As your Thursday night comes to a close, you can’t help but wonder why you either a) didn’t meet anyone new at a frat-house filled with people, b) didn’t really have any great conversations with anyone, or c) didn’t go home with a guy’s number. For the most highly-anticipated night of the week, you can’t help but feel that it was kind of a bust because all you really did was get unpleasantly drunk while standing in a circle with your 5 best girlfriends chit-chatting about how the punch is surprisingly delicious. Perhaps there’s a reason that some nights come and go without a conversation with new (or particularly hot) people/men.
As nice and approachable as collegiettes can be, we can sometimes revert to behaviors that say, “Don’t talk to me, I’m not interested,” instead of “I think you’re cute and want to talk to you.” Guys will turn the other way if they feel that you’re unapproachable or just plain b*tchy. Here are some signs you might be unintentionally giving off that keep people away for fear that you might, like, rip their heads off if they even think about speaking to you…
Your face is constantly buried in your phone.
As far as anyone around you is concerned, you’re more preoccupied with whoever it is you’re texting than with whoever is at the party. Whatever the reason (you’re feeling awkward and need to look like you have other friends; you’re genuinely waiting for someone to text you back; you’re involved in a really intense game of Words with Friends…), it becomes clear to the people you’re with that you’re just not interested in engaging with them. If that’s not the case, then put your phone away. (If that is the case, however, you might as well leave.) Your phone screen isn’t going to illuminate an image of a cute guy – rather, he’s standing across the room wondering if you’re going to accept or reject his attempt to have a conversation with you. The same goes for those long walks across campus. By gluing your eyes to your phone, you’re avoiding contact with everyone – guy, girl, friend, non-friend – who passes you. Give your thumbs a rest while you’re out to avoid seeming totally uninterested in the people you’re with.
Your arms are always crossed.
That stance, that glare – both scream, “Don’t mess with me.” Standing around with your arms crossed makes you seem particularly unhappy and completely unapproachable. The effect is magnified about 10 times if you’re wearing sunglasses. This closed-off posture is simply uninviting, and it makes you seem really intimidating to guys and girls alike. Release your arms from this restrictive position and let them hang by your sides. Instead of slumping into your hips, stand straight up – this gives off an air of confidence as opposed to arrogance. Just relax, and be open to conversation.
You abuse sarcasm while texting.
We know all too well that sarcasm simply doesn’t translate via text message. Jokes get lost in translation and playful remarks become downright mean when they’re expressed in animated speech bubbles. Scale back on the sarcasm if you’re texting a guy you don’t know too well. Chances are he’ll get confused (and maybe even offended) by your supposed-to-be-funny “insults.” Reserve these little digs for in-person use only, or until he gets to know your humor a little better. He’ll be able to appreciate your sarcasm if he knows to expect it. Anything too strong or ambiguous sent via text can be misinterpreted – something that was sent in a light-hearted manner can be received as blatantly mean.
Your 263 Facebook profile pictures are exclusively of your face.
“So, you think you’re really pretty?” As much as we just hate her, Regina George resonates with us, and many of her lines have shamelessly made their way into our day-to-day interactions with girlfriends and guy friends (whether they can identify these references or not) alike. Ironically, self-centered photographs are probably what would dominate Regina’s Facebook page, but this shouldn’t be true for nice-girl collegiettes. To avoid coming off as conceited, mix up your Profile Pictures album with some pictures of friends and family here and there. Feature a ridiculous picture of you and your friends dressed up on Halloween to show that you’ve got a killer sense of humor; put up a picture of you and your younger sibling to get a few “AWW, so adorable!” comments beneath it. As superficial as Facebook can be, try your best to represent yourself as more than just a pretty face.
You’re part of a “pack” when you go out.
Despite your friends’ steadfast devotion to the “Come together, leave together,” mantra, sometimes it can be okay to let loose on that rule. If you walk into the party in a pack of 9+ and don’t leave each others’ sides the entire night, people will start to wonder why you’re even out. It’s okay to want to spend time with your closest friends, but at the end of the day, you’re going out at night to socialize with more than just a few of your favorite girls. To avoid the need to stick to each others’ hips all night, plan a group dinner before the party for some girl-time. Thereafter, take the rest of the night to catch up with people you don’t usually hang out with. The last thing you want is to be the girls who stand in a circle all night and shut everyone else out. So while it’s fine to come and leave together, allow yourselves free-range at the actual party.
You stare right past people.
Some nights out can become particularly overwhelming, with people milling about everywhereand an enormous number of people you’ve never seen in your life. Instead of walking past all these people as though they’re invisible, introduce yourself to a few new faces. Snap out of that tunnel vision that silences you until you see someone you actually know. And if a guy you don’t know approaches you first, don’t look at him like he has six heads. Undoubtedly, there was a reason he came to talk to you – and it took some guts to actually do it – so don’t dismiss him by acting uninterested. Talk to him for a fair amount of time until you deem him weird, boring or kind of annoying. If his attempts at courtship fail to impress, don’t be rude and make him seem inadequate – if nothing else, you gained a new friend, and you have to give him credit for working up the nerve to approach you at all.
Your conversations are centered on your complaints.
Talking to a guy friend about how you feel like you’ve gained weight, your hair looks horrendous or your skin resembles the moon probably won’t go over well. No one likes a Negative Nancy, and complaints about anything at all are enough to turn people away, guys in particular. He doesn’t know how to handle your girl problems, and chances are he doesn’t notice them unless you point them out. And to his disadvantage, whatever his response to your complaints might be, he loses. If he agrees that your pants do look a little tight, he gets a glare and maybe even a little slap; if he disagrees and says that you’ve never looked better, he’s accused of lying. Either way, you end up being annoyed with him and whining a lot. Leave him alone and keep your complaints to yourself (unless, of course, they have to do with him).
You talk about other people.
Nobody likes a gossip – especially guys. Talking about other people behind their backs makes it seem like you have nothing substantial to say and nothing interesting to share about yourself. Saying obnoxious things about people who are supposed to be your friends or spreading rumors about people you don’t even know is simply unattractive. The person you’re talking to will wonder if you’re saying nasty things about him/her, too, and might even re-think your relationship. Keep these thoughts to yourself, or better yet, try to eliminate them altogether. These thoughts manifest themselves as facial expressions, and they speak volumes; the mark of a mean girl is the one who wears her not-so-nice thoughts clearly on her face.
So instead of donning your usual “I’m a badass betch” look as you stroll across campus, consider something more akin to an inviting smile. Ditch the dark black shades while you’re inside, and distance yourself from the girls for a few minutes each night. Allow yourself to come off as the nice girl you really are – make these quick fixes and be sure to a) meet a ton of new people, b) have a few great conversations, and/or c) go home with a really cute guy’s number.