Sometimes the smallest gestures can cast the longest shadows. While we may think we’re simply being ourselves, certain habits or behaviors can inadvertently send shivers down someone’s spine. It’s these unintentional, often overlooked actions that can unknowingly set off alarm bells for others. Drawing insights from a buzzing online community, we’ve compiled a list of subtle cues that might be making you the subject of whispered conversations. Let’s uncover these nuances and help you navigate social situations with grace and awareness.
1. Standing Too Close
It’s one thing to do this in a crowded room, but it becomes quite creepy when it’s just the two of you and the other person is standing very near. It’s almost as if “they talk into your mouth like you’re a clown at a drive-through,” one user describes.
2. Having Too Good a Memory
One person with a good memory talks about how his ability to remember little details freaks out people. Nine years after high school, this person asked a classmate how his beagles were doing, and the classmate was a little freaked out that they remembered such a small detail about him years later.
3. Asking Questions To Appear Human
Some people ask you a question, and then when you respond, they just look at you. A worker describes how his manager will ask him something as basic as, “How are you today?” When they say, “I’m good, how are you?” the manager gives them a perplexed look.
Another worker has a similar experience with his boss, who asked how his weekend went. He told his boss how his weekend was, and t he reminded him that he was here to work and not to talk about his weekend.
These bosses were probably trying to pass for humans but eventually let on that they were emotionless robots driven solely by the need to make a profit.
4. Firm Handshakes That Linger
People who give handshakes but don’t let go make one uncomfortable, and not people who can be trusted, one individual admits. People who do this may have various reasons.
Some find it amusing to make you squirm, others have to “win” (i.e., not let loose first for any reason), and some hang on out of respect for you because you came in with a firm handshake they were not prepared to have returned.
5. Toxic Positivity
It’s hard to deal with someone who uses toxic positives to dismiss others’ issues. Saying things like: “It’s not that bad! Cheer up! It’s in the past! Let it go!” Ironically when they are going through a rough time, they expect a ton of sympathy and personal attention when it should be their time to practice what they teach.
6. Being All Smiles
The most unsettling trait is when someone smiles for no apparent reason for an extended period. It’s great to smile, but when you do it for minutes on end, it appears as if you’re hiding something. Especially when their mouth smile does not match their eye smile.
7. Trying to Know All About Someone The First Time
This isn’t about asking for all or some information in a short space of time in increasing urgency. But about trying to get a load of personal information from you in a first meeting, like phone number, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else you have. It’s hard to believe there’s no ulterior motive.
8 Taking Pictures of Strangers Without Permission
It has become increasingly common for people to take pictures of almost everything they encounter, including strangers. But the problem is doing this without their permission. Imagine waking up on a bus to find someone leaning into the aisle and taking pictures of you on their phone.
9. Super Friendly People on First-time Meet
You just met, but this stranger is already giving you a nickname and being all touchy-feely. True, some people are just like that with no weird intentions behind their actions, but it sets off the “don’t trust this person” sensors for some.
10. People Who Touch Others Without Permission
Especially for people you are not so familiar with, it’s creepy to go up to them and hug them, put your hand around their shoulders, or get intimate with them physically. This applies to pinching their cheek or pulling their ears in what may be termed a playful manner.
11. Using One’s Name Too Much In Conversations
According to one user, all the manipulative people they’ve ever met use this trick to get people to like them. But using their name too much makes them more cautious around people who do it.
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