How To Avoid Turning Other People Off

Want to be one of those people that others swarm to, as opposed to one of those people that others bolt from? Here are some tips on how NOT to turn people off.

We all know somebody in our circle of life who is an expert at turning people off. They know exactly what to say at the exact right, or wrong, moment. These are the kind of people who, when you see them down the aisle at the grocery store, you lower your head and turn your cart around to go in the opposite direction, constantly looking back to see if they saw you. This is that person who, when you're inviting people from your office to your Halloween party, you say something like, "Just make sure you keep this secret. I wouldn't want HIM to find out about it." What do all of these people have in common and what can we do to make sure that we do not turn people off ourselves?

* There is such a thing as personal space. It is that three feet that you want to stand away from people who are merely acquaintances. You would probably stand about one and a half to two feet away from somebody who you would consider a close friend. However, anything less than one foot away is considered intimate space. An invasion of intimate space, especially if you are not "intimate" with that person is a huge turn off, so keep your distance from people.

* A lot of people are what can be considered "touchy-feely." This might be somebody who slaps you on the back when you tell a good joke or somebody who comes up behind you at your computer desk to give you a back rub while you work. While many people see this type of behavior as merely harmless, you never know who may get offended by it, so avoid this type of behavior altogether.


* Nobody likes to have a conversation with somebody who seems distracted all the time. How many times have you been telling a story to somebody only to notice their eyes starting to glaze over as they become distracted by something else? Or have you ever been talking about an incident in your own life only to be interrupted mid-sentence with, "Oh, you think THAT'S bad? Wait until you hear what happened to me!" I don't know anybody who ISN'T turned off by a horrible listener, so, if you want people to swarm around you instead of bolting, learn to be a great listener.

* We've all met the type of person who begins most sentences with, "Not to be mean or anything but..." This is that person who gossips about her enemies, her friends and pretty much anybody else she comes into contact with. You are 100% sure that if you tell this person a secret, the entire office will know it by day's end. While these sorts of people are interesting, they're not the type of person you will be clamoring to make friends with, so avoid speaking ill of others and spreading rumors at all costs.

* Ever have somebody ask you a personal question even though you hardly knew them? Some people are just inherently nosy and love to be in everybody's business. They usually mean well and are often simply curious, but they usually have no sense of what would be considered an "acquaintance question" and what would be considered a "true friend question." Use your common sense when approaching others with questions that may be considered personal and always respect other people's right to privacy.

© High Speed Ventures 2011