5 Ways To Be A Standout Single

Do you turn into a wallflower in most social situations? Learn how to get anyone’s attention and stand out from the crowd at parties, events and in public (in a good way) with these five tips.

By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

hen you notice that attractive stranger “across a crowded room” (as the song says), you’d better make sure that person notices — or your potential love story may have a very different ending. You see, each time you enter a new social situation there’s a chance that you’ll potentially meet The One. (Maybe that sounds crazy, but it’s true.) Despite knowing that your love life could change in an instant, if
People who are unsuccessful networkers wait for others to discover them first.
you tend to play it really low profile at public gatherings — i.e., you’re a wallflower — then you may miss out on Cupid’s arrow simply because you weren’t in the right place for it to strike.

With the growing popularity of in-person events specifically designed to help singles to mix and mingle with each other, it’s becoming more and more important for shy types to learn how to stand out in a crowd. Here’s why: If you spend the whole time at an event standing in the corner talking only to your friends, well… you’ll probably go home lamenting the fact that you didn’t meet anyone new. So how can you make sure to be noticed by the object of your interest — or get potentially interesting people to approach you first? Check out these tips to help you make an impression…and hopefully, a love connection!

Standout tip #1: Wear confidence-boosting clothes
Confused about what to wear to a social event to get the “right” kind of attention from the opposite sex? “Over-the-top dressing works for Lady Gaga because that is her branding, but if you want to be noticed and stand out from the crowd in a positive way, outrageous is not the way to do it,” says expert stylist Bobbi Schwartz. “Instead, wear something that you love — and especially love on yourself!” The key to dressing with confidence is accepting that it doesn’t matter what you wear as long you feel great in it, though Schwartz suggests either donning something that you’ve already gotten compliments for in the past or a timeless and chic ensemble that you know will be a winner with any audience. By picking specific clothes out of your “confidence closet,” you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you arrive at the event, thus allowing your true personality to shine through…no matter what you’re wearing.

Standout tip #2: Station yourself near the door early on for a brief time
You know those friendly people whose job it is to stand at the front of a retail store and welcome others coming in to shop? If you’re looking to meet a lot of people quickly at a social event, pretending that’s your role for a short time after you arrive can help you achieve that goal. “People who are unsuccessful networkers wait for others to discover them first,” says Reesa Woolf, Ph.D., author of Executive Speaking in a Weekend. “By standing near the front door at an event, you’ll increase your chances of being noticed and be in a position to grab interesting people… or at least get their attention.” Dr. Woolf suggests imagining that this is your party and that you want to make anyone new who’s arriving feel both welcome and comfortable (which will also take the focus off of your own nerves by giving you a “job” — even if that “task” is a self-assigned one). To do this, smile at anyone who walks in and maybe even introduce yourself. If you decide to circulate later, you’ll already be familiar with a bunch of people whom you can then easily reconnect with by saying, “Hi! We met earlier at the door, remember?”

Standout tip #3: Once you’re inside, find ways to make yourself visible to nearly everyone
While standing in a corner might feel safer to you, it definitely won’t get you noticed by anyone. Before you step into the party or venue, mentally tell yourself over and over again that you “own the room.” It’s a self-affirmation to remind yourself that you belong there, and other people are going to appreciate you joining them when you do. “Most people display their hesitancy to enter on their faces and with their body language,” says Dr. Woolf. Once you’re inside, head for higher ground. If the room you’re in has an elevated area (e.g., stairs, platform, balcony, etc.), station
Regardless of how you feel, try to appear confident and comfortable.
yourself there for a while. This will not only make you more visible to anyone who’s standing below and looking up, but it also allows you to scan the room and locate where your intended “targets” for flirting with happen to be.

Then, it’s time for you to make a trip to the bar/bathroom/water fountain (even if you don’t actually need to do so), making sure to directly pass by anyone who looks interesting to you. “On the way to wherever you’re going, be sure to smile, make eye contact and acknowledge others as you’re walking through,” suggests Dr. Woolf. “Say ‘hello’ to five people as you pass…it shows other people who are watching that you’re personable.” And if there happens to be someone you’re really interested in meeting, an authentic way to get that person’s attention as you pass by is by commenting on what he or she is wearing or something you noticed this person saying or doing just now. Or try asking a question (i.e., “Where is the bar?”), even if you already know the answer — it’s an easy way to at least get a conversation started with someone.

Standout tip #4: When it comes to radiating confidence, fake it ‘til you make it
“Regardless of how you feel, try to appear confident and comfortable,” says Dr. Woolf. “You never have to actually be confident; you only have to look like it.” How do you accomplish this? Make eye contact, sit and/or stand up tall and straight, plant your weight on both feet equally, and try not to squirm around too much. “When people are nervous, they fidget by playing with a pen, their hair, rings, etc.,” explains Dr. Woolf. “Also, since you want to appear confident, keep your hands open, because it makes you look more at ease…which means gesturing with your hands toward listeners when you speak. Or when you notice your hands are together in your lap, try to keep them apart.” Another confidence-boosting trick: Become an actor for the evening. “Pretend you’re in a play and that you are playing the role of the charming character who is very interested in the person you happen to be speaking to,” advises Dr. Woolf. “Act the way you normally behave when you feel comfortable — even if you’re really not.”

Standout tip #5: Make the people around you laugh
This doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party, but it if the people you’re surrounded by seem to be enjoying themselves, others will definitely take notice. “Indicate that you are pleasant to be around; this comes from a combination of what you say and what your facial expression communicates to others,” says Dr. Woolf. Nervousness can shut down our systems; in cases like this, our faces often won’t match the content of our conversation. Still, everyone wants to be around someone who is smiling and appears to be fun and lighthearted. If the people you are engaging with seem to be having a good time, then others will want to be a part of that, too.

So how can you become instantly amusing to the masses in an authentic way? It all comes down to being prepared. “Have three stories of something pleasant or funny that recently happened in mind that you can easily recount to others,” suggests Dr. Woolf. “People aren’t as creative when they’re under pressure, so it’s OK to plan ahead in order to be delightful.” And don’t forget that a bright smile is usually worth its weight in gold: “No one is attracted to a sourpuss, but everyone becomes attracted to someone who’s energetic and happy…you’re like a magnet,” says Schwartz. “And isn’t that what this information is all about — being an instant hit with others?”

Kimberly Dawn Neumann ( is a popular New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Redbook, Maxim and frequently online. A certified dating/relationship coach, she’s published two books: The Real Reasons Men Commit and Sex Comes First and is the founder of When it comes to social situations, she’s definitely not a wallflower and is always wearing a smile.
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