5 Signs She Doesn’t Want To Be Approached


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I can’t tell you how many times I have seen or heard about women who are completely annoyed by men who have approached them in public when they were giving ‘clear signs’ that they wanted to be left alone.


Let me start by saying that as a man, I understand the frustration of getting an attitude from a woman you doesn’t know anything about you when you are just trying to be nice to her or say hello. Unfortunately, many women are on the defensive these days when a random guy approaches them because frankly – a few idiots have ruined it for the genuinely good guys.

But that being said, there is also a time and place for everything, and if you do want to start a conversation with a woman, the first thing you’ve got to do is make sure that she’s open to it [or not]. If you don’t pay attention to her non-verbal cues that she’s doing her own thing and doesn’t want to be talked to, then you will immediately be on her nerves before you even say hello.

Here are a few things to watch out for that signal you should just keep it moving, at least until the circumstances have changed.

1. She’s wearing both headphones.

Whether she is at the gym focused on her workout or just walking down the street, she probably doesn’t want to be bothered. It may or may not be personal, but both headphones in is the universal sign for “whatever I’m doing, I’m focused on it – leave me alone.” If you can’t pick up on that, why would she think you could pick up on any of her other wants and needs?


2. Her baseball cap is pulled down over her face.

If she’s standing in line for coffee looking down at her phone with her hat pulled over her eyes, she’s hiding. If she’s waiting for coffee that means she hasn’t had it yet, and we all know how days begin before you’ve had your coffee. She probably isn’t wearing makeup and isn’t feeling her best, so she doesn’t want to talk to you, man.

If you can’t help yourself, make your move by buying her coffee for her and let her start up the conversation if she wants. If she doesn’t, take your extra bonus points and wait for her to recognize you next time.

3. Her body language is closed off.

This is perhaps one of the most obvious but also overlooked signals of availability, or unavailability. Crossed arms, body turned away from you, avoiding eye contact, or other ‘barriers’ should all be clear signs to save the pursuit for another day. Some ‘dating coaches’ will try to sell you ways to overcome her attitude, but if you make her uncomfortable in the process, you’ve already lost.

4. She’s avoiding eye contact with you.

…Or, with anyone. Making [and holding] eye contact would be on the list of signs you should approach a woman, so then common sense tells us that avoiding contact with people means that she doesn’t want to be talked to. She is not being coy or cute or feigning shyness so you will go chat it up to her, she is literally trying to avoid you, and pushing it any further will make her uncomfortable.

For example: Whether or not she is reading a book will not tell you if she wants to be approached or not. What will tell you is her willingness to look up, look around, and smile at passers-by. If she is buried in the pages and is clearly focused, leave her be.


5. She’s working on her laptop.

Whether you are in a bookstore, coffee shop, or cafe – it is easy to spot quite a few people working on their laptops, particularly in the millennial age of “work from anywhere you want.” But – that means she is doing exactly that, working. She might be doing homework or writing her manuscript or preparing for a big presentation she has in 45 minutes. One thing is for sure though, she has not hauled her workspace to the local Starbucks in hopes that someone will come charm her out of her pant suit.

Point number one will also likely apply here.

The real takeaway here is the simple but overlooked idea of just being considerate of other people’s personal spaces. Comfort and safety are of paramount importance to a woman – and once she feels as though either of things are threatened, you will never be able to recover them. There are plenty of opportunities to meet or be introduced to new women, but as I mentioned earlier – there is a time and a place for everything.

Have you ever had someone just not be able to take a hint and wouldn’t leave you alone? Let us know about it in the comments below!

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  1. VinnyBoomba on June 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Simplest rule for if she wants to be approached…

    If she wants to be approached she’ll make it feel easier.

    • Kate's Bookshelf on June 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      I would second this one. I actually had a guy accuse me of not being easy to approach because I wore headphones…. He was the reason why. And it wasn’t a conscious thing to avoid men, but getting from point A to B was faster with the music…. So, yeah, I wasn’t exactly open to conversation. I haven’t had too much issues with this, but I have had a lot of men 30-40 years older than me think I was interested because I was just being friendly to my elders. So it is interesting.

      Great list James, and right on.

  2. Nancy Cokinda on June 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    James, so true! And from younger female friends I would like to add two more: She’s wearing a wedding ring, and ignoring you, and 2) She’s with her children, wearing a wedding ring, and ignoring you. I’m not joking. I’ve had quite a few younger female friends, married with children, who get hit on by young males while at Starbucks, returning to their cars in parking lots, at the super market, etc. One very beautiful younger married friend who teachers gymnastics told me about loading groceries in her SUV at the super market with her children with her, and a young male approached to hit on her. Her 15 year old son stepped around the SUV and said to the guy, “Leave my mom alone.” Some of these guys are very clueless. Thank you for the post!

  3. thatgirlwiththedarkhair on June 29, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I once had a guy come up to me while I was having dinner – alone, after a whole day of teaching yoga – and just sit down, without permission.

    Worst experience ever. And then he kept prying, and I can’t remember if I told him I wanted to be alone or not. It was several years ago, before I developed the ability to be more direct.

    Then he insulted me by asking, ‘Does your yoga let you drink?’ because I was having wine. As if yoga were a religion. And it just continued to go downhill like that.

  4. Marcela on June 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Oh the worst is walking down the street. I can’t count the number of times guys will ask “where are you going, can I walk with you?” Its REALLY uncomfortable.

  5. elegantlyeco (@elegantlyeco) on July 8, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    It’s crazy how guys will still hit on a woman even if she’s married. If she’s married, leave her alone! What makes me mad is that I’ve read stories of women in India that had acid thrown on their faces when a single man would hit on a married woman.

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