Things that make you creepy and how to stop

What exactly makes a person creepy?

What are the personal traits that make you consider someone disturbing and avoid them like the plague?

We have all been creeped out by a certain type of people more than once. We have all experienced a sudden urge to leave a conversation with someone whose presence makes us feel uncomfortable. But what did that individual do or say to annoy us to the point where we want to teleport to a dimension where they don’t exist?

According to Associate Psychology Professor Jennifer Fayard, the answers may hide in a 2016 study that examined different behaviors related to creepiness.

The research conducted by experts at Knox College analyzed the definition of a creepy person given by 1,341 participants.

Here’s what the study found:

1. Men are more likely to be perceived as creepy than women.

Roughly 95% of the volunteers in the research agreed that males are creepier than females. Additionally, the female part of the respondents said that they find it creepy when people bring up sex in conversation.  They also noted that for them, creepy would be if someone appeared sexually interested in them. Fayard suggests that this notion is triggered by the fact that “statistically, women are at greater risk of being physically harmed by a male that has sexual interest in them as compared to males.”

2. Professions that are deemed creepy might attract creepy people.

The study revealed that if someone works or used to work in a certain field that is socially perceived as creepy, others would judge that person as a creep too. As per the research, the four most eerie professions, in order from least to most creepy, are funeral directors, sex shop workers, taxidermists, and clowns. And clowns were found the creepiest of them all mainly because of the unpredictability factor their occupation holds. You never know what’s next, which, combined with the massive red nose and grotesque faces clowns make, creeps the hell out of you.

3. Certain behavioral patterns are more disturbing than others.

Participants also listed several behaviors they rated as creepy. For instance, some of them found it extremely concerning when a person avoids eye contact when talking to you. Asking for too many personal details was also on the creepy side, as well as touching you, staring at you before you talk, standing too close, and asking to take your picture. Some appearance-related items, such as being unkempt, wearing dirty clothing, and having greasy hair also made it to the list.

Interestingly, many of the respondents agreed that creepiness is a personal quality rather than the result of a specific combination of behaviors.

4. Creeps have no clue they are creepy.

The researchers were also curious to find out whether participants thought creepy people are aware of their creepiness. As expected, nearly 60% were certain the answer to this question is no. Meanwhile, about 30% were unsure how creepy people see themselves.

So, how can you avoid being creepy? 

Fayard concludes:

“Based on the study, this invasion of personal space and unpredictable reactions is a surefire way to creep people out.

So if you don’t want to be a creep online, use this study as a road map. Don’t shift the conversation toward sex. Don’t ask for (intimate) pictures. Don’t ask for too much personal information too quickly. If you wouldn’t do it face-to-face, don’t do it online. And pro tip: Make sure that clown mask is out of frame when you have a FaceTime date.”

How can you tell if someone is creepy? What personal traits weird you out? Let us know in the comment section!

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