10 behaviors that make you seem cold (and what to do instead)

It’s not uncommon for people to initially perceive you as aloof or standoffish, only to be pleasantly surprised when they discover your warm, friendly nature.

Despite your genuine love for socializing and making friends, your first impression may not always reflect that.

Certain mannerisms or behaviors could unintentionally make you appear unapproachable, even if you’re simply shy, anxious, or have no particular reason for acting that way.

Although you might not think much of these habits, others may interpret them as signs of coldness.

To help you come across as more approachable and inviting, here are some habits to be aware of and tips on what to do instead:

1) Scowling More Often Than You Wanted to

Has anyone ever asked if you’re okay, leaving you puzzled because you feel perfectly fine?

This could be due to a seemingly glum or scowling facial expression, making others hesitant to approach you even when you’re relaxed and carefree.

Your seemingly unapproachable demeanor might stem from the natural angles of your facial features, such as downcast eyes or lips pointing downward, which can make you appear upset even when you’re not.

As a result, your neutral expression may come across as brooding or irritated.

To change people’s perceptions and appear more approachable, try smiling more often to dispel any misconceptions.

You can also use makeup to subtly reshape and lift your facial features, creating a more inviting appearance.

Another useful trick is to place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, which can help relax and soften your overall expression.

2) Being on Your Phone Always

Constantly using your phone can create the impression that you’re unapproachable, particularly at parties or social events.

This behavior may lead others to believe you prefer your phone over engaging with them.

You might not be using your phone to intentionally avoid conversation; perhaps you’re shy, anxious, or dealing with something important.

I used to do the same at social gatherings, pretending to be busy to mask my anxiety and feelings of exclusion.

However, this only made me appear aloof and even impolite.

Using your phone in public when you’re not engaged in an activity, like commuting or waiting in line, is understandable.

If someone approaches you in these situations, make eye contact, put your phone away, and engage in conversation.

At social events, try to build your confidence, interact with others, and limit phone usage.

If you need to address urgent matters, excuse yourself and find a private space to handle them.

3) Leaving Others Out Unintentionally in Group Conversations

You might be a natural conversationalist, captivating your audience as you connect with like-minded individuals.

However, unintentionally excluding others from group discussions can give the impression of snobbery.

You might inadvertently block someone’s view, turn away from them, or discuss personal topics that leave them feeling left out. It’s an unpleasant experience for anyone involved.

While it’s easy to become absorbed in conversation, it’s important to remain mindful of those around you.

Make an effort to include everyone in the discussion and ensure they have the opportunity to contribute.

By creating a welcoming atmosphere, you’ll be able to expand your network and forge meaningful relationships with ease.

4) Giving Curt Answers

Whether you do it because you’re shy, awkward, lost in thought, or distracted, giving short answers can make you look cold.

This is especially when others try to approach you at a social function and spark a conversation with you with open-ended questions.

It makes them think that you don’t want to talk to others. I know how it feels to be anxious in a crowd, so you may not be doing this on purpose.

To break the habit of giving short answers to people, you can try shifting your perspective and finding the joy of meeting and learning about other people.

You can work on being more confident and relaxed about expressing yourself and connecting with others.

5) Having a Closed Off Body Language

You may be anxious, shy, or uncomfortable in social functions, and it shows how stiff your body is.

People may think you’re cold due to your body language, like how you sit, stand, or generally carry yourself.

You may cross your legs or arms to feel more comfortable, but these harmless habits give the impression that you don’t want to talk to others, even if it’s not your intention.

After all, body language plays a great role in first impressions.

You can break this habit by being more mindful about your movements. Always keep your hands to your side when standing instead of having them crossed.

You might also want to avoid turning your back on others, as it will make you look like a snob.

6) Not Smiling When Meeting People

People develop a first impression that you’re cold because you don’t smile when they greet you or when they’ve just met you.

On the other hand, I know it’s uncomfortable to smile even if you don’t want to or when other people force you to smile. You don’t have to fake a smile if you don’t like the person.

But you may still want to remember that there’s no harm in trying to smile if you want to connect with others.

Be true to yourself and comfortable in your own skin, and your genuine and bright smile will naturally come out, especially on people you feel comfortable with.

7) Always Wearing Your Headphones

Similar to being on your phone all the time, wearing earphones or headphones gives the impression that you don’t want to be disturbed and talk to others.

This might be fine if you’re only minding your own business in a public space, but if you’re at a social gathering, this might come off as unapproachable, if not rude.

People will think twice about striking up a conversation with you because they’d have to call your attention first.

I understand that maybe you do this to relax when you’re anxious.

But you may want to try other ways to shake off your jitters and enjoy the moment of socializing and connecting with others, especially at a social gathering.

8) Saying Inappropriate and Negative Things

People may think you’re cold if all you say are negative and inappropriate things like complaining about the smallest things or criticizing others.

Maybe this is your way of getting people to warm up to you because you think it makes you sound funny or cool.

But the truth is that doing this only makes you look arrogant and phony, even if you’re really a nice person on the inside.

No one wants to talk to abrasive people, so they won’t hang around enough to bother knowing the real you.

You can break this bad habit by being more mindful about what you say.

9) Not Engaging with Others

People might think you’re a snob if you don’t talk to others that much, especially at social events.

Maybe you’re only too shy or anxious to come up to people and ask how they are, but it gives the impression that you don’t want to connect with others.

I know it can be scary to strike up a conversation with people you barely know – you may worry that they won’t like you.

But if you want to break this habit, you might want to be more confident about yourself and practice ways to relax, so you can express yourself without fear.

10) You Don’t Ask People Questions

Another habit that can make you seem unapproachable is not asking questions during conversations.

While you may be an attentive listener, failing to inquire about the other person’s thoughts, opinions, or experiences can come across as disinterest or self-centeredness.

To be more engaging and approachable, make a conscious effort to ask open-ended questions that encourage others to share their perspectives.

This demonstrates genuine interest in their lives and opinions, helping to establish a stronger connection and build rapport.

As a result, you’ll foster an inviting atmosphere that encourages people to feel more comfortable around you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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