Covert Advice: On Approachability

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Dear Thoughtful Penn Stater,

A few days ago, you asked me a question that really hit home:

Why do you think cute (and normal) girls don’t get approached by guys? If we’re being honest, I think I’m a pretty girl and I don’t think I’m one of those “psycho chicks,” but I never really get much attention from guys, as in guys don’t ask for my number, things like that. Why do you think this happens? What should I do to be more approachable?

Thank you for asking this question. As all of us begin to adapt to the college environment, many of us forget how to handle a new social scene. Whether it’s a wanting a relationship, a friendship, or just a person to study with, we all need to seem approachable. So let’s dive in.

Why You Feel Unapproachable: Fear of Embarassment

In order to paint the simplest picture I can, imagine men as tiny, hairy spiders:  they are probably more afraid of approaching you than you are of them.

Surely, seeming unapproachable always makes you question yourself, your beauty, or maybe even your social skills, but it shouldn’t actually reflect anything you are doing: it’s merely a social stalemate, the limbo between acceptance and the “friend zone”, the very small gap between pride and embarrassment.

We don’t really live in a generation that is comfortable with flirtation anymore and we quite possibly never will. We all know that Facebook stalking and read receipts are a much easier and lazier alternative to find out if someone is available to talk.

Now let’s take a step back from our messed up society as a whole and dive into the mind of a man:

Guys, and I’m speaking for the lot of us out there, are trickier than you’d imagine. If you are thinking about the hundreds of things he could come up and say to you, we are thinking of the million ways to say it (and then eventually going with awkward silence or something that sounds much, much more stupid).

What You Can Do About It: Make the First Move

Don’t be afraid to defy the laws of chivalry.

I know that a bold and confident man can be pretty sexy, but how do you think men feel about bold and confident women? To keep a long story short, we approve.

I’m not passing the burden of flirtation onto the females with this, however, because approachability is a two way street: both people have to put themselves out there and make a leap of faith together, or it simply will not work.

Instead of imagining what it would have been like to strike up a conversation with the guy you wrote the question about, cut out the middleman next time and talk to him.

Afraid that it will make things weird or awkward if it doesn’t work out? Then you know exactly why guys are so hesitant to make the first move.

Advice: Keep Trying

To quote Thomas H. Palmer, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Now, obviously, the best way to seem approachable is to approach others yourself. Get out there and make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way. Even if you only try it for one day, make sure you take the time to realize how much more beautiful life has become once you begin.

Chris Covert



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