Ever wonder why some people just seem more likable and approachable than others? You know, the kind of person that makes you feel at ease right away and draws you in with their warmth and charm? If you’re not that person, don’t worry; appearing more approachable is a skill you can develop.

The truth is, many of us unknowingly exhibit behaviors that make us seem unapproachable or intimidating to others. But with some simple tweaks, you can transform yourself into someone people feel good being around.

The secret is focusing on the little things: a smile, eye contact, and your body language. Make a few changes, and you’ll start attracting people to you like a magnet. Your friendly, open demeanor will become your superpower. In this article we provide you 15 tips about – How to Be Less Intimidating and stop scaring people away.

What is an Intimidating Personality?

What is an Intimidating Personality
What is an Intimidating Personality

An intimidating personality can scare people away and make social interactions challenging. Recognizing the traits of an intimidating person can help you make adjustments to appear more approachable.

  • 1. Aggressive or confrontational – Do you frequently argue or start debates with others? Constant confrontation and aggression can make you seem unapproachable and combative.
  • 2. Lack of warmth- If you struggle to smile, make eye contact, or engage in friendly small talk, you may come across as cold or aloof. Work on showing interest in others by asking follow-up questions and sharing information about yourself too.
  • Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, can make you appear more open and help put others at ease.
  • 3. Poor communication – Intimidating people often have poor communication skills. They may frequently interrupt, talk over others, or fail to listen.
  • 4. Lack of vulnerability – Do you have trouble opening up or showing any weakness? While maintaining confidence is important, appearing “untouchable” or unwilling to share any personal details can make you seem unapproachable.

Read more – Signs Someone is Trying to Intimidate You: 15 Signs to Aware

Letting your guard down in moderation and allowing others to support you can help build connections
Letting your guard down in moderation and allowing others to support you can help build connections.

Recognizing these traits in yourself and making an effort to adjust your behavior and communication style can help transform an intimidating personality into a more approachable one. With practice, you’ll find that your interactions become more positive and meaningful.

How to Be Less Intimidating

Here are 15 tips you can use to become more approachable and friendly person.

1. Relax your body language.

Relax your body language
Relax your body language.

If you want to appear more approachable, the first thing you need to do is relax your body language.

  • Loosen up your posture. Stand up straight, but not stiff. Keep your shoulders back and avoid crossing your arms over your chest. This closed-off stance can make you seem uninviting.
  • Make eye contact and smile. Looking away or avoiding eye contact can signal that you’re not interested in engaging with others. Offer a genuine smile to help you appear more open and friendly.
  • Use open-hand gestures. Relaxed, open hand gestures help you appear more accessible and less intimidating. Keep your hands out of your pockets and avoid clenched fists. Gentle, casual hand movements are best.
  • Give a friendly greeting. Say “hello”, wave, or nod to acknowledge people. A simple greeting, combined with good eye contact and a smile, can go a long way toward making you seem more approachable.
  • Move with purpose. Walk with confidence but avoid aggressive or “power” stances. A relaxed yet purposeful gait makes you appear confident but still approachable. Swaggering or stomping can be off-putting.

Making a few simple changes to your body language and behavior can have a big impact on how approachable you seem to others. Combine that with a friendly greeting and a relaxed but confident way of moving, and people will find you much more accessible and inviting. With practice, these techniques will become second nature.

2. Make eye contact and smile.

Making eye contact and smiling at people is one of the easiest ways to appear more approachable.

  • Look up from your phone and make eye contact. When you’re walking down the street or in a public place, glance up at people passing by and meet their gaze for a brief moment. Flash a quick smile. This simple act shows you’re open to interaction and helps you seem friendlier.
  • Smile genuinely at people you see regularly. If you frequent the same coffee shop, grocery store, or gym, make an effort to smile and say hello to the employees and other regulars. Over time, they’ll come to see you as someone warm and inviting.
  • Start conversations. Once you’ve made eye contact and smiled at someone, strike up a casual chat. Comment on the weather or ask an open-ended question. For example, ask your barista how their day is going or ask a fellow gym-goer for a quick workout tip. Engaging people in light, friendly dialog is a surefire way to appear more approachable.
  • Make your body language inviting. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, keep your arms uncrossed, and relax your facial expression. Tense, closed-off body language will negate your friendly smile and eye contact. Look interested in others by leaning in slightly when speaking with them.

With practice, making eye contact, smiling, and engaging people in casual conversation can become second nature. You’ll transform from someone others perceive as aloof or intimidating into a person who attracts friends and opportunities. People will start to see you as the warm, charismatic person you aspire to be.

Read more – People Come into Your Life for a Reason: 15 Reasons

3. Use a friendly tone of voice.

Use a friendly tone of voice
Use a friendly tone of voice.

The tone of your voice and the words you choose can significantly impact how approachable you seem to others. Using a friendly, open tone will help put people at ease and make them more willing to engage with you.

Speak warmly and smile.

A smile can be heard through the phone, so make sure your tone sounds upbeat, positive, and warm. Speaking in a friendly, enthusiastic manner will make you sound more likable and help others feel comfortable opening up to you. Even if you’re not feeling particularly upbeat, putting a smile on your face can help translate into a pleasant tone of voice.

Avoid sounding curt or impatient.

An abrupt, impatient tone will likely scare people off and make you seem unapproachable. Respond to others in a courteous, unhurried way. Don’t make people feel like they’re bothering you or wasting your time. Take a few deep breaths to avoid sounding curt.

Ask open-ended questions.

Asking thoughtful questions is a great way to start a friendly conversation and show you’re interested in others. Pose open-ended questions that encourage detailed responses rather than just “yes” or “no” answers. For example, ask, “How did that make you feel?” or “What did you find most interesting about that?” Open-ended questions can lead to more meaningful discussions.

warm, patient, and inclusive tone of voice, along with friendly and engaging conversation, will make you seem much more approachable
warm, patient, and inclusive tone of voice, along with friendly and engaging conversation, will make you seem much more approachable.

4. Avoid aggressive or defensive language.

The words you choose can have a big impact on how approachable you seem. Aggressive or defensive language puts people on edge and makes them less likely to engage with you.

Avoid commands and demands.

Saying things like “you need to” or “you have to” can come across as pushy or controlling. Instead, try “I recommend” or “consider.” Asking open-ended questions is also a good way to seem more open and collaborative.

Watch your tone.

The tone and attitude behind your words matter. Even if you don’t mean to, messages can come across as condescending, judgmental, or dismissive in writing. Read over what you’ve written and try to determine how it might be interpreted by someone else. If anything stands out as potentially off-putting, rephrase it. It’s always a good rule of thumb to be constructive rather than critical.

Drop the defensiveness.

Using defensive language like “I didn’t mean it that way” or “You took that the wrong way” makes you seem unwilling to accept feedback or responsibility. It also subtly blames the other person for misunderstanding you. Instead of defending yourself, focus on clarifying your intended meaning and acknowledging the other perspective. Say something like, “I can see how that may have come across differently than I meant.”

Share the floor.

Make an effort to use inclusive language that invites others into the conversation. Say “we” and “us” instead of “me” and “I.”. The more you share the floor and make people feel like collaborators rather than just recipients, the more approachable you will seem.

5. Ask more questions.

Ask more questions
Ask more questions.

Asking more questions is one of the easiest ways to seem more approachable. When you ask someone questions about themselves, their interests, and their experiences, it shows you are engaged and want to get to know them better. People love talking about themselves, so allowing them to do so will make you instantly more likable.

6. Show interest in others.

Ask follow-up questions to show you are listening and genuinely interested in learning more about the other person. For example, if someone mentions they recently went on vacation, ask where they went and what they enjoyed most about the trip. If a coworker talks about their new hobby, ask how they got into it and what they find most rewarding. The more you inquire, the more approachable and friendly you will appear.

7. Relate and empathize

Relate and empathize
Relate and empathize.

When someone shares details about their life with you, express empathy and understanding. Say things like, “I can relate to that,” or “I’ve been in a similar situation.” Share a comparable experience of your own. Letting people know you understand what they are going through makes you seem more down-to-earth and approachable. However, be genuine in your responses. Do not claim to relate to something you have no experience with.

8. Share information about yourself too.

To seem more approachable, share details about yourself too, not just ask questions. While showing interest in others is key, you also need to open up about yourself. Give people a glimpse into your life and personality.

Talk about your interests and hobbies.

Mention some of your interests, hobbies, and passions. For example, say something like:

  • “In my free time, I really enjoy hiking and photography.”
  • “I’m a big foodie and love trying new recipes on the weekends.”
  • “Have you seen any good movies recently? I’m a bit of a film buff.”

Sharing these kinds of details helps others get a sense of who you are outside of work or school. It gives you common ground and makes you appear more relatable.

9. Share funny or lighthearted stories.

Share funny or lighthearted stories
Share funny or lighthearted stories.

Telling a funny or amusing story about yourself is a great way to seem friendly and approachable. Keep things light and casual, not too serious. For example, you might say:

“The other day I went to make coffee but was out of coffee beans. Still half asleep, I poured water into the grinder instead of the coffee maker! Needless to say, I ended up at the coffee shop instead.” Stories like these show your human and imperfect sides endearingly.

Laugh at yourself, and others will laugh with you
Laugh at yourself, and others will laugh with you.

10. Be transparent about your mistakes or flaws.

Nobody’s perfect, so openly admitting to your own mistakes, flaws, or weaknesses makes you seem humble and down to earth. For example:

“I have to warn you; I’m terrible with names and may need to ask you a few times before I remember!”

“I tend to be perpetually late, no matter how hard I try. My friends have come to expect it from me!”

Revealing little confessions like these in a lighthearted, self-deprecating way makes you instantly more relatable and approachable. People will appreciate your honesty and candor.

In the end, being approachable is about finding the right balance between showing interest in others and opening up about yourself. Share details that give people a glimpse into who you are, and do so with humor and humility.

Let your guard down, and others will follow suit
Let your guard down, and others will follow suit.

Read More – How to Stop Being Overconfident: A Step by Step Guide

11. Praise others sincerely.

Praise others sincerely
Praise others sincerely

One of the easiest ways to appear more approachable is to sincerely praise others. People gravitate toward those who make them feel good about themselves. When you offer genuine compliments and highlight the strengths and accomplishments of others, it makes you seem friendly, positive, and supportive.

Look for opportunities to praise

Pay close attention to the people around you and notice when they do something well or achieve a goal. Speak up and offer a sincere compliment, like “Great job on that presentation. You explained the concepts so clearly.” or “I’ve really appreciated all your hard work on this project. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.”

Be specific

Don’t just say something generic like, “You’re really smart.” Give a thoughtful compliment that highlights a particular skill, quality, or achievement. For example, say, “You have a gift for putting clients at ease and making them feel heard,” or “The way you stay so positive under pressure is inspiring to the whole team.”

Praise in public and private

Offering praise in front of others can be very motivating and help strengthen work relationships. However, praising someone privately also shows you genuinely mean what you say. A quick message or chat to tell a co-worker you value them will make them feel appreciated and build connections.

Praise often and freely.

Don’t hold back praise just because you think someone has already been recognized enough. Sincere compliments are always welcome and help foster goodwill. Make a habit of praising the people you interact with regularly. Say something nice whenever the thought strikes you; it only takes a moment but can make a big difference.

The more you praise others sincerely, the more approachable and likable you will become. People will come to view you as someone who makes them feel good about themselves and will look forward to interacting with you. Focusing on the strengths and accomplishments of others is a simple way to build better relationships and appear open, friendly, and supportive.

Your friendly, open demeanor will make you irresistibly approachable
Your friendly, open demeanor will make you irresistibly approachable.

12. Compliment character, not appearance.

Complimenting others in a genuine, thoughtful way is one of the easiest ways to appear more approachable. People are naturally drawn to people who make them feel good about themselves.

While appearance-based compliments might be well-intentioned, they can make some people uncomfortable and send the wrong message. Instead, focus on praising things like:

  • Personality traits: kindness, humor, positivity, etc.
  • Values and work ethic: dedication, compassion, creativity, etc.
  • Skills and talents: communication, problem-solving, leadership, etc.

With practice, complimenting others sincerely can become second nature. Make it a goal each day to spread kindness through your words and lift the spirits of those around you. People will take notice of your positivity and be drawn to your light.

13. Listen more, talk less.

Listen more, talk less
Listen more, talk less.

To seem more approachable, work on listening more and talking less. People will find you much less intimidating if you show a genuine interest in them by listening to what they say.

Make eye contact and give your full attention.

When someone is speaking to you, make eye contact and focus on them. Put away your phone and avoid other distractions. Make appropriate facial expressions and head nods to show you’re engaged and following along. Ask follow-up questions to make sure you understand them fully.

Don’t interrupt

Let people speak freely without cutting them off or finishing their sentences. Interrupting is a sign that you’re more interested in what you have to say than in listening to them. Only speak when there is a natural pause or when they have finished their thought.

Be a Positive person – Importance of Self-Concept: Transforming Lives for Success

14. Share the conversation.

While listening is important, you also want to share information about how you think to create a balanced dialog. Wait for opportunities to exchange information, share related experiences you have had, and build on what the other person is saying. A good rule of thumb is to listen about 70–80% of the time and share 20–30% of the time.

15. Provide feedback.

Provide feedback
Provide feedback.

Show that you were paying attention by providing appropriate verbal and non-verbal feedback. Say things like, “That’s interesting.” or “I can understand why you feel that way.” Nod, smile, and maintain enthusiastic body language. Repeat or rephrase what they said to confirm your understanding. People will appreciate your genuine interest and find you much more approachable.


So there you have it: a few simple tips to help you appear more approachable and less intimidating to others. Making eye contact, smiling, relaxing your body language, and dressing in a friendly manner can go a long way.

Remember, appearing open and accessible is about focusing on the other person, not yourself. Make an effort to engage people by asking questions and showing interest in learning more about them. When you do so, you’ll find that others will become more comfortable opening up to you in return.


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Put these techniques into practice, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming someone who attracts people rather than scares them off.

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