What’s your influence? How have you branded yourself? Professionally? Personally?

Have you stopped to ask yourself if the HOW you want to be remembered as is consistent with the HOW you present yourself? Are you intentional in your professional and personal platforms? Do you show up as who you want to attract? What example do you set? How do you allow people to learn about you? What do you share, how, and when? Sharing a few nuggets I’ve learned as a business owner with R+F – whether your business interests align with mine is less relevant as the fact that you have passion and drive to spread a message! I hope you enjoy this video I created on branding. Here are a few added concepts not covered in this video:

To effectively brand yourself:

  1. Decide who and how you want to be remembered as
  2. Tell people! Don’t expect them to just know or figure it out – if you sell marshmellows but never tell anyone you sell marshellows, no one will think of you as the marshmellow person. If you teach karate but never tell anyone you’re an instructor, few will think of you when ready to sign up for karate. If you think of yourself as kind, but find-fault with others and commonly voice complaitns and negativity, people won’t think of you as kind (or approachable, at that).
  3. Show up consistently, show up frequently as who and how you say you are.
  4. Identify 4-6 things you want to be known for and represent as such regularly. I want to be remembered for my intersts in a) Travel, b) volunteering/charity interests, c) friendship/family, d) inspiring thru laughter and motivational messages I share, e) kindness with my words, and f) my skincare business (products, lifestyle, and personal growth afforded thru business leadership). My social media pages regularly touch on each of these, and I post on nearly each of these every week. Even your beloved online followers will likely see only a small percentage of your posts so if you don’t post often enough about each brand you’re passionate about, you make it harder for people who don’t interact with you regularly and personally to know what you stand for.
  5. People are busy, people are distractible, make it easy! Be you, show up often, show up consistently – do this online, do this in person, do this everywhere. One’s character is seen in how they present when people are AND when they are not watching. Be congruent. Introduce yourself as the person you want to be remembered as. If you have a business, introduce yourself as you relate to your business. If you want to be remembered as kind, be kind, show grace, be nonjudgmental, speak positively, build others up, monitor your eye contact, show openness and warmth…learn more on HOW to do this by reading my book!

Have fun enjoying these tips on branding yourself professionally and personally! It starts with who, where, and how often you share and show who you are!

If you enjoy this or other posts I’ve shared, if you appreciate what I stand for, I would so appreciate if you’d support me by ordering my book, Don’t Be A Stranger: Connecting Connections & Memorable First Impressions in Everyday Life (https://amzn.to/2p04LQQ), and help me share positivity and kindness with no expectation for return! Everything in life is built on connection, relationships, and how you leave others! My drive is to leave others better than I found them. My book is designed to help anyone attract more memorable moments and connections in life by reviewing how to exude more warmth and openness around others. It can help those with social anxiety as much as it can aide those wanting more success in business, sales, interviews, romance, and friendship! Don’t Be A Stranger’s available at your local bookstore by request or on https://amzn.to/2p04LQQ. I would LOVE if you’d email me stories of how you’re implementing tips from the book (elician@gmail.com)! I’ve added a few more strategies and a worksheet under the Book Teasers tab of www.4ANewyou2.com to help you capture the wonderful chances you’re taking along your journey! Please enjoy and share!

To learn more about me and to find free resources to enhance your own journey of self-development, please follow me on YouTube channel linked above or Facebook at www.facebook.com/DontBeAStranger2! If you’re interested in supporting my anti-aging skincare by trying our products or learning more about the business opportunity, please see www.4ANewYou.MyRandF.com or contact me at elician@gmail.com! I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for your support and encouragement! Together, let’s make the world a kinder place one memorable moment at a time!

A compliment a day…

Have you ever stopped to consider the confidence it takes to offer someone a compliment? Not to manipulate a certain desired outcome but simply to help make someone else’s day? Try it – right now – look around you – close your book or laptop for a moment, set aside your phone, make eye contact with someone nearby, and share something you love about them – maybe it’s their eyes, maybe it’s a tie or fun socks they’re wearing, maybe it’s a color they have on…don’t be creepy about it or linger, don’t follow-up asking them out, simply offer a compliment with no expectation or want of anything in return…

How did that feel? How do YOU now feel? What changed in them? What did their face tell you? Did they smile? Did they look up? Look down? Did it lead to conversation? Did you notice your power and impact in the world for that brief moment in time?? I bet you did if you were paying attention…

Join me…let’s make the world a nicer place one memorable moment at a time…

Charcoal what??

Any idea why you sometimes see people posting pics with a charcoal mask on their face? What’s all the hype? Well, charcoal masks can help draw out impurities and environmental pollutants that accumulate in the skin over time, leaving you with more nourished, supple-feeling skin!

One of my favorites is the RECHARGE Detox Mask, fortified with Charcoal and incorporating Mango Seed Butter, Coconut Oil + Avocado Oil that provide intensive moisture replenishment and nourishing fatty acids for a softer feel! Doesn’t that sound lusciously delicious? Not only that, Volcanic Sand exfoliates to reveal a radiant complexion and glow. The Detox Mask instantly leaves skin deeply cleansed and purified, but also balanced, more healthy-looking, and more vibrant with continued use! I love using this mask to detoxify my skin and amplify the results of my already incredible anti-aging skincare lines!

Skin Concerns targeted:
Environmental aggressors
Uneven skin tone
Oily skin

Why wouldn’t you want it??

Try it here!

Want to know how to be more approachable?

SocialPro did a great write-up on ways to be more approachable and reduce RBF?! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Order my book on Amazon,
or look under the Book Teasers tab!
This article is a perfect compliment to my recent book, Don’t Be a Stranger!

How to be More Approachable


Last updated on 

Perhaps someone’s remarked that you look angry or aloof. Or, you wonder why people approach your friends but not you. Here’s how to go from looking unapproachable and stand-offish to approachable and friendly.

Part 1: How to appear more approachable and friendly
Part 2: How to be more friendly when you interact with someone
Part 3: Deal with underlying reasons for looking unapproachable
Part 4: How to be approached more

Part 1: How to appear more approachable and friendly

how to be more approachable


  1. Head tilted down
  2. Wrinkle because of tense eyebrows
  3. Tense jaw


  1. Smile in the corner of the mouth
  2. Slight crows feet in corner of eyes
  3. Relaxed jaw

1. Relax your face

Nervousness can make us tense up without noticing. Remind yourself to relax the muscles in your face if you think that you might look tense. Make sure your lips and teeth don’t press together: You want your jaw to be just slightly open.

2. Practice a casual smile

Smile slightly with the corners of your mouth if you usually frown. It will feel weird before you make it a habit, but that’s normal. The smile can be very subtle – it’s more about canceling out the frown than grinning.

Having a resting facial expression that looks bored or angry is called RBF or Resting Bitch Face. For some reason, it’s associated with women, but it’s as common for men as it is for women.[1Test if you have RBF here.

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3. Smile with your eyes

Smiling with only the mouth and not the eyes can look insincere.[5] You know that you smile with your eyes when you get a little wrinkle in the outer corner of your eyes that has the shape of a crow’s feet. Ease up a stern face by smiling slightly with your eyes together with a smile in the corners of your mouth.

4. Relax your eyebrows

Relax your eyebrows if you tend to lower them. Lowered eyebrows and the wrinkle between the eyebrows signals anger, even if we just do it because we’re uncomfortable or think about something that bothers us.[2]

5. Ask good friends why they think you look unapproachable

Tell a friend you trust that you think that you look unapproachable. Ask them why they think it could be. They might notice things about you that you had no clue about.

Be clear to your friend that you don’t want supporting words but their honest opinion on what you could do differently.

6. Keep a bit of extra eye contact

Look people in the eyes. When you greet people, keep a second of extra eye contact after you’ve shaken hands.

Eye contacts make friendly situations more friendly and hostile situations more hostile. Therefore, it’s important to keep eye contact with a relaxed face. Pro tip: Blink once while you keep eye contact to make it feel less like a stare.

7. Look in people’s general direction

Don’t look straight at strangers at mingles and parties, but in their general direction. If they, in turn, look in your general direction, you can make eye contact and give them a friendly smile. If you don’t look in people’s general direction, you won’t notice if they try to make contact with you.

8. Use an open body language

Use an upright posture: Straight back and arms uncrossed. If you tilt your head back, you can come off as intimidating or stuck-up. If you tilt it down, you might come off as insecure or aloof. Therefore, keep you face vertical and your gaze horizontal.

9. Use a mirror to see how you look

Try out the examples above in a mirror. Compare the difference with and without adjusting your smile, eyebrows, and tension.

Use the mirror to make sure that you don’t over-do. Even better is to take a video of yourself with your phone. At least for me, this felt more natural than looking at yourself in a mirror.

10. Avoid things that cover you, such as sunglasses, hoodies, or big scarves

People get uncomfortable when they can’t see someone’s eyes or facial expressions clearly. Therefore it’s good to avoid obscuring your face. Covering your neck can signal that you’re uncomfortable: Since it’s a vulnerable area, exposing it or covering it (with clothing or a hand) has historically been an indicator of how comfortable we are.

11. Avoid intimidating clothes

Avoid dressing in all black or in clothes that might make people uncomfortable approaching you. I love people who express themselves with their clothes and I often dress in all black, but when I have the goal of being approachable, I always avoid extremes.

Showing a lot of skin doesn’t necessarily make you more approachable. The same thing here: If you look TOO different from those around you, it can be intimidating.

On the flip-side, you can also stand out in a good way: Having a colorful or unusual item on you or wearing an eye-catching outfit that enhances your looks and isn’t intimidating.

To know the difference, ask yourself if your outfit signals that it could be a positive or negative experience to approach you.

12. Don’t act busy when you’re not

Be present in the moment and avoid your phone when you’re around people. Practice looking at bypassers rather than at your phone. If you look busy, people will assume that you don’t want to be bothered.

13. Don’t stand too far away from others

When we feel uncomfortable, we often try to put distance between us and those around us (without even being aware of it). One example is if we share a couch with someone and we start leaning away from that person. Another example is if we’re in a group conversation but don’t feel included so we stand one step outside of the group. If you notice that you stand far away from others, move a bit closer so that you are within a normal distance.

14. Think of something that makes you happy when you want to be seen as approachable

Think about something specific that makes you happy. Tap into that happiness and try to feel it in your entire body. I, for example, get happy when I think about meeting up with a specific friend for coffee. I can visualize the walk to the café and focus my attention on the positive feeling. This makes me feel – and look – happier and friendlier.

15. See people as old friends

Imagine that everyone you meet is an old friend. How would you react? How would you smile? What would your face and body language be like?

16. Maximize your looks

Look your best and take care of your appearance. Here are some examples: Make sure that your hair looks good and get regular haircuts. Wear clothes that make you look good. If you have acne, take Vitamin A (or use Rodan + Fields Unblemish or Spotless at www.4anewyou.myrandf.com). If you are very pale, spend 20 minutes in the sun daily. If you’re overweight, look up a sustainable weight loss diet. It’s a good mindset to always do something to make your future you a little better than the current you.

17. Make a positive remark if you want to start talking to someone

Making a positive remark signals that you’re open for interaction. It can be obvious and doesn’t have to be clever. Simply saying a few words is enough to let people know that you’re friendly.

“I love this view”
“The bread smells so good”
“This is such a nice house”

Part 2: How to be more friendly when you interact with someone

1. Dare to be warm first

It’s common to be standoffish if we’re a bit uncertain what the other person might think of us. To avoid rejection, we wait for the other person to be friendly before we dare to be. That’s a mistake because the other person is probably thinking the same thing.

Dare to meet the person like you would if you’d assume that they’ll like you:[3] Smile, be friendly, ask sincere questions, make eye contact.

2. Ask a personal question to signal that you’re friendly and open for interaction

Ask how people are and what they do. It signals that you’re open for interaction. The conversation can be very simple and what you ask isn’t that important. It’s just about signaling that you’re friendly.

– Hi, how are you doing?
– Good, how are you?
– I’m good. How do you know people here?

3. Use a friendly tone of voice

Use a tone that’s a bit friendlier if you usually sound harsh. Feeling nervous can tighten your throat and give you a stern voice. Ease up by practicing different ways of talking when you’re by yourself. One trick to sound friendlier is to use tonal variation: Varying more between your low and high tones.

Here’s an example:

Part 3: Deal with underlying reasons for looking unapproachable

For some of us, there are underlying reasons for why we look unapproachable, such as anxiety or shyness.

1. Examine if you tense up because of nervousness

If you tense up, it could be because of underlying shyness or social anxiety. Read our guide here on how to stop being shy and how to stop being nervous.

2. Change the way you talk to yourself

Negative self-talk like “people won’t like me” obviously makes us more hesitant to approach people. Ironically, this hesitation makes us look unapproachable, and when we don’t get interacted with, we think it’s because people don’t like us.

Change this by challenging your critical voice. If the voice tells you that people won’t like you, remind yourself of times where people did indeed like you.[4]

Part 4: How to be approached more

This part is relevant if you want to be approached in a dating or flirting context.

“I’m relatively good-looking but my friends get approached way more. I’m afraid that I look unapproachable. How do I get approached more by guys?”

– Jen

The advice you’ve received so far in this guide is relevant here as well. Here are some additional advice specifically for being approached more.

1. Keep eye contact and smile

If you make eye contact with someone, keep that eye contact a second extra and smile. You can blink once to avoid coming off as staring. Subtle flirting like this signals that you’re friendly and makes is much less scary for someone to come up to you.

2. Avoid only going out in large groups

Large groups make it scary for someone to approach. The social shame is naturally much higher if the approach doesn’t go well when there are more people to observe it. You’re likely to be approached more if you’re by yourself.

3. Behave more like you do when you’re relaxed even when you’re in public

When we get nervous we tend to restrict ourselves. Think about how you are when you’re with close friends in a safe environment. If that’s more like you, your authenticity will make you more attractive.

4. Dare to take up more space

When we feel uncomfortable, we tend to take up less space, both in conversations and physically.

When you’re out, you can practice taking up more space by taking a walk around the venue without having a specific goal other than to “check it out”. It can feel uncomfortable at first but helps you expand your comfort zone. In a conversation, practice sharing your opinion on a subject even if it feels uncomfortable to have everyone’s eyes on you.

Don’t be overly loud or overly dominant. That can come off as over-compensating and signal insecurity.


  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/02/02/scientists-have-discovered-the-source-of-your-resting-bitch-face/ Retrieved Aug 29, 2019.
  2. Ekman, P. (1993). Facial expression and emotionAmerican psychologist48(4), 384.
  3. Reisman, J. M. (1983). SACRAL: Toward the meaning and measurement of friendlinessJournal of personality assessment47(4), 405-413.
  4. Dolcos, S. & Albarracin, D. (2014). The inner speech of behavioral regulation: Intentions and task performance strengthen when you talk to yourself as a You. European Journal of Social Psychology
  5. Psychology of smiling: can you tell a fake smile from a genuine one? Retrieved September 23, 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/apr/10/psychology-empathy-distinguish-fake-genuine-smiles

Viktor is SocialPro’s expert in communication and relationships.

He has a B.A. with a major in Psychology at University of Gothenburg and a B.Sc. with a major in Biological engineering at Chalmers University of Technology

Before he joined SocialPro, he worked as a relationship and dating coach.

Follow on Twitter or read more.

VoyagePhoenix Write-Up!

Meet Elicia Nademin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elicia Nademin.

Elicia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Thank you, it’s been an interesting road! I’m a board certified psychologist in behavioral and cognitive psychology, and I work full-time as a home-based primary care psychologist for elderly veterans while maintaining a small part-time private practice. For years, I have lectured both as assistant and guest faculty on topics of professionalism, communication, behavioral medicine, and diversity to medical and psychology doctoral students. I’ve been nominated to serve on standard-setting and curriculum development boards for communication, interpersonal skills, and behavioral medicine for students of osteopathic medicine as well as for establishing national standards for behavioral medicine curriculum for Podiatry students. I’ve held multiple leadership roles in overseeing membership and diversity committees and initiatives of the Arizona Psychological Association, and I’ve long overseen diversity advocacy efforts in the hospital and community settings I serve. I’m currently the Arizona Early Career Psychologist Ambassador to the American Board of Professional Psychology, and I love volunteering my time as a way to give back for the opportunities I’ve been given. One of my most meaningful volunteer commitments was as a consultant on the Professional Advisory Board for NotMyKid, a nonprofit organization that provides children and families with lifesaving programs, support, resources, and education.

In addition to my work in mental health, I shine my entrepreneurial spirit as an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields Skincare. As a business owner and psychologist, I most enjoy watching people dream differently as they grow in confidence and leadership skills. Skincare and psychology may not seem intuitively tied, yet each offers a unique way of helping others feel more confident from the inside and the out on local and global platforms. I’ve explored entrepreneurial strengths in unique and unexpected ways and most delight in watching people feel more in control of the aging process. More importantly, I’m energized by empowering others to lead, inspire, and impact lives through the teams they serve both in business and in life. In 2019 in fact, I published my book, Don’t Be A Stranger: Creating Connections & Memorable First Impressions in Everyday Life in hopes of sharing my passion and ease for spreading kindness. In that book, I break down skills for making moments and interactions with strangers easier and more fun whether to make the world a nicer place for oneself or others. If my skincare business has taught me anything, it’s that you never know who you might meet or how we might change one another’s lives along life’s journey! In my free time, I especially enjoy creating memories with my mother, friends, and dog Kaylie. Relationships are my most favorite part of life, and I most enjoy traveling and meeting strangers around the world! There’s no feeling more exhilarating to me than watching people share their gifts and talents, from break-dancing to karaoke-voyeuring to spoken word.

My favorite pastime is in volunteering time in support of charity events, where I delight in meeting others who share a passion for giving. In my respective professional roles, the common theme and most fulfillment come from helping others build confidence, relationship skills, and community. Personal and professional diversification has been life-changing, as my business inspires me daily to serve others on a global platform. If interested in learning more about me or accessing free tips and resources along your journey to self-development whether for personal or professional enrichment, please browse www.4ANewYou2.com.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all! Self-doubt and insecurity, wondering if I could really do it; fear of failure; fear of judgment; fear of others thinking I’d failed as a psychologist when I started a business totally outside of my comfort zone; fear of being an awful leader when my team wasn’t duplicating my effort and productivity; feelings of frustration when others projected their fears, prejudgments, assumptions, and stereotypes on me or my business; feeling out of control or resentful when I didn’t receive the type or frequency of support I wanted or thought I needed, conflicted by frustration with myself for realizing the need [and lesson] to provide it for myself…huge lessons in taking 100% responsibility for myself, my life, and my business. This has been both scary and empowering! At the end of the day, if I’m responsible for my struggles and losses, I’m also responsible for my successes! It’s the struggles that further developed my resilience and pride in what I’d overcome. I’ve never given up and don’t plan to! Quitting is not an option. It’s always about how to work smarter, not harder, and how to approach challenges differently if what I’ve tried consistently hasn’t been working.

Please tell us about your practice.
Being board certified in behavioral and cognitive psychology means I help people change their patterns of thinking and behaving to help foster positive lifestyle changes. In effect, this means I help people feel more empowered, confident, and successful in relationships and life. I have mostly centered my work around younger and older adults and in three categories: anxiety disorders, behavioral weight management for weight loss, and matters specific to geriatric mental health and aging. My book compliments my work in reinforcing strategies for creating memorable moments in life with strangers in hopes of fostering greater success in personal, professional, romantic, and passing encounters. My hope with the book is to help others build personal and professional confidence, flirting or networking skills, job interview skills, or to simply have more fun in life! The book is also a reminder that connections aren’t always self-serving. It’s a reminder that sometimes our presence may serve a purpose in another person’s life, and that we can in brief moments make subtle changes that help to make the world a nicer place to live. More favorable first impressions can result in not only more memorable moments but also more personal and professional opportunities, enhanced quality of relationships, greater profitability, and a simply more joyful life.

As far as my role as a consultant in Rodan + Fields, my business has changed my life! The products have changed my skin to the point of feeling more confident in my skin with less and less make-up as I age, and the business and client management skills I’ve strengthened are unmatched. It’s truly a relationship business and personal development with a paycheck. My business has humbled me. I thought I was a good communicator before I started, but this business has deeply instilled far more effective skills. It has taught me to take less personally, and it has reinforced the importance of boundaries. My business has reminded me of where my influence begins and ends, it has taught different leadership styles for different personalities, and it has reminded me that I can’t do for others…that I can only do my best to inspire and lead by example in hopes that others will follow if they choose to do so. It reminds me to cheer lead and celebrate each person for wherever they are in their journey whether their goals align with mine or not. I am reminded daily that it’s not what’s in it for me but “what’s in it for them that counts most! I am forever humbled by the emphasis on other-mindedness and serving others through this vehicle.

What is your ultimate driving mission or purpose in life?
To leave people better than I found them. Eliciting a smile, brightening up someone’s day, inspiring someone to believe in themselves, pushing myself past my fears and personal boundaries. Thru my skincare business, I developed a slogan: “Do it scared, do it ugly, do it often.” There are many times “I don’t wanna,” but this mantra reminds me daily that it is by confronting our fears that we overcome them and reach new heights. The psychologist in me has taught for years that to overcome fears we must do them often enough and awkwardly enough until they feel familiar and smooth…that’s when I feel I’ve succeeded — when I look back and have a hard time remembering how small and awkwardly I was living before because I’ve grown into the person I wanted to be.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
What I wish I would have done differently is not having taken things so personally when my feelings got involved, mediating expectations to minimize disappointments. I lost many nights of sleep over wanting others’ approval and wishing for a judgment-free life. I lost much sleep ruminating over how to inspire my team differently and wondering what I was doing wrong or right…especially if someone was upset with me? Heavens, that was ruthless! In reality, I was ruthless…toward myself. I was unforgiving of my perceived inadequacies…so hard on myself. I gave great weight to the small number of people who seemed displeased with or judgmental of me or the business model (which was usually more a projection of their own inner worlds than anything about me). This came at the cost of not fully enjoying the countless supporters and cheerleaders in my corner, the incredible people who were excelling, who shared my vision, and who shared in the joy and community. I wish I had learned sooner how best to focus on my sphere of control, to inspire and please different personality styles without assuming responsibility for others’ success and self-doubts. I treated everyone the way I would have wanted to be treated rather than recognizing and confidently honoring early on how they wanted to be treated, which is far more important. Turns out Dr. Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages model absolutely applies to business relationships as well! Now and every day I simply commit, “I’ll do better!”


  • My book is $9.99+TAX on Amazon!  https://amzn.to/2p04LQQ: or search Don’t Be A Stranger by Elicia Nademin – it has a bright red & black cover! It can also be found in eBook form on Amazon, iTunes, and in paperback form in retail stores either on the shelf or by store request!
  • Anti-aging skincare is not makeup! What is is is products designed to restore your skin to its healthiest state, to eliminate impurities, and to enhance one’s confidence in their own skin. Our 4-step skincare lines for wrinkles, sun damage/discoloration, acne, and sensitive skin range in price from $150-190 for 2-4 months supply of 4 skincare products per line. We also offer masks, including our new charcoal mask; a needle roller for collagen stimulation; pore extraction; sunscreens; eye cream; and our popular eyelash serum for naturally longer, fuller, darker-looking eyelashes/eyebrows! A quick skincare quiz can offer tailored product recommendations for your skin, prices, product descriptions and how-tos, and promotions at https://4anewyou.myrandf.com/solution-tool! You may also simply browse on your own at www.4anewyou.myrandf.com.
  • To invest in yourself as a new business owner and Independent Consultant with Rodan + Fields, kits can be purchased from $395-$995. The product discounts, tax write-offs, and growth you’ll enjoy are priceless. Worst case scenario, you end up with better skin. Best case scenario, the sky’s the limit!

Contact Info:

Book Teasers for Creating Memorable Moments with Strangers

Book Teasers

So of course as with anything wonderful in life, I had even more ideas sparked for my book AFTER publishing, so lucky you! Below, I’ve included a few teasers to give you a taste of what you’ll find in my book to compliment what’s there! I’ll also offer tips and tricks from time to time that you might use in implementing the strategies and journaling your progress! Please feel free to download this worksheet I created for Tracking your Progress WS!

Please help me spread the word by asking your local bookstore to order the book and leaving me an Amazon review of your take-aways and successes you’re having by implementing the strategies outlined the book! So far I’ve gotten great support from Barnes & Noble in Scottsdale, iTunes has it available, and it can be found on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2p04LQQ! Grateful for your support in getting it in more hands…

Chapter 4 on Being Ninja-esque:
You’re not expected to be good at it all or confident at all times! I’m certainly not! Weakness in one area can be compensated for in other areas depending on the weakness. For example, I can overcompensate for more casual dress by conveying my more bubbly, charismatic, or genuinely caring side and engaging others in playful or intellectual banter. It’s difficult, however, to compensate for flat or sad-looking facial expressions no matter how great your personality when you speak. Others will actually feel confused when you’re engaging in one moment then appear miserable around them the next — please stop saying that’s just my face. If you want people you care about to feel comfortable around you, help them. Be willing to adjust how you hold your face at rest. It takes little effort to habituate a smile or more open facial expressions. I learned, and so can you!
Chapter 6 on Bring the Light: 
Chapter 6 delineates RBF (Resting Bitch Face) – please note, I did not make this term up. It’s actually commonly known as a facial expression that unintentionally (or intentionally) appears displeased, unfriendly,  annoyed, bored, frustrated, angry, or another negative feeling, even when a person is simply feeling relaxed, neutral, or contemplative. Here’s an example of what RBF looks like — no judgement at all, let’s just teach you how to adjust it to welcome warmer and more positive connections around you!
Here’s a fun example of what it can look like and why you might want to consider retraining your face:
Chapter 7 on Tone of Voice:
Avoid signing outloud (or eye-rolling while we’re at it). It sends a negative message of annoyance or feeling displeased with whoever or whatever is around you whether you are or are not. Even if you, it’s not kind and reflects poorly on you.
Chapter 11 on Dressing for Success:
Dress for how you want to feel, not how you feel.
Chapter 13 on Complimenting:
Stop what you’re doing right now, and look around you. Who’s within arm’s reach? What is something you can sincerely compliment them on? What is something you like about them? Perhaps a color, a tie, an accessory…avoid items around suggestible body parts. Now, compliment them! Don’t worry about their response. Say it, then go back to what you were doing.

Chapter 16 on Power Language:
Language that leaves a more powerful first impression
“Please, allow me…”
“I’ve genuinely enjoyed meeting you, thank you.”

Chapter 18 on Follow -Up: For those who want to continue a relationship beyond a casual encounter or brief meeting
Make follow-up easy; do the work for them.
Don’t just send people to your website, ask for their number or e-mail and send them the direct hyperlink to the exact page or product they
expressed interest in. Follow-up a few hours or days later to let them know you enjoyed meeting them and offering to follow up further, if appropriate. Do what is within your control, don’t wait for others to do it for you. 

First Impressions by Phone:
First impressions definitely matter on the phone as well! I’ll never forget the day I was on the phone with the internet guy giggling for nearly 30 minutes before my dad asked me, “WHO are you talking to?!” I told him, the cable guy daddy! Then, I carried on giggling! Why NOT have fun with every person we encounter! I never forget that conversation, and I certainly never forgot my father’s chuckle and delight in the odd creature he had created in me! So, while phone etiquette wasn’t a chapter in the book, it should have been! Smile through the phone, I promise the person on the other end will be able to tell!

Together, let’s help make the world a nicer place
one memorable moment at a time!

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The dangers of always being “Busy”

Good morning and happy holidays! I thought I’d take a moment to share a small tidbit out of my book, Don’t Be A Stranger: Creating Connections and Memorable First Impressions in Everyday Life.

As you enter into small talk with relatives and acquaintances at those holiday gatherings or upcoming run-ins, I’d encourage you to consider what I wrote in the Chapter 9 on Showing Curiosity: “I’d like to strongly encourage you to refrain from saying so. Have you noticed how it feels when you ask people how they’re doing and they reply, “Busy! I’m just so busy” with little else to say? Telling people how busy you are instills negativity and distance in conversations and can curtail dialogue. We’re all busy, yet we can make time for moments in time. I bet you’d find time if the opportunity for a hot date popped up while you were so busy! Telling people how busy you are does not raise your social value or significance. In many cases, it makes you seem unapproachable, arrogant, and challenged around time management, so try a different response. Instead, share about what’s kept you busy: “I’ve been working on writing a book, learning to ski, learning another language, traveling, volunteering at the dog shelter” or any other truth. This facilitates direction for further questions and conversation about mutually shared interests. By the way, ask follow-up questions to whatever the person just told you about. Not only will this show you were listening and curious but also engages more dialogue about something the other person enjoys, which tends to bring out the best in people…Showing curiosity is about asking questions more than making statements. It’s about entering a room enthusiastically as though everyone there can teach you something. Sometimes the lesson is how not to behave.” Focus on yourself, not the other person. What can you learn, not teach. What inspires you to be better. What passion can you share, what has kept you busy, what can you offer that might help others align to you and feel comfortable engaging with you? It’s not about how they present it’s about how you do. With that, persent your best self and help each person you encounter feel worth that moment of your time.

Tips for talking to loved ones about assisted living/placement

In my Psychology world, I’m often one of the first people to start discussions with my patients about elder care and variable benefits of placement as an option for improved quality of life in aging. Along with my Social Work psychologist colleagues, we wrote the following article addressed to our compassionate caregivers, which I hope will help someone here too!

We know aging can be a frightening word, but it can also be a period of immense growth, wisdom, and personal development. Understanding and supporting the needs of your loved one can make this stage of life a deeply rewarding one — for you and for them — but it can be difficult to start conversations about changes, especially involving matters of independence and change in living situation.

To help navigate successful communication with your loved one about important life changes, please consider the following suggestions:

  • Time and timing: Important issues like moving to assisted living are very sensitive subjects best discussed when you’re not rushed and preoccupied. These issues take time to resolve — and often require more than one discussion. Try to ensure you’re in a calm emotional state before starting the discussion, and remember to assume your loved one’s resistance, frustration, or confusion may be fear: fear of losing control, fear of death, fear of being abandoned…Reassure him/her of the securities that lie ahead.
  • Listen: Be sure to pay attention to your loved one’s ideas and fears that may be getting expressed directly or indirectly. Even if you’ve already made up your mind that your loved one would be best served in an assisted living facility, really listen to what he/she is saying and be open to other options. Could the move be put off for a few months to minimize significant changes? Could you hire someone to come in and help for a few hours each day, or could adjustments be made in the home? It’s important for your loved one to still feel a sense of control so be creative together.
  • Be respectful: When you tell your loved one what you think they should do, do so respectfully. Try to avoid a bossy, impatient, or dismissive tone. If your loved one becomes angry/defensive, try to revisit the subject another day in a different way. If disagreements continue, try not to force the issue. As long as your loved one is a fully functioning adult, remember that he/she wants and deserves
  • Realistic & desired goals: Please be mindful not to make promises that cannot be kept. A placement agent can be invaluable in helping to identify options that meet your loved one’s preferences AND are within a needed/desired price range. Encourage your loved one simply to be open to learning more about options, including cost and what is feasible. Consider the positives and negatives of each site considered and consider what matters most to your loved ones, such as socialization opportunities, activity calendars or games in more active elder/care communities versus more intimate settings such as group homes. Remind them that they can try a site for 3-4 months and decide to move if it does not meet their needs or they are not happy and be willing to help them find another place that better meets their needs.

Given all the changes your loved ones face, they are often trying to cling to the areas of life they can still manage. They appreciate your concern but may also find it a bit intrusive or insulting at times. Moreover, the idea of being a burden to you may be frightening. They know the day will likely come, but they’re anxious to put it off as long as possible. Reassure them that a move to assisted living will also give you peace of mind, knowing that they’re safe, cared for, and doing well.

Below are some of the advantages of assisted living you may wish to review with your loved one:

  • Stimulating activities that help improve mood, quality of life, mental stimulation, and relationships.
  • Assistance that helps them maintain their independence so it’s easier to complete healthy, daily tasks
  • Freedom to choose by making plans together with family
  • Supervised opportunities to stay active
  • Leaving a positive legacy
  • Having activities/relationships to look forward to, making transition to the next phase of life easier

We also recommend encouraging your loved one to be willing to go on a few tours of elder care community options. Tours are great ways to see what life could be like in assisted living without pressure or demand for change. Often we hold stereotypical images of what higher level of care places look like; in fact, they are often beautiful communities that foster warmth and compassion among staff to meet your loved one’s needs. Tours are commitment-free, wonderful ways for your loved one to make informed, empowered decisions. Ask about the activity schedule, different services available and whether they’re included or available for added fees, typical dining menu, on-site amenities, etc.

A placement agent can help you along this process by identifying locations that meet your loved ones’ specific interests, needs and budget. Placement agents can be referred by your medical team, a social worker, or researched online.

Why Talk To Strangers?

Dr. Elicia Nademin, Ph.D., ABPP
ABPP Early Career Psychologist Ambassador
Board Certified Psychologist, Author, Entrepreneur

Do you ever wonder why so many people avoid talking to strangers? Do you wish you, your clients, or people you care about were better at interacting with strangers in everyday life? Believe it or not, connecting with strangers is one of my favorite things to do in life! There is an adventure, an innocence, a romantic notion, if you will, around talking to strangers that is unmatched anywhere else in life. Each connection could potentially change your life…or not. You’ll never know if you don’t take a chance and try. Since launching my business in the Caribbean in 2016, I have met some of my now-best friends and business contacts while traveling the world. I’ve helped people feel seen and laugh who may otherwise have felt disconnected or alone, and I’ve giggled through magical moments I co-created thanks to generous spirit and connection with strangers in time. Talking to strangers has been so life-changing for me, and yet people are so weary of it that I decided to write a book on the topic in hopes of helping others develop a comfort and passion for doing so.

In November 2019, I launched Don’t Be A Stranger: Creating Connections & Memorable First Impressions in Everyday Life, in which I break down simple strategies for creating memorable moments anywhere you go. So many people fear talking to strangers, avoid leaving their homes, or decline invitations to events where they might feel uncomfortable. These fears can be so debilitating that the idea of practicing a new approach can be quite off-putting. However, practicing effective verbal and non-verbal communication micro-skills can have invaluable implications for personal, professional, romantic, or passing encounters. You might be thinking, “but I’m fine in my bubble. I was taught never to talk to strangers.” I’d argue “always talk to strangers…[and] practice positively engaging everyone, not because a person deserves it or the event demands it but because you choose to carry yourself as such.” Presenting as more engaging and inviting of interactions with strangers contributes to a warmer, kinder social environment. This, in effect, helps create space for others to feel more emotionally safe in interacting and sharing with you. While this does not guarantee compatibility or a lasting connection, it does allow for more favorable and memorable first impressions and more enjoyable, fleeting moments in time.

Many of us know that the why of avoidance is often fear; fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of uncertainty, or fear of obligation. Did you know, though, that avoidance of our fears is often the very maintaining factor of fear? In fact, overcoming fears involves engaging in habits and behaviors that confront the very situations we fear to reinforce a message of safety and success, exposure and response prevention if you will. What if I told you that making subtle changes in your presentation might completely change how others respond to you or put others at greater ease around you…would it matter? Would you consider changing? In Don’t Be A Stranger, I share personal anecdotes of how I overcame interpersonal barriers in my own life to hone impression-management skills, inspiring more memorable, fleeting moments and in some cases meaningful, lasting relationships along the way. To think of the influence you have in this area is empowering and exhilarating.

Strategies for interacting more favorably with strangers are so straight forward that they’re easy to take for granted, yet powerful in creating lasting impressions. For example, have you ever considered the implications of different types of eye contact, tone of voice, use of inflection, compliments, resting facial expressions, body posturing, positioning in a room, and even choice of attire on first impressions or connections with strangers? Even subtle changes in these and other areas can dramatically affect new patterns of relating that foster warmer, more inviting connections. If you present as warmer or more inviting of interactions with strangers, others are more likely to engage positively and in kind. In so doing, a greater sense of joy and excitement may be experienced all around.

One of the simplest ways to practice new skills of relating is to do so in new, unfamiliar environments far from home where you’re unlikely to return. In so doing, you reduce some of the controllable elements of anticipated judgment. Don’t get me wrong, you may still fear judgement, but the implications of that judgement are less pronounced since you’re unlikely to see the people there again (unless the experiences were so fabulous you choose to). If you never expect to see a person again, you are less likely to worry about the impact of failed or awkward initial impressions.

Another factor that greatly affects whether memorable moments are fostered or not is the attitude with which one approaches interactions with strangers, whether at networking functions, airports, the grocery store, or holiday parties with acquaintances or unfamiliar others. Upholding a positive attitude when considering new interactions, especially when aligned with warm facial expressions, can result in notably more memorable interactions and connections. In fact, adopting an attitude of curiosity and enthusiasm for adventure around any new experience can be life-changing. Engaged facial expressions, reflecting an excitement for what each interaction with new strangers might offer, welcome joy and fun into day-to-day interactions!

Developing comfort and skill around talking to strangers (and enjoying it!) can help enhance professional confidence, interviewing skills, networking skills, flirting, and simply engage more fun! Where might skills for talking to strangers come in handy? High school students may use them in refining communication and impression-management skills; college students may practice skills to position themselves better for internships, job or graduate school interviews. Graduate and medical students benefit exponentially as they are constantly exposed to (and often evaluated by) strangers in school, on rotations, and as they proceed through academic and professional stages or as they start a new job. Sales and marketing professionals or people working in the service industry benefit from strategies for leaving brief encounters with more favorable first impressions, which can certainly affect profitability! Truly, anyone providing a service can benefit from tools for refining communication with strangers, given the critical impact of enhancing rapport with others to effect a more successful social environment.

You might be wondering why this matters if you’re content, introverted, have “enough friends,” or simply don’t see the value in meeting more strangers. For years I’ve studied suicide research and interventions. I’m sure you’re aware that loneliness is a key element in depression, but did you know that a lack of social connectedness is a key predictor of suicide risk? Whether for you or someone you might know, recognizing the importance of a sense of belonging and helping to foster social connectedness can be life-saving. Renowned Suicidologist Dr. Thomas Joiner and author of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior in fact found three key components to be highly predictive of suicide in his influential work “Why People Die By Suicide” (Joiner, 2005). Specifically, he identified thwarted belongingness (along with perceived burdensomeness and capability to suicide) as factors that together lead to suicide attempts. What better way to enhance a sense of belongingness than by broadening our social networks and improving the very skills that help us to connect with others. I caution you, to do so we may have to “do it scared,” to overcome social fear, as so many people are afraid. That fear comes in forms that sound like, “I don’t wanna’s” or “I have enough friends.” Sometimes it sounds like “I’m too busy” or predictions that we’ll have nothing in common with whoever we might meet. Let’s help one another experience the power of connectedness.

The goal of refining skills for interacting with strangers isn’t to win everyone over but to create more extraordinary and memorable moments in life, to show curiosity into the gift that each moment might hold. I’m a firm believer that the Universe makes no mistakes, and each moment and interaction holds a lesson of what you may learn to do more or less of. What if we each commit to looking curiously for the gifts, meanwhile treating others with more civility and kindness? The world would simply be a nicer place to live. We would be a part of the change we’d love to see, and frankly, it would be easier and more fun along the way! So, whether you’re at the coffee shop, a concert, a store, the airport or out of town, consider next time your influence in cultivating connections with strangers (who could be more!) anywhere you go, whether for personal growth, professional gain, laughs, or simply co-creating moments of joy for you and others!

If you’d like to read more on Dr. Nademin’s book or share it with clients or loved ones, you can find her on Amazon by searching Don’t Be A Stranger by Elicia Nademin in paperback or Kindle ebook forms, or ask your local bookstore to order on your behalf!


Joiner, T.E. (2005). Why people die by suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Nademin, M.E. (2010). Don’t Be A Stranger: Creating Connections & Memorable First Impressions in Everyday Life. Scottsdale, AZ: M. Elicia Nademin, Ph.D., LLC.

Nademin, M.E., Jobes, D.A., Pflanz, S.E., Jacoby, A.M., Ghahramanlou-Holloway, M., Campise, R., Joiner, T. Wagner, B.M., & Johnson, L. (2008). An investigation of interpersonal-psychological variables in Air Force suicides: A controlled-comparison study. Archives of Suicide Research, 12, 309-326.