In a previous post, I explained how being creepy is an instant popularity killer. In this post, I want to explain how to know if you’re creepy.
At one of my college jobs, I worked with someone who was creepy. He didn’t last long as a waiter because of it. I remember him constantly making inappropriate comments. And, when people would gasp and give looks of shock, he was blissfully unaware of people’s disgust.
As I previously mentioned, creepy people are not only inappropriate in their actions, but unaware of people’s reaction to their inappropriateness. This is why being creepy is so difficult to shake, because most creepy people aren’t aware they are creepy.
Also, creepiness is mainly a guy problem, and may be related to the same neurological reasons that there are more guys are on the autistic spectrum than women.
Here are some ways to know that you are creepy. Before you read these, you need to pay attention. I mentioned previously that being creepy is really just a way of saying you make people uncomfortable at a subconscious level.
Unfortunately, being unaware of one’s own creepiness comes with the territory of being creepy, so you first must make a conscious effort to be aware of your actions.
If you have a few of these (or all) traits listed below, you may be creepy. That is the bad news. The great news is that you can change. But, that is a future post, so come back.
One: You Aren’t Very Popular
One sure sign you may be creepy is that you don’t have many friends, and even fewer dates. There are many reasons you may not have friends, including being shy or too busy with other activities. However, if you have ruled these things out, you may be coming across as creepy.
You may have a very high opinion of yourself socially. However, let’s get real. If you have no friends, no dates, and nobody wants to interact with you regularly, then you’re doing something that is putting people off.
Two: People Develop Negative Body Language When You Are Around
People are like other animals. Our body language is pretty predictable: we “close down” and turn away from what we don’t like.
When we encounter people that are threatening to us, we tend to react in a common way:
– Crossed arms
– Disgusted face
– Serious tone (no laughing, flirting, etc)
– Leaving/turning the other direction (this could be feet or even the entire body)
– Eyes squinting or rolled
– Silence when you approach
– Touching the area just below the neck, the suprasternal notch (right below the knot on a neck-tie)
Next time you interact with someone (students, teachers, etc.), pay attention to their body language. If they are exhibiting any of these traits, you could be creeping them out.
Creeper Example: you walk up to a group of girls to say “hello.” They are laughing and giggling. As soon as you approach, they stop, and one crosses her arms. You chat for a few minutes but they are still relatively silent and one girl even leaves.
Creeper Example: In class whenever you give an answer that you think is funny, nobody laughs, and the teacher quickly and seriously moves on to another student’s answer.
Non-Creepy Example: You approach a group of girls. Initially they seem a little upset. After talking to you, they are laughing and their body language is open. One of their friends comes over.
Three: Girls Tell You How Creepy You Are (But You Probably Won’t Listen)
Girls are great at telling people how creepy they are. Guys will typically ignore you (or even bully you), but girls love telling people they are creepy. Sometimes girls will jokingly tell other girls or guys they are creepy as a joke. If they say it while laughing, flirting, and with open body language, they are just kidding.
However, if they call you any one of the following names, combined with the body language I mentioned above, you really are creeping them out. Names include: creepy, creeper, mean, scary, messed up, etc. No matter how you perceive yourself, I promise you that if they call you this, with negative body language, you are 100%, full-on, creeping them out, period!
Creeper Example: You are explaining how much you love a website of a band whose songs are all about torture. The girl you like says you are messed up, in a serious tone.
Non-Creepy Example: You are joking about getting ready to call a girl. The girl next to you says (while smiling and leaning toward you), “you are such a creeper!”
Four: You Stare At People But Never Approach
One sure sign you are creepy is that you are always staring and observing people, but never talking to them. You may be shy. Nonetheless, if you stare, but don’t speak, that instantly says creepy.
Creeper Example: You are at a coffee shop on your computer. You keep staring over the screen at this cute girl.
Non-Creeper Example: You are busy working on your computer at school. You have to go to the bathroom, so on your way to ask the teacher, you smile at the girl next to you and say “hello.”
Check out Part 3 of this series, about how to stop being creepy.
Images of Natalie Howard. Visit her at nhoward.com