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Becoming friendly


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I was recently told by someone I trust that I seem unfriendly and look like I have an attitude all the time, and my whole life friends have told me that they thought I was a mean snob before getting to know me and realizing that I'm actually a pretty nice person. I have been trying to be more friendly lately and I've even been trying to force my face into a happier expression (my face's natural state is almost a frown). It's just that I'm so tired all the time and I have quite a bit of stress in my life, so my face is going to look tired and uninterested. It's been really difficult trying to become this new friendly and enthusiastic person. I was wondering if anyone (especially anyone who's been in this situation) has any advice. Should I just fake it till I make it? Thanks.

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Yeah, I get this too. I haven't had people say I'm unfriendly per se but yes, they will say I'm aloof or can seem dismissive or judgmental. I'm none of those things, I just keep to myself a lot, and I don't find a lot of people all that interesting.


I have opted to let it be. Faking it seems like a tremendous effort. And yes like you I have stress and deal with an illness to boot so I am not going to beat myself up by forcing myself to be a light bubbly person when I'm not that person.


I have fewer superficial friends, I'd say that's the only downside. Who wants superficial friends anyway?

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I got this a lot too... Last year at uni, it took me 3 months to make friends (but then I made good friends!) but I was told by the people I eventually got close with, that I appear judgemental, and they all assumed I didn't like them.

In actuality, I am shy, quiet, I am always in deep thought and am reserved, so I can understand why they thought this.

I guess it doesn't hurt to smile and make eye contact, as well as spark up conversations from time to time. Don't fake it.

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I used to get this a lot when I was in high school - luckily everybody that I did know, knew I was an energetic and really nice person - and everyone I didn't know (or people that I would get to know later on) would say "wow you look pissed all the time when you're walking down the halls... you look too intimidating to approach."

Soon after I realized it was a combination of my good posture and serious expression.


What I suggest doing is exactly what I did, I became more openly polite - instead of walking through people I'd say "excuse me" with a smile. I know that when I don't smile I look devious so I began consciously smiling


Even now, although I still have a tendency to walk around with that 'determined' expression, I smile with my eyes - keeping a pleasant look is a great way.


Don't fake it either, that'll just defeat the purpose.


I must admit though, whenever I'm not with my bf, I do enjoy walking around with a stand-off-ish look, it keeps drama away ;]

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I'm like this too. I have been able, in recent years, to "fake it til you make it", and now everyone I meet loves me (not conceited, making a point).


It's a double-edged sword though, I'm still pretty lonely because I don't know how to function once the relationship breaks through that. I'm learning.

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Not to belittle your stress, but I've had an incredibly stressful decade and I've gone through it with a sincere smile on my face... so it IS possible.


Faking it is fine UNLESS you don't feel you want to. Which would defeat the object. However, as it DOES bother you, and as your friends are obviously only too happy to talk about this (!? Do you tell THEM things?) then ask them to take it one step further and explain what it is.


If it's the frown, WHY do you choose to frown? What does a frown mean to you? Is it just how your face falls? Is that because of a negative inner attitude?


This can be changed if you want, but if it's just to please others it probably won't work. It has to be to please YOU.

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How much does it bother you? I'm pretty sensitive to the opinions of others. I don't necessarily like that about myself, but I would likely morph a little in response to other people's opinion of me. Even if they are strangers, I would be conscious of what I'm projecting to those around me and I'd make an effort to be well thought-of and well-liked. I enjoy getting feedback (which I did get quite often when I worked in a coffee shop) about my smile and how friendly and approachable I seem.


On the other hand, during a period of great stress in my life, I really didn't care at all what others were thinking of me. I was dealing with too much to be fake for the sake of making strangers think I was friendly. But that was temporary. After awhile I started to adapt to the stress and I was able to smile and be cheerful.


If it doesn't bother you much, I'd say screw what a bunch of strangers think and be yourself. It's a good lesson for other people not to judge you without knowing you since once they get to know you they will have to revise whatever pre-judgments they made.

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Ten ways to be more likeable — From link removed


1. Smile. Now, this is no shock, but studies do show that the amount of time you smile during a conversation has a direct impact on how friendly you’re perceived to be. Also, people mimic the expressions on the faces they see, so if you smile, you’re more likely to be smiled at. (Scientists have identified 19 types of smiles, by the way.)


2. Be easily impressed, entertained, and interested. Most people get more pleasure from wowing you with their humor and insight than from being wowed by your humor and insight.


3. Have a friendly, open, engaged demeanor. Lean toward people, nod, say “Uh-huh,” turn your body to face the other person’s body. Don’t turn your body away, cross your arms, answer in monosyllables, or scan the room (or look at your Blackberry! I have seen this happen!) as the other person talks.


4. Remember trait transfer. In “trait transfer,” whatever you say about other people influences how people see you. If you describe a co-worker as brilliant and charismatic, your acquaintance will tend to associate you with those qualities. Conversely, if you describe a co-worker as arrogant and obnoxious, those traits will stick to you. So watch what you say.


5. Laugh at yourself. Showing vulnerability and a sense of humor make you more likable and approachable. However, don’t push this too self-deprecation too far – keep it light. You’ll make others uncomfortable if you run yourself down too much. I met a guy who kept saying things like, "I'm an idiot," "I have the most boring job ever," etc. He was trying to be self-deprecating, but it was hard to know how to respond to that kind of comment from a stranger.


6. Radiate energy and good humor. Because of the phenomenon of “emotional contagion,” people catch the emotions of other people, and they prefer to catch an upbeat, energetic mood. Even if you pride yourself on your cynicism, biting humor, or general edginess, these qualities can be conveyed with warmth.


7. Show your liking for another person. We’re much more apt to like someone if we think that person likes us. Look for ways to signal that you enjoy a person’s company. When I call my daughters’ pediatrician with some health question, she always says “Hello!” as if she’s genuinely thrilled to hear from me, and I’ve really noticed what a difference it makes on my feelings of warmth toward her.


8. Try to remember the person’s name! If you can’t remember it, here are some tips for coping with the situation.


Studies suggest that we decide how close a relationship we’ll have with a new acquaintance within the first ten minutes of meeting that person, and that in evaluating people, we weigh early information more heavily than information acquired later. So make a big effort to be openly friendly the first time you meet someone.

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