7 Subtle & Sly Cues You Can Drop To Make A Good Impression On Someone New
Some people you just click with instantly, and you don't have to do anything to create a solid bond. With other people, the process can be longer and require some work on your end. Luckily, there are a number of sly clues you can drop to make a good impression on someone. Of course, you can't force someone to enjoy your presence — and you'll still want to be yourself and stick to the basics like being kind and caring — but with a little effort, you can improve your relationship with someone by engaging in some very subtle habits.
An old study by a UCLA researcher has been quoted throughout the years: That communication is 93 percent non-verbal (55 percent being body language and 38 percent being tone of voice)," psychologist Dr. Crystal I. Lee tells Bustle. "That study has actually been grossly overgeneralized, but it would be safe to say that non-verbal aspects of communication are definitely important. If not, then there wouldn't be 'good' and 'bad' actors. Any actor can say the words, but the good ones use their non-verbal communication to convince you that they're their character."
To make a good impression, it's important to feel comfortable. But to create some intimacy and connection, experts say you can drop these seven subtle clues that can help get someone to like you.
1. Light Touch
Once you have established a genuine sense of initial trust, incorporate light touch into your conversations. "A brief touch of someone's shoulder or forearm acts as a physical reflection of that shared sense of intimacy," clinical psychologist Forrest Talley, Ph.D. tells Bustle. "Touching generally leads to the release of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter, which acts to enhance a sense of well-being."
2. Talk At A Moderate Pace
"Monitor the pace and pitch of your speech so that it’s not too fast or high-pitched," therapist Sue Mandel, Ph.D., LMFT tells Bustle. "This communicates a sense of confidence and calm. It makes it easier for the other person to pay attention and is more likely to draw them towards you."
It's time to shine those pearly whites — when it feels natural, of course. "Not only does smiling and laughing make you feel good, it can also make the person you’re talking to feel happy and enjoy the interaction," therapist Racine R. Henry, Ph.D., LMFT tells Bustle. Research shows that people respond more positively to those that smile, and it even helps ensure that they will remember you later.
4. Leaning In
Leaning towards a person indicates they have your full attention and that you’re engaged in the conversation. "No need to lose your balance, but slightly lean toward them," says Talley. "If sitting, you should lean forward much of the time. This conveys a sense of wanting to thoroughly engage the person with whom you are speaking."
5. Lower Your Tone
"If a conversation allows for even a slight bit of self-disclosure, the impact can be enlarged by both leaning in and lowering your tone," says Talley. "This conveys a sense of trust. If you trusted everyone to hear what you were about to say, there would be no need to lean in or lower your voice."
6. Mirror Their Movements
Mirror your conversation partner's body language and posture. "Several research studies have shown how mirroring other people's non-verbal behavior makes those people more likely to like you," says Lee. "This is known as the chameleon effect. People actually do this naturally as they get to know people and hang out with them."
7. Share A Warm Beverage
When making plans, opt for a tea or coffee date or anything that involves warm liquids. "This one sounds a little weird, but one research study suggests that people interpret physical warmth with interpersonal warmth" says Lee. "So if someone is holding a hot cup of coffee or tea, they may perceive you as being warmer and more likable."
By being yourself and engaging in these little habits, you can help increase the likelihood that you're making a good impression on someone new.