Meeting new people and winning them over can be a nerve-wracking event for anyone. It can be hard to appear calm and collected when all you can think about is trying to connect with people in this new setting. As our body language can speak louder than words, it can either help us to appear more welcoming or as though we are closed off and unapproachable. Knowing the right body language techniques can help you draw people in, make them feel comfortable enough to open up, and leave them with a positive impression of you.
6 Body Language Tips
Here are a few simple body language tricks that will help you to create new meaningful relationships at your next group outing, job interivew, or first date.
I’m sure we have all heard this advice at one time or another, but your handshake can say a lot about you to the other person. Having a strong, confident, yet friendly, handshake makes the other person feel closer and more accepted by you. You don’t want a handshake that is too firm and assertive, that may tell a person that you are judgmental or cold. A lack of effort or resistance can say that you don’t want to be there or that you aren’t open to meeting new people. Grasping the other person’s hand with a gentle warmth, however, makes them feel secure in your presence. This first impression will ensure that you stick out in their mind. Tilt your body into the handshake, just a bit, and engage with your whole body. It pulls the other person in and sets you up for conversation.
Mindful Facial Expressions
Your facial expressions can say a lot to another person, so making sure that your face is open and friendly is important. Staying engaged and smiling can tell the other person that you are happy to be there with them. Smiling and relaxing your face can also help when you are feeling nervous around a new group of people. It can conceal your nerves and make you appear more present and extroverted.
Maintain Eye Contact
Looking people directly in the eyes while they are talking, shows them that you are interested in the conversation. It shows them that you are open and friendly, and it encourages them to be confident in what they are saying. Make sure that you break eye contact here and there, which makes your gaze look less intimidating and aggressive. Eye contact makes you vulnerable, and therefore shows that you are open to the other person.
Be Open to Vulnerability
Slouching back, holding your purse or other items in front of you, or crossing your arms are just a few body signals that may send the wrong message. It may come off as judgmental or that you don’t want to be there, making you less approachable and people may feel too uncomfortable to spark up conversation. Placing your arms at your side and relaxing your body indicates that you are ready and vulnerable. This shows you are accepting and ready to welcome the other person, and what they are offering. Don’t be afraid to be close to the other person, but also respect their personal space.
Aside from maintaining eye contact, nodding your head during a conversation shows that you are remaining engaged and encourages the conversation to continue. It tells the other person that you are agreeing with what they are saying, and that you are both connecting on the same subject. Tilting your head also sends a positive message to the speaker and sends the message that you are interested in what they are saying to you.
Stay in sync
Have you ever noticed that when you spend time with different people, you may begin to mimic their mannerisms? This is quite natural and, sometimes, inevitable to mirror what the other person is doing. Copying the other person’s body language makes them feel as though you are both in sync, and, on first impression, appear that you have more in common based on your body talk. This can make a person feel more comfortable and willing to be open with you.
Have you tried any of these tips for making a good first impression? Feel free to share below!
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