How to Not Be Creepy: 8 Quick Fixes & Tips On Becoming a Smooth Operator
“Hey Rob, I was just recently told by a girl who was a friend of mine that her friend thought I was strange and came off creepy, I don’t what I did to put her off, what should I do?”
For all the men I have coached in the last 4 years I’ve been doing this and going through this process myself more than a dozen times, the idea of coming off as creepy or putting a girl off in one way, shape, or form is something most if not all men run into at some point in their quest for love. It’s completely normal and unless you’ve been arrested a few times for stalking or have some serious issues, nine times out ten it all boiled down to some form of a complete misunderstanding or some form of miscommunication because you felt nervous, awkward, feared getting rejected, feared getting judged, you said one thing whereas your body totally communicated another message, your appearance or the way you presented yourself might have turned her off, the point is there are a trillion different variables that you either had control of but weren’t aware of or had no control over and it just didn’t work out in your favor at that moment.
So before we embark on this quick journey and like every previous post I put up that provides constructive dating advice, take a step back, don’t beat yourself up, and we’re going to work through this…
Coming off creepy is something a lot of men face at some point in their dating lives, doesn’t matter how inexperienced or experienced you are at this, at some point you may have ran into this objection from a girl both directly or indirectly. Just like how the whole question of “am I attractive enough for her?” can be subjective, the same goes for the concept and the idea of coming off as creepy to a girl you’re attracted to. For some, it can come off that way due to your anxiety towards a girl you’re attracted to. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but as I’ve said multiple times attraction is a perception of value and when we perceive something or someone as valuable, we tend to make conservative choices. Humans are naturally bad liars, about 40-60% of communication is non-verbal and when we do something that’s out of our behavioral norms, our bodies and facial expressions tell a different story compared to what we’re actually verbally communicating because our internal dialogue in our brains can’t cognitively register what we just tried to communicate unless of course you’re a really skilled actor or just a borderline sociopath.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make here is that we’re naturally bad liars and because we’re bad liars, it’s a matter of coming off as in-congruent in our sub-communication with a girl we’re attracted to. That’s one facet of “creepy” but it doesn’t tell the whole story. As I’ve said before creepiness is a subjective term, it comes up most commonly when we interpret or intuit when someone is trying to hide their true motivations or intentions. For example, when someone wants something from us but is lying about it, we refer to them as a “creepy” or “strange” person. For the guys newer to the dating game this is both an anxiety and an objection they run into due to a combination of in-congruence in both your verbal communication and sub-communications.
To people they might come off as threatening to in the wrong light, this can come off as “creepy”. I’m sure some of you can relate to this, have run into it, or is something that commonly happens but a few examples that someone described as “creepy”:
- A conversation is clearly dying out and the girl who is either by herself, with her friends, or in a group situation is disengaged with the guy and there is clearly no rapport both verbally & non-verbally, yet the guy tries very hard to keep it alive instead of cutting his losses and moving on from the group.
- A girl who gives out clear signals that she’s not interested or doesn’t want to talk yet the guy either intentionally or un-intentionally ignores those signals and he continues to try and keep her engaged with him by talking about mundane topics such as the weather, their location, and etc.
- The level of interest he’s non-verbally sub-communicating with her is in-congruent with his verbal communication.
The first two scenarios are tied up to being a social burden whereas the last scenario stems from an in-congruence with verbal communication and the non-verbal sub communications. To put it in layman’s terms when a guy is trying to be indirect about his interest and attraction towards a girl and not show any interest in her but, is clearly displaying too much interest non-verbally with his body language. Depending on how aware of these nuances and experienced a guy is, a lot of the times women are put on edge a bit. The problem doesn’t lie in coming on too strong, it’s a matter of coming on too strong without the social congruence.
With enough consistent practice, experience, and time social congruence or in old pickup theory terms “social calibration” will become instinctive. In a nutshell, being creepy is about wanting something from people or a girl that you’re attracted to without offering any type of value in return. Now don’t misinterpret that as monetary value in the form of a drink or any form of prostitution for that matter, what I mean by value is offering some type of emotional value. Creepy men do not try to get to know women very well let alone leave a lasting impression by offering some kind of positive emotional value. They don’t try to make women feel romanced, excited, or wanted in a way that isn’t just cheap thrills sex or some form of physical objectification that will gratify his ego. Creepy men just stand there trying to talk to a girl assuming by saying enough words women will decide they want them. They don’t offer any value that will build enough attraction, nothing positive to interest or intrigue her and pursue the only end game of getting a phone number, a kiss, taking her home, or some form of validation from her that will reinforce their masculinity. Women and people in general don’t like people who want to take from them but offer no value in return. Think of a sleazy car salesman constantly pressuring you to close the deal because it will greatly benefit him or her, nobody likes being sold to or aware that they’re being sold to. When someone picks up that another person is like this, that other person will most likely get labeled as “creepy”
Now that we got the conceptual reasoning behind this phenomenon out of the way, lets get onto the meat and potatoes on “How to Not Be Creepy.” and what you can do to diagnose and fix these road blocks when you run into it when you’re interacting with a girl you’re attracted to.
“How to Not Be Creepy” and what you should be aware of:
Note: There are specific behavioral traits and ticks creepy men possess and what you should never do when you’re interacting with a girl you’re attracted for the first time.
- Scanning the room and staring:
- Unless you’re a super spy like Jason Bourne doing a threat assessment in the room there is no need for you to constantly and vigilantly scan the room out. This is a common phenomenon men engage in the bar, club, and party environments. Creepy men scan the room “hunting” and looking for the next woman they are going to talk to. This is very obvious to everyone else in the venue and as I always say women are aware of this. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t scan a group of people that has a girl you’re attracted to that’s part of the group so you know how to make the approach and what are your barriers to entry but, constantly scanning the room and having darting eyes like a predator looking for his next prey is creepy. Please don’t be so obvious, use your peripheral vision, stand behind your friend while assessing a group, don’t point at them, don’t stare them down, and especially if you make eye contact with a girl you’re attracted to, have a quick smile and break eye contact until you “bump” into her. You want to be socially congruent, aware to the point where you’re not over-analyzing, and find ways to flow into a conversation with her without forcing the situation. Most of all, don’t make any clicking noises like Barney Stinson
2. Being too serious
- Attractive men typically have a sultry vibe about them or they have a playful and flirty vibe with a lot of humor, sexual innuendos, and undertones in their communication. Women react very well to this wheres creepy men don’t smile and come off as deadpan serious and intimidating. Always remember you’re a stranger to a new girl, she has no idea who the hell you are, what your intentions are, and as a rule of thumb men in general are bigger and stronger than women and thus potentially dangerous to them. Smiles will disarm, but creepy guys forget to smile and instead barrel in with a serious expression on their faces that will alarm and intimate women. DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!!!
- If you’re still feeling stiff and are too serious, please refer to the following article below:
3. Displaying too much interest with your body.
- This is something we hammer in during our live classes and workshops, the importance of spacing, mirroring her, not leaning in, and body language. Creepy men come on very strong and give full body attention most of the time. To clarify this example, they give their full body attention to a girl they’re attracted to. That is, they point their feet, torso, and face directly at the person they’re talking to while having laser focused eye contact. Remember how a salesperson approaches you in a store when you came in to look around, you feel cornered when they do that to you, right? Same concept applies to interacting with women, when a guy fully turns his body without building rapport and sub-communicating to her that you guys are on the same page, you’re going to come off to strong to her. I can’t hammer this enough with initial introductions, learn to talk to her over your shoulder and open her and her group with the side of your body facing toward them rather than giving your full frontal attention non-verbally. Positioning is key, what this will sub-communicate to a girl is that you’re on the same level and same page as her, you’re not the pursuer or trying to put her in a position of power to judge you or pressure her to make an immediate yes/no decision.
4. Becoming a social obligation
- Most women are naturally emotionally intelligent and do not want to create a scene unless they’re drunk, egotistical, or emotionally unstable, other than that most women don’t want to be put into a situation that is both socially threatening and physically threatening. Women don’t want to be rude but it’s important you develop your ability to socially finesse in and out of an interaction and react to her non-verbal signals. Just think about it, when you’ve just met someone there’s often a fear that you’re going to stick around and not leave and become a social burden even if you’re a really cool person deep down. Men who are aware of this are very good at diffusing this fear and move past this objection fairly quickly. Less experienced men linger even after missing the social cues and signals even the overt signals. Don’t hang onto a girl for dear life, remember no one wants to feel trapped or obligated, remember what I said about giving value? Remember to speak slowly, inject some pauses, and calm your nerves down. Emotions are contagious, it allows women to relax and know that they’ll be able to get a word in and end the conversation if they need to due to circumstances such as girls night out, a friend’s birthday, or some kind of social event.
- Much like becoming a social obligation, one of the most common things men do even after a girl has both overtly and subtlely that they’re disinterested or can’t talk at the moment because of X, Y, and Z is linger around them, stay within their line of vision, or just be in the general area and stop interacting with the people around them. Always remember the longer you linger after an interaction goes sideways or even before you approach a girl, the more likely they’re going to feel threatened or creeped out. Assess the situation, make your reads, approach the group or the girl if she’s by herself or even if you get blown out, move out of the area and move on to the other side of the venue or start interacting with other people immediately.
6. Fearing Rejection or Feeling Afraid
- This is normal and I want you to be aware of this. Emotions are contagious, in applied psychology this is referred to as “emotional contagion.” For people with a high degree of empathy, they can literally feel the room. Emotional Contagion refers to the absorption and internalization of emotions of those around us, and one thing guys new to the dating game have when they’re talking to women is fear. When you feel fear, the people around you will pick up on that, whether or not he’s aware of it, he will sub-communicate it. The expressions on his face are tighter, voice trembles a little bit more, the conversations are a little stiff or start with more hesitation, and in a nutshell the fight or flight response is kicking in. Think back to your times in high school and college when someone or yourself had to give a speech for the first time. Of course if you’re not naturally inclined to speak in front of a bunch of people, that fear is sub-communicated. Women as I’ve said are emotionally perceptive and will pick up on this if you don’t learn how to manage your emotions well and will become fearful themselves if you don’t get this in check. The only way I’ve learned that consistently works besides making the appropriate body language adjustments is biting the bullet and talking to the women you find the most intimidating until you’ve developed the reference experiences and systematically desensitized yourself to it.
7. Don’t trap a girl
- Another thing we hammer into our live classes and workshops is the importance of not trapping a girl. Always leave a point of exit or space for a girl to know that she can get out of a situation she’s not comfortable in. Don’t block them in if your sitting next to her in the bar, the lounge area, and tables. This also applies to day-to-day situations such as riding in public transportation, don’t trap her!
8. Learn how to touch.
- I remember this one time back in college when I was out with some friends for happy hour. I saw this guy just put his arm around a girl at the bar while she was waiting for her friends. At first I thought they knew each other or that they were dating until I got closer and saw this tense expression on her face and her shoulders tensed up. She breaks away after making a scene and flipping out on him. The point i’m trying to make in this example is to learn that there are levels to touching a girl and it’s important you develop enough situational awareness to not take it from 0-100 when you don’t know if she’s comfortable with you or attracted to you. Please refer to the following articles:
‘Til Next Time,
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