Tag Archives: sociable

Are you approachable?

 

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Are you approachable?

Do you ever think about how you are coming across to others? There can be times when we are giving off negative body language to others but are not aware of this. Often, negative body language comes from what we are thinking about. If we are self conscious and self focused, we may feel stressed and this will show in our body language.

Cognitive behavioural therapy deals with many issues and among those is social anxiety, also known as social phobia. When we suffer from social anxiety, we are often plagued by self doubt and worry too much about what others think of us. We focus on how we are coming across and this self focus ends up making us feel even more anxious. Ironically, when we care too much about being liked and/or being popular, we can end up making the situation worse for ourselves by placing too much pressure on our behaviour.

An analogy that helps my clients is to ask them to think about a row of shops. If you are walking down a street full of shops, you will be unlikely to enter into a shop that looks as if it is closed, has the door closed or has the shutters down etc

On the other hand, a shop that has the door open and looks inviting is more likely to get interest from passers by. I call this “shop open” and “shop shut” body language. Regularly monitor yourself to see whether you are giving off approachable “shop open” body language or unfriendly “shop closed” body language. Shop open body language consists of:

smiling, making eye contact, shoulders back etc

Sadly, when we are shy or feel anxious socially, our thoughts tend to be anxious in nature and this affects our body language negatively. What ends up happening is known as a self fulfilling prophecy – the very thing we fear comes true. If you feel anxious, try focusing on something external instead of  focusing on yourself. This is a great trick to lessen anxiety  in social situations. Focus on others, find out more about them…

In the future, remind yourself to give off “shop open” body language and you will immediately see a change in how people treat you and communicate with you.

Mandy X

be more sociable

How to be more sociable

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How to be more sociable

Everyone goes through phases of feeling less sociable. We all have doubts at times and can feel anxious in social situations. This is normal. If however you find that you avoid social encounters due to anxiety it’s time to do something different. Many shy people want others to come to them first. They inadvertently give off negative body language to which others respond by staying away..this then repeats the cycle and the negative feelings a person has about their social skills becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

I have a little strategy that I use with my clients and it seems to work very well in making someone who feels a little shy socially, more approachable.

It’s called the “Shop Open” technique.

Visualise a row of shops. Some have their shutters/doors closed whilst others have their doors wide open inviting you in. You are very likely to go into the shops that are open and avoid, ignoring the shops that appear closed (even if they aren’t). The same process happens in life between people. If you give off “shop open” signals, people feel you are inviting them, that you will will receive them warmly.

Shop Open signals:

Eye contact

Shoulders back

Smiling

Open body language

Shop Closed signals:

Closed body language (folded arms, hunched over…)

No eye contact

No smiling

Looking disinterested

 

Change your body language and watch how others respond positively to you. You are giving off social cues all the time, mostly non verbal. Also watch your inner dialogue – tell yourself that you are great company, good fun to be around, have a sense of humour – whatever applies to you. Remind yourself regularly of your strengths and see yourself as a valuable person to know. Be more sociable – Shop open!

 

Mandy X

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