Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Being Approachable

I love checking website stats for this blog. It makes me feel good when I see spikes in visitors and new subscribers!

One of the interesting statistics I take note of, is the search phrases people use when they stumble upon my blog. The most popular article found via search engine queries is THIS POST about the benefits and life enrichment of being more social. Pretty much everyday, that article is found with queries such as "How to be social," "Being Social," "Learning to be sociable" etc.

It made me realize how many people really want to break out of the comfort of the shyness shell and become comfortable as a more sociable person. Well, one really great step towards increasing your social skills and actually BEING more social, is to increase your approachability. What better way to start getting social than have OTHER people come and talk to you!

So how do we go about becoming approachable?

The first thing to do is SMILE! I honestly can't emphasize how important this is! By smiling a lot, you simply radiate positive energy that people around you want to feed off of. Think about how much more comfortable YOU feel around people who smile. Before people even know you, they'll go in having a great impression of you!

It's the equivalent of going into a class with an A+ and only having to keep that grade rather than going in with a blank slate and having to work you way up to it.

Pretty much anytime I walk passed someone (work, gym, grocery store etc.) I always look at their eyes, and if they make eye contact, give a great big smile. They always smile back, and many times ask me how my day is going! I've gone from a random stranger to someone they felt compelled to invest a little emotional energy into.

So once we have the smile down, we need to make sure everything behind it is genuine! This means when someone responds to you and approaches, you need to embody the energy that you're projecting! Many people have a tendency to come off a little abrasive in initial conversation with strangers. Despite maybe not actually being so, people may not stick around long enough to get to know your actual warmness. I've known many people like this.

Heck, even my Dad, who has a tendency to work is way into the role of "life of the party," comes off as abrasive at first until you get to know him. In fact, I wouldn't consider him very approachable. He's great, super funny, and smart once you start talking to him, but he definitely doesn't walk around with a smile and can seem a little intimidating at first. I remember as a kid, other kids who didn't know my Dad were a little scared of him...hilarious!

I've been told I'm a pretty approachable person, which is why I feel decently qualified to write this post. In fact, when I used to be a supervisor at Tennis Warehouse, I was generally bombarded with questions from employees far more than any other supervisor. Why? Well, for one, I am always pretty jolly. I smiled a lot, and am pretty optimistic by nature. They knew that I wasn't going to get hostile if they asked me a stupid question (and between you and I, there were definitely some stupid questions :)

Think about the teachers you've had over the years. On one end, I've had teachers that I'd have fun and joke around with, without any hesitation! On the other, I've had profs where I didn't feel too comfortable simply raising my hand for a question!

Lastly, and if you want to have a little fun, try looking different. Keep in mind, this is for entertainment purposes only, but it actually works! For example, this weekend, I went on an 80's pub crawl. I brought back my Michael Jackson outfit from Halloween and was rocking it all day! Even when I wasn't with the group, people were coming up to me and starting conversations just because I looked so different and crazy, and my outfit gave them an excuse to come talk to me.

Now you don't have to go out dressing like Michael Jackson to be approachable. Here's a better example.

My old friend Jeff, formerly the second best model in San Diego bought these stylish thick framed glasses that he wears everywhere. Since he got those things, I swear people are always coming up to him. It's seriously ridiculous!

There we are, in mid-conversation, and some girl would come up out of nowhere: "Hey! I really like your glasses!" Jeff would turn to me, give the same goddamn rye smile everytime, and then turn back and start talking to her. Five minutes later, I'd look back, and SHE's wearing his glasses!

I need those damn glasses...

So just, be positive/warm/nice, and find either a great Michael Jackson outfit, or some kickass glasses!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arun, I love your blog read it all the time. The guy you always include in your posts looks so familiar and I just can't pinpoint where I know him from. He's hot, really hot. Anyways, headed out to a really high end restaurant with friends. So glad I get a coupon-saver in the mail every quarter or I'd be broke!