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How to Be More Approachable: 15 Pro Tips You’re Not Using

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Becoming approachable is one of the greatest social hacks. It makes it so that people approach you to engage in conversation. 

This can lead to new friendships, opportunities, and romantic connections. 

Toss out the idea that you’re too busy or shy to be approachable. Anyone can do it with the proper knowledge and mindset. 

In this article, we’ll show you exactly how. Let’s dive in.

  1. The “Head Up, World In” Method

When your head is down, you’re literally and figuratively closing yourself to the world. When someone’s gaze is down and their body is closed, they create an invisible barrier around themselves.

Keeping your head up and open body language sends a strong signal that you’re aware, present, and open to interaction, making it more likely for people to approach you.

Action Step: Make a conscious effort to keep your head up in public or social events. Scan the room gently, taking in your surroundings. Combine this with an open posture—shoulders back, arms uncrossed—to maximize your approachability.

Here are a few more body language tips to help introverts build confidence.

  1. Smile From Within and Share It

Let’s take that last tip one step further! You’ve heard it before: “Just smile more.” But we’re not talking about a plastic grin that screams, “I’m trying too hard.” This is about a genuine, emanating-from-within kind of smile that you share subtly as you scan the room. 

Making brief eye contact and offering a smile to those you catch eyes with not only warms up the room but also makes you incredibly approachable.

Action Step: Next time you find yourself in a social setting, take a moment to center yourself and muster up a genuine smile from within. It might help to focus on your heart, to think of someone you love, or to conjure up a memory that makes you giggle.

Then, look around the room, and if you lock your eyes with someone, aim to hold eye contact for about one second as you give a warm smile and a subtle nod.

It’s a small gesture but oh-so-powerful. This friendly facial expression says, “I see you, and I’m open to conversation.” This tactic doesn’t scream for attention; it magnetically draws people in.  

Also, consider that it’s best to use this tactic at a networking event or party where you want to meet people. But if you use it with strangers, it could draw unwanted attention.

  1. Wear a Conversation Starter

Clothing isn’t just fabric; it’s a message you send to the world. If you wear something eye-catching or unique, it can serve as an icebreaker that encourages people to initiate conversation with you. 

Additionally, choosing to wear a conversation starter forces you into a realm of confidence. If you’re going to pull off that quirky hat or vibrant shirt, you have to own it, naturally making you more self-assured and, by extension, more approachable.

Action Step: Next time you’re getting ready for a social outing, be it professional or casual, include one item that stands out and can spark conversation. 

It could be funky socks, an unusual watch, or flashy earrings. This will make you more memorable and provide an easy topic for someone to bring up when approaching you.

If you wear a conversation starter, pick something that authentically represents your taste.

When trying to become more approachable, lots of people forfeit their authenticity. But the two needn’t be at odds!

If you’d like to understand better how to become likable while maintaining your authenticity, then you might enjoy this free training:

[Likable without being inauthentic]

  1. Master Your Body Language Through Mantras

Body language is a powerful tool for non-verbal communication, but memorizing a list of “do’s and don’ts” can make you overly conscious and even robotic. 

A more intuitive approach is to focus on the emotions and attitudes you want to project, letting these naturally shape your body language. Internal mantras can guide this process, allowing you to emit the vibe you desire.

Action Step: Choose an internal mantra that embodies the body language you want to showcase. Here are a few ideas:

  • “Expand and open.” Repeat this mentally if you’re aiming for a confident, inviting posture.
  • “I belong here.” Repeat this internally to convey a sense of belonging and ease in a new environment.
  • “Everyone is a friend I haven’t met yet.” This mantra fosters a sense of openness and anticipation, rather than social anxiety, toward new interactions.

As you repeat these phrases to yourself, you’ll find that your body naturally adjusts—shoulders will pull back, your chest will open up, and your facial expressions will soften.

  1. Master the “Open Triangle” Body Language

Ever notice how some groups of people seem utterly unapproachable while others seem inviting? The difference might be the “Open Triangle” formation—a conversational cluster that leaves space for someone else to join.

[Body Language Image in Drive Folder of Open Triangle formation]

When a group is too tightly enclosed, it can feel impenetrable and signal others not to join.

Action Step: Next time you’re standing with friends or colleagues, position yourselves so an open gap faces the room. This signals that others are welcome to join the conversation.

  1. Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket

Smartphones are our modern-day security blankets, providing a quick escape from awkward social situations or boredom. 

If you’re anxious about being alone, your inner insecurity might scream to hide inside your phone.

But clutching your phone like it’s your lifeline sends a strong “stay away from me” message to others. 

Action Step: In social settings, keep your phone tucked away in your pocket or bag. Please resist the urge to check it every few minutes. Don’t give in to the nervous habits!

If you expect an important call or message, set your phone on vibrate and check it discreetly. 

This simple act makes you immediately more present and approachable, signaling to others that you’re open to meaningful interactions.

  1. Come From an Abundance Mindset

When you’re nervously scanning the room, praying someone will approach you, people can sense that desperation. It’s not inviting; it’s stressful for both parties. 

An abundance mindset, however, changes the game. 

When you operate from a place of social abundance, you exude a relaxed confidence that says, “It’s cool whether you talk to me or not; I’m good either way.”

Paradoxically, when you don’t need someone to approach you, they are more likely to.

Action Step: Come into the social event with the frame of mind that “I will enjoy myself whether or not other people come to talk to me.” 

  1. The Best Party is Always What’s Right in Front of You

Have you ever been to an event where you keep scanning the room, wondering if there’s a better conversation or a cooler crowd to join? Try to drop that habit! 

The more you enjoy what’s happening, the more magnetic you become. 

People are drawn to others who are fully engaged and content with their current situation.

Make that the most enjoyable possible situation, Whether by yourself or with another person. Your contentment and engagement will naturally draw people into your orbit.

Action Step: The next time you find yourself in a social setting, commit fully to whatever you’re doing—doodling on a napkin or chatting with the bartender. 

If you’re in a conversation, be genuinely interested. If you’re listening to music, feel the vibe. Avoid continuously scanning the room for “something better,” and you’ll find that people will naturally want to join “your party.”

This type of presence can take practice, so if you’d like to read more, check out this article on mindful activities.

  1. The “30-Second Favor” Rule

One of the most immediate ways to be more approachable and likable is to offer small favors. These aren’t life-altering actions but simple gestures that can make someone’s day a little bit better.

Whether you’re in a bar or a networking event, if you challenge yourself to look for ways to help other people, it will give your mind a focus so you won’t fixate on “Why is nobody talking to me??” And it will give rise to appreciation from others.

Plus, science tells us1 that helping others improves our well-being. So you’ll be in a better mood and putting other people in better moods. Who would want to avoid approaching that?

Action Step: Whenever you see an opportunity to perform a small favor that would take 30 seconds or fewer—like holding the door for someone, offering directions, or even giving a compliment—take it.  

  1. The Strategic Placement

Where you position yourself in a room can dramatically influence how approachable you appear. 

Standing in a high-traffic area near the entrance or by the food and drinks can make it easier for people to initiate a conversation with you.

Action Step: Stand or sit where people naturally pass by or congregate. It increases the chances that someone will strike up a conversation with you. If there’s a food table, standing near it is a great bet.

  1. Become an Approacher

One of the most effective ways to get approached is to approach others.

When you’re the one to break the ice, you not only give permission for others to approach you, but you also rack up those invaluable “confidence points” that make social interactions less daunting in the future.

Action Step: At your next social function, set a mini-goal to approach and initiate a conversation with at least three new people. 

  1. Treat People Like They’re Already Your Friend

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling when you’re around good friends—the kind where you can be yourself without judgment? Imagine if you could extend that same comfort level to new people you meet. 

Treating someone as though they’re already friends creates an instant sense of familiarity and trust and builds immediate comfort.

Action Step: Next time you meet someone new, interact with them as you would with a close friend. Skip the formalities and dive into genuine conversation, ask about their interests, and share a little about yourself. Let your guard down and allow your authentic self to shine through. 

Adding this to your approachability arsenal ensures that not only do people feel welcome to approach you, but they’ll also want to stick around for a meaningful connection. And isn’t that what being approachable is all about?

  1. Use The “Common Ground” Icebreaker

Finding common ground instantly makes you more relatable. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re on the same team.” Plenty of studies2 have shown that, as humans, we are attracted to other humans who are like us (or even who we think might be like us).

Keep your ears open for shared interests, history, or values. And when you notice common ground with someone, state it outright.

Action Step: In conversations, aim to find at least one common point of interest within the first few minutes. Whether it’s a shared favorite show, mutual disdain for traffic, or a shared value of travel, bonding happens faster.

  1. Tell a Joke as Soon as Possible

Humor is a universal connector. It disarms people, lightens the mood, and instantly makes you more likable. 

Telling a joke or making a funny observation when meeting someone new puts them at ease and sets a jovial tone for the rest of the interaction. Plus, laughter can tear down walls and make you seem more approachable.

Action Step: Develop a small repertoire of light, non-offensive jokes or funny anecdotes you can pull out in various settings. Aim to inject a bit of humor as early as possible into the conversation, whether you’re at a networking event, a party, or even a work meeting. Remember to gauge your audience; what’s funny in one context might not be in another.

Or if you have a funny thought at the moment, dare to share it with someone!

  1. Adopt the “Everyone is Interesting” Philosophy

If you find people interesting, connecting with them feels fun and exciting instead of daunting and scary.

Each person is a universe of unique experiences, perspectives, and knowledge. There is so much to learn from each person you chat with!

As Dale Carnegie wrote in his iconic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Being approachable isn’t just about how people see you; it’s also about how you see them.

Action Step: The next time you’re at a social gathering, remind yourself that everyone has a story to tell, something to teach you. Approach conversations with curiosity, asking open-ended questions that invite people to share more about themselves.

The Perks of Approachability: Why You Should Care

Being approachable is like having a secret weapon in your social skills toolkit. 

Think about it. Which of your coworkers is most likely to get invited to happy hour at work? It’s the person who’s easy to talk to, not the one wearing sunglasses inside, barricaded behind a fortress of coffee mugs and noise-canceling headphones. 

When you’re approachable, you install a welcome mat in front of your life that says, “Hey, I’m open for business—let’s connect!” This has ripple effects. 

  • In your professional life, you’ll find people more willing to collaborate with you, possibly leading to faster promotions or new career opportunities. 
  • You’ll attract meaningful relationships in your social life because people feel at ease around you. It’s like you’ve got this halo of accessibility that draws folks in.

Whether at a networking event, chilling at a bar, or simply shooting off emails, being approachable is your ticket to a richer, fuller life experience. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become More Approachable

How do you approach people? 

Approaching people can often be as simple as making eye contact, offering a warm smile, and initiating conversation with a light opener like “Hi, how’s your day going?” or “I couldn’t help but notice [insert observation here].” The key is to be genuinely interested and open, allowing the conversation to flow naturally. And if you experience nervousness, don’t worry, that’s normal 🙂 

How to look more approachable?

To look more approachable, consider your body language; maintain open postures, make eye contact, and smile. These simple gestures send a universal signal that you’re willing and happy to interact and will likely lead to a better first impression.

How to be more friendly?

Being more friendly starts with treating people with kindness and showing genuine interest in their lives. A good rule of thumb is to treat others how you’d like to be treated, whether lending a listening ear or offering a helping hand.

Takeaways on How to Become More Approachable

If you’d like to become more approachable at your next social engagement, try out some of these tips:

  • The “Head Up, World In” Method: Keep your head and body open to appear more inviting to others.
  • Smile From Within and Share It: Use a genuine smile and brief eye contact to make yourself more approachable.
  • Wear a Conversation Starter: Choose eye-catching clothing that can serve as icebreakers.
  • Master Your Body Language Through Mantras: Use internal mantras to guide your body language to make you more approachable. “Open and expand.”
  • Master the “Open Triangle” Body Language: Position yourself in a way that leaves room for others to join your conversation.
  • Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket: Keep your phone away to appear more present and approachable.
  • Come From an Abundance Mindset: Operate from a mindset that doesn’t require validation from others approaching you.
  • The Best Party is Always What’s Right in Front of You: Be fully engaged to draw people toward you in your current situation.
  • The “30-Second Favor” Rule: Offer small favors to people to make yourself more likable and approachable.
  • The Strategic Placement: Position yourself in high-traffic areas to increase the chances of people initiating conversation.
  • Become an Approacher: The more you approach others, the more you’ll feel confident and draw others to you. Plus, this proactively gets you out of isolation. 
  • Treat People Like They’re Already Your Friends: Build immediate comfort and trust by treating new acquaintances like friends.
  • Use The “Common Ground” Icebreaker: Identify shared interests or values to connect with someone quickly.
  • Tell a Joke as Soon as Possible: Use humor to break the ice and make yourself more likable.
  • Adopt the “Everyone is Interesting” Philosophy: Approach every conversation with the mindset that the other person has something valuable to offer.

Best of luck! And if you’d like more ideas and tips on talking to strangers, you might enjoy this article.

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