This is part three of my series on being creepy. In part one, I explained how being creepy is a total social killer, and can override any other positive traits you may have. In part two I provided you with some ways to know if you are creepy.
This post is the “good news” and is about fixing your creepiness and creepy habits. In other words, I want to help you to go from creeper to attractive.
Fixing creepiness requires some work, and here is why. Being creepy is really a series of subconscious mannerisms and behaviors. Nobody tries to be creepy. Because it is subconsciously picked up and sent out, you are probably unaware of what you are doing that comes across as creepy, so…
Tip 1: Pay Attention to your own actions and body language
To get over your creepiness, you must become aware of your thoughts, actions, and mannerisms. The process of “thinking about your thinking” is called metacognition. You will need to start becoming a lot more self-aware of not only your thoughts, but how you come across to others if you want to stop being creepy.
Just the other day I was looking through old photos with my brother Jonathan. I don’t want to pick on him (well, maybe I do a little), but the photo was him with awful hair and a near uni-brow. We can laugh about it now because we have both transformed ourselves.
However, looking back my question was, how in the hell could he look like that?? He walked past mirrors regularly! The problem was that he wasn’t self-aware enough to notice how he looked, and as a concerned brother, apparently neither was I.
Right now stop. And be aware of your body language. Since you are reading on a screen, you are probably closed and hunched over. Were you even aware of this? Probably not.
By becoming aware, you lifted something from your subconscious mind (this means something you do, but are unaware of) to your conscious mind. Today, I want you to stop at random points in the day and just become aware of your body language and way of doing things. If you observe any behaviors or actions listed in part two, you need to deal with them.
Tip 2: Always Pay Attention to People’s Reactions
Next, pay attention to how people react to you. In my previous post, I mentioned that if people are always sending negative body language signals to you, you probably are creeping them out.
I don’t care if in your head you think you look dashing and manly in your trench coat and fedora, or if your habit of messaging random girls on Facebook saying, “how are you m’lady?” seems like a good idea in your head. The real question is how are people responding?
You need to get in the habit of reading people’s body language and reactions all the time. You will never get valuable feedback about yourself if you are unaware of people’s responses. And, keep in mind, no reaction is a reaction. So if you message girls all the time with your supposed charming comments and they never respond, then that is telling you a lot.
When I was a teacher, I saw students react to other students all the time. One student always said things that annoyed everyone else in the class. However, he was totally unaware he was doing this, because while the student reactions were very obvious to me, he totally ignored their reactions. Just a little bit of paying attention would have helped him see that his comments weren’t being well-received.
Tip 3: Change Your Approach
If you observe that someone is reacting to you negatively, you have to change what you are doing (unless you are happy coming across as scary). For example, if you approach a girl and she goes silent and awkward, then something you are doing isn’t working.
Another example is this. If you are talking in class and nobody is listening, try to determine why. Is your voice whiny? Do you talk too much? Is your body language non-confident? Once you have a reasonable guess, then change that behavior. If you don’t have a reasonable guess as to why, then look at Tips 4 and 5.
Changing your approach may or may not work. But, you have to be flexible enough to keep trying, because anybody can change and become less creepy and more popular. One way to develop quality strategies is to observe effective strategies in others. This involves the next step, which is…
Tip 4: Observe Non-Creepy People
This is your greatest solution to being non-creepy. Whenever you get the chance, observe people that are popular and not creepy. How do you know when someone isn’t creepy? People want to be around him or her! Maybe you resent some of these people. Maybe you are jealous because they get dates and you don’t, and they meet friends easily. Now is the time to put this anger aside. I’m guessing that the reason you resent popular people is because you want to be like them. So, now is your chance to be popular, even more popular than the people you are observing!
So, observe the body language of non-creepy people, and way of speaking and acting. Ask yourself the following questions:
– How do they carry themselves?
– What do you think goes on inside their head (i.e. what are they telling themselves? How do they view the world?)
– How do they talk (speed, amount of words, tone, etc)?
– What kind of things do they talk about?
– How do they stand and sit?
– How is their demeanor (Calm? Funny? Relaxed? Edgy?)
– How do they relate to others?
– What do they give to others that others like?
– How do they dress?
– What are they good at?
– What are their interests?
– Are they outgoing or shy?
Now, keep in mind that we are not asking you to become somebody else. You will have your own style and personality. However, if your “style” is stalking girls or wearing shirts with drawings of bloody video game characters, then you may have to give up some of that if you want to be considered non-creepy. You will find that popular people have a variety of interests (such as music, athleticism, academics). There is no need to “become somebody else” to be popular, however, if you are creepy, you will need to improve upon your basic personality to become more popular. You will have to shed creepy behavior for more popular behavior.
Tip 5: Model What You Observe
After you have observed how non-creepy people operate, you need to start modeling it. You need to start thinking and acting like a popular person. Before you act, do your best to determine how a popular person would act in a particular situation.
Maybe you are getting ready to spend five minutes explaining the details of your newest Star Trek Enterprise model to a girl you like. At that point you need to pause and realize that she probably isn’t interested in the details of how an imaginary ship is powered. Instead, explain it briefly and talk about something that interests both of you. Maybe you are getting ready to interrupt someone who is talking to you. Instead, let him or her finish, and then talk. Maybe you find yourself staring at a girl across the room. Once you realize it, stop doing it, and walk by and smile at her instead. You can even say “hello” because you know that is what popular people do. Perhaps you are chewing with your mouth open. Chew with it closed. Maybe you find yourself walking hunched over. Walk straight up instead. You look in the mirror and notice your hair is long, ratty, and greasy. Get an appointment with a barber, and ask what you can do about the grease.
Get the point?
The good news is that if you are creepy, you can change. It will take some mental and physical effort, but you can do it!