So, are you creepy? How would you know? While it’s easy to dismiss someone else as being creepy, it’s hard to pinpoint which of our own characteristics might weird someone else out. In an article for website TED.com, psychologist Julia Shaw references a Knox College, Illinois study that posited that feeling of unease is actually your body’s threat detector, responding to unconscious signals that something isn’t quite right.
The research found that men were far more likely to be considered creepy than women. And they found certain attributes that people judged as being particularly unsettling. Top of the list was someone who doesn’t respect personal space, and stands in unnecessarily close proximity. Next up was unwashed hair, closely followed by an unusual smile or eyes that bulged. Unusually long digits, messy hairstyles, a gaunt appearance and preternaturally pale skin were also cited as causing discomfort.