is that all of the approaches listed above won’t let you a smooth interaction and can actually hijack your attempt at connecting with an unknown person.

There is a systematic method for approaching and engaging new people.

Switching your focus will improve your technique

When you think about meeting someone new what initially comes to mind? Are you thinking about what you should say? Are you worried about your breath, your clammy hands or trying not to saying something stupid? While these are natural fears and normal thoughts to have, it’s the wrong perspective and makes new interactions even more awkward than they have to be.

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Instead of focusing on yourself, experts believe you should shift your focus to reading the body language and signals of the person you want to engage. Dr. Jack Schafer, author of The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over, believes the key to being noticed and befriended rest in reading and responding to cues.

When you walk up to an unknown person and try to engage them, you appear aggressive and you break two of the unspoken “friendship rules“–proximity and intensity. When you suddenly approach someone you don’t know they can feel that you are invading their territory. Furthermore, a sudden approach / or proactive talking can be seen as overly aggressive or too intense. It makes people feel uncomfortable and can lead them dislike and avoid you.

It’s all about the eyes

The first and most important step in making friends is to read signals. Some people are not approachable. It is apparent in their body language, lack of eye contact, folded arms and what Dr. Schafer calls, the “urban scowl.” His friendship model encourages you to look for nonverbal friend cues, including the “big three”: the eyebrow flash, the head tilt, and a genuine smile. Once you’ve determined a person is approachable, there are few things you should do to engage them:

1. Establish eye contact

    Attempt to establish eye contact from a distance first. Like the other nonverbal cues, it is a way to get noticed and assess the situation.

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    To send a friend signal via eye contact, pick out your person of interest and establish eye contact by holding your gaze for no longer than a second. Staring can be perceived as aggressive threatening or just downright creepy.

    When the person catches you looking and holds your gaze lock eyes for a second and then look away. If they catch you looking at them and they look uncomfortable, drop your eyes and abort the mission.

    2. After making an eye contact, try to extend your gaze slowly.

      After you make eye contact with your person of interest, hold your gaze for one second and then slowly turn your head, holding your gaze for another second or two.

      The person you are looking at will see your head turning away, and your actions will not be perceived as staring.

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      3. Use stolen glances to articulate your interest

        If they catch you looking and don’t appear put off by your glance, then continue giving stolen glances to ensure that they know that you are intentionally looking at them and that the eye contact was inadvertent.

        4. Slowly build the intensity

          Now that you’ve gotten the individual’s attention and clearly expressed your interest with your eyes, check to see if he/she is sneaking glances at you. If so, and you are fairly certain that the person is interested, it’s time to turn up the heat a little.

          For the next few minutes, avoid eye contact. And wait for them to initiate eye contact for a while–but don’t return their gaze. This creates a bit of tension and intrigue as it makes the person wonder why you aren’t engaging in with them anymore. If done correctly, this subtle teasing builds intrigue and interest.

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          4. Making your move

            Now that you’re certain that your interest is reciprocated it’s time to raise the stakes again.

            Look him/her directly in the eyes and give them a little smile. If your smile is returned and the body language appears open–then you’re in and can slowly approach them and engage in small, non-aggressive chit chat

            If he or she doesn’t return your smile or looks away quickly, they may be shy and need a little more time to warm up or you may have misread the interaction. If that is the case–cut your losses and move on.

            Capturing the attention of a crush can be an awkward and unpleasant experience but it needn’t be. Using tricks and wild antics to gain attention will get you noticed but not in the manner you would like. Remember to take your time and shift your focus to the other person not on what you are going to say or how you should approach him or her. Establish meaningful eye contact, build intensity and then either approach slowly once you are sure your interest is appreciated and reciprocated.

            Featured photo credit: Finda via finda.photo

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            Anna Chui

            Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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            Last Updated on July 18, 2019

            What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

            What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

            Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

            They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

            It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

            1. They Manage Their Expectations

            They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

            2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

            Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

            3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

            Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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            4. They’re Not Materialistic

            There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

            5. They Don’t Dwell

            They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

            6. They Care About Themselves First

            They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

            They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

            7. They Enjoy the Little Things

            They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

            8. They Can Adapt

            They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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            9. They Experiment

            They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

            10. They Take Their Time

            They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

            11. They Employ Different Perspectives

            They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

            12. They Seek to Learn

            Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

            13. They Always Have a Plan

            They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

            14. They Give Respect to Get It

            They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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            15. They Consider Every Opportunity

            They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

            16. They Always Seek to Improve

            Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

            17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

            They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

            18. They Live in the Moment

            They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

            You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

            19. They Say Yes

            Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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            20. They’re Self-Aware

            Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

            We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

            Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

            Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

            Final Thoughts

            The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

            For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

            More About Happiness

            Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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