“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 as creepy. I don’t what I did to put her off, what should I do?”
Since coaching over the last four years, 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 or another is something that most men run into at some point in their quest for love.
It’s completely normal, and unless you’ve been arrested for stalking or have some serious issues, nine times out ten it all boiled down to some form of misunderstanding or miscommunication. Maybe you felt nervous, awkward, feared getting rejected, feared getting judged, said one thing whereas your body communicated another message, or your appearance or the way you presented yourself 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 journey, take a step back, don’t beat yourself up, and let’s work through this…
Coming off creepy is something a lot of men face at some point in their dating lives. No matter how inexperienced or experienced you are, at some point you may have run into this objection from a girl, either 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, and about 40-60% of communication is non-verbal. 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. This happens because our internal dialogue 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 of this, it’s a matter of coming off as incongruent in our sub-communications 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 sense 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 scene, this is both an anxiety and an objection that they run into due to a combination of incongruence in both their verbal communication and sub-communications.
Common Examples of Creepiness:
- A conversation is clearly dying out, and the girl who is either by herself, with her friends, or in a group, is disengaged with the guy and there is clearly no verbal or non-verbal rapport. However, the guy tries very hard to keep it alive instead of cutting his losses and moving on from the group.
- A girl who gives off clear signals that she’s not interested or doesn’t want to talk, yet the guy either intentionally or unintentionally ignores those signals and continues to try and keep her engaged by talking about mundane topics such as the weather, their location, etc.
- The level of interest that a guy is non-verbally sub-communicating with her is incongruent with his verbal communication.
The first two scenarios are tied to being a social burden, whereas the last scenario stems from an incongruence with verbal communication and the non-verbal sub-communications.
To put it in layman’s terms, incongruence occurs when a guy is trying to be indirect about his interest and attraction towards a girl, but is clearly displaying too much interest non-verbally through 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 by this. 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 and experience, social congruence or in old pickup theory terms “social calibration” will become instinctive. In a nutshell, being creepy is about wanting something from 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 that by saying enough words women will decide they want them. They don’t offer any value that will build enough attraction, and they don’t offer anything positive to interest or intrigue her. They only pursue the 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, especially when they’re consciously aware of it. 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, let’s get onto the meat and potatoes of how to not be creepy. Read on to discover what you can do to diagnose and fix these roadblocks when you’re interacting with a girl you’re attracted to.
8 Tips to Not Be Creepy
There are specific behavioral traits and characteristics that creepy men possess, which you should never do when you’re interacting with a girl you’re attracted for the first time.
1. Don’t scan the room and stare.
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. This is a common behavior that men do in bars, nightclubs, and party environments. Creepy men scan the room “hunting” and looking for the next woman to talk to. It’s very obvious to everyone else in the venue, and women are hyper-aware of this.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t scan a group of people that has a girl you’re attracted to so you know how to make the approach, 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, and don’t stare them down.
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. Don’t be too serious.
Attractive men typically have a either a sultry vibe or a playful and flirty vibe with a lot of humor, sexual innuendos, and undertones in their communication. Women react very well to this, whereas creepy men rarely smile and come off as deadpan serious and intimidating. Always remember that you’re a stranger to a new girl. She has no idea who you are or what your intentions are.
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 often feel stiff and too serious when chatting with women, please refer to our article on how to flirt with a girl.
3. Don’t display 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. 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 come in to look around? You feel cornered when they do that to you, right?
The same concept applies to interacting with women. When a guy fully turns his body without building rapport and sub-communicating to her that they’re on the same page, he’s going to come off too strong to her. 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. When you mirror her body language, this will sub-communicate to a girl that you’re on the same level and the 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 or no decision.
4. Don’t become 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 that you develop your ability to socially finesse in and out of an interaction and react to her non-verbal signals. 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 moving past this objection fairly quickly. Less experienced men end up missing the social cues and signals and hang around past their welcome. Don’t hang onto a girl for dear life. Remember, no one wants to feel trapped or obligated. Focus on giving value.
Speak slowly, inject some pauses, and calm your nerves down. Emotions are contagious, so by being calm, 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.
5. Don’t linger.
Much like becoming a social obligation, one of the most common things men do, even after a girl has both overtly and subtly indicated that they’re disinterested or can’t talk at the moment, 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 that the longer you linger after an interaction goes south or even before you approach a girl, the more likely they’re going to feel threatened or creeped out. Briefly assess the situation, make your reads, and approach the group or the girl if she’s by herself. If you get blown out, move out of the area and go to the other side of the venue or start interacting with other people immediately.
6. Let go of fears and anxieties.
Emotions are contagious, and in applied psychology this is referred to as “emotional contagion.” People with a high degree of empathy can literally feel the room. Emotional contagion refers to the absorption and internalization of the emotions of those around us.
Guys new to the dating scene will often experience fear and anxiety when they’re talking to women. When you feel fear, the people around you will pick up on it. Whether or not you’re aware of it, you will sub-communicate it. The expressions on your face are tighter, your voice trembles a little bit more, and your conversations are a little stiff or start with more hesitation. This is essentially the fight or flight response kicking in.
Think back to 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. As I’ve said, women 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 found that consistently works to eliminate fear, 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 her.
Another thing we emphasize in our live classes and workshops is the importance of not trapping a girl. Always leave a point of exit or space for her to know that she can get out of a situation she’s not comfortable in. Don’t block her in if you’re sitting next to her in the bar, lounge area, or tables. This also applies to day-to-day situations such as riding in public transportation.
8. Learn how to touch properly.
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 broke away after making a scene and flipping out on him.
The point I’m trying to make with this example is to learn that there are levels to touching a girl. 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 for more on touch:
‘Til Next Time,