Ever meet someone who’s the walking, talking embodiment of an
ASMR video? When you're with them, you instantly feel more relaxed — almost to the point you forget about your problems. Whether it’s because they have soothing body language, make great eye contact, or listen attentively — or all of the above — it’s interesting to think about the habits common among people who are calming to be around.
Whether they’re a friend, partner, or even a coworker, you just
want to be around them. Why? “Because calming energy is soothing to our nervous system,” therapist and yoga teacher Lauren Donelson, MA, LMFTA tells Bustle. “Our bodies instinctually crave calm, so when someone is grounded, we are intuitively drawn to them because we probably need more of that energy ourselves.”
Folks who have such a relaxing way about them might seem a bit magical. But really, these calming traits can be adopted by anyone. And there are so many benefits to be had in doing so. First off, once you figure out how to take on a calmer energy for yourself, "you'll have more clarity and command in your life and be less likely to get easily triggered by other people's behavior or stressful situations,"
Kelli Reese, a certified leadership and transition coach, tells Bustle.
And from there, you can be one of those people who also gives off super calm vibes, puts their friends at ease, and moves through the world with confident energy. Below are some traits and
habits that put others at ease, deepen connections, and make life a little less stressful. 1 You Are Present In The Moment
If someone’s calming to be around, it’s likely because they’re fully
living in the moment. "They don’t have their head in their phone [and they aren’t focused on] other thoughts," intimacy coach Xanet Pailet tells Bustle.
Instead, they’re present with you, chatting, listening, and making eye contact. “When someone makes eye contact with us we feel [fully seen],” Pailet says. It’s such a simple thing, but it's a habit that truly
puts others at ease. 2 You Respect Others’ Personal Space
According to Pailet, calming people are also aware of their body — which is another side effect of being present — and as a result try not to accidentally invade your personal space. They don’t cross
boundaries, and that helps create a safe, comfortable interaction with others. 3 You Can Always Be Trusted
Nothing says "calming" quite like a conversation with someone who is clearly trustworthy — who you know you can speak to, and they won't turn around and share what you said. "They don’t gossip about others and generally have an attitude of good intention,"
licensed psychotherapist Dr. Jill Murray tells Bustle. And that has a lot to do with what they bring to the convo, too.
Ever notice how calming people hardly ever gossip? "Because they aren’t sniping about others, you can rest assured that they aren’t gossiping about you when you aren’t around," Murray says.
4 You’re A Great Listener Kemal Yildirim/E+/Getty Images
Speaking of listening, there's a big difference between
listening to someone speak, and just being quiet while you wait for your turn to talk. And calming folks definitely occupy that former space. “They listen without interruption or relating back to their own experiences,” leadership coach Alexandra Trevisan tells Bustle. It creates a sense that you’re fully seen, heard, and understood, which in turn creates a feeling of intimacy that’s super cozy. 5 You’re Inclusive
Another common habit is making sure everyone feels included, says
Dezryelle Arcieri, MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist. They’re the ones making room at the table, sending party invites, and listening to the quietest person in a group. “When speaking with this calm person, you feel like you are genuinely cared for,” Arcieri says. 6 You Have Neutral Vibes
Calmness can also stem
from someone’s voice. Typically, that’ll mean they have a neutral tone, Trevisan says, that doesn’t pitch up too high or down too low.
“When someone speaks with an upward inflection, they are typically coming from a place of inferiority,” she says. “And vice versa. When someone is speaking with a downward inflection, they are typically coming from a
place of superiority. A calm person makes the person they are around feel like they are equals; reaffirming this sense of safety.” 7 You Do Things That Relax You
Calm folks are able to give off such a soothing energy because they’re, well,
calm. And one way they get there is by making time for relaxation.
According to Donelson, they often make a point of doing healthy activities like
yoga, going on walks, taking great naps, eating good food, and seeing their friends.
“When someone is grounded and calm, we are intuitively drawn to them because we probably need more of that energy ourselves,” she tells Bustle.
8 You Practice Mindfulness Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images
Similarly, Donelson says they may also prioritize
mindfulness practices like meditation. “Calm people are aware of their thoughts patterns and are less impacted by them,” she says. “It's not that calm people don't have anxious or distressing thoughts, but that they practice noticing them without judgment every day.” A little separation from anxious thoughts goes a long way in keeping calm — and projecting that vibe out to others. 9 You’re All About Self-Care
solid self-care practice is key, whether that means reading, meditating, listening to music, or even going to therapy. According to Lindsay Preston, a multi-certified leadership coach, it’s often nice to be around people who are on a mental health journey — even if they aren’t at the finish line just yet.
“These people do the work on their own to feel, deal, and heal the ‘hard’ and ‘negative’ feelings so they can show up in a calm, neutral way around others,” Preston says. “Since they do the work to feel, this allows them to not be as triggered by day-to-day life. They also have an emotional depth that allows them to be calm regardless of what goes on around them.”
10 You’re Willing To Compromise
You won’t catch these folks arguing till they’re blue in the face, either. And it’s not because they don’t stand up for themselves or that they don’t have opinions. According to psychologist
Aniko Dunn, PsyD, it’s because calming people know the value of compromise — they tend to look for a neutral middle ground during arguments, or simply agree to disagree. 11 You Move At A Slower Pace
There’s nothing wrong with excitable friends who are animated, busy, and fun to talk to. But the people who relax others the most usually move at a slower pace, and thus establish a bubble of calm around themselves.
According to Trevisan, you might see them kicking back in their chair, thinking before they speak, or using slower, gentler gestures and
open body language. "Again, this happens because they are grounded, focused on you, and completely in present time," Pailet says. "
They also likely themselves plenty of time to get where they need to be, Dunn says. You’ll rarely catch them elbowing people out of the way to catch a train or slamming on their car horn in traffic.
12 You’re Generous
Those with calming personality traits also tend to be open to sharing with others. “When people openly and generously share their skills, time, and even food with you, it's super calming,”
Michelle Davies, a certified life coach, tells Bustle. “It creates a relationship where you do nice things for each other to show you care.” 13 You Swoop In To Fix Problems SrdjanPav/E+/Getty Images
Lost on a road trip? Zoom not opening before a big meeting? Whatever it is, these folks look for solutions the moment things go awry. (Instead of, you know, panicking or yelling at everyone in sight.) And it really rubs off.
“People who are problem-solvers make everyone else feel as if they are safe, taken care of, and that everything will be OK,” business coach
Sharifah Hardie tells Bustle. “They are able to pull people into their calm, instead of allowing people to pull them into their storm." 14 You Know How To Lighten The Mood
Another way they create a relaxing atmosphere? With perfectly timed jokes, of course.
Calming people know how to "utilize humor effectively,"
Laura Jordan, MA, LPC, LMFT, a licensed professional counselor, tells Bustle. If things are getting tense, or they notice others are getting stressed, they often know just what to say to lighten the mood.
"Humor has a disarming effect and brings levity to otherwise tense situations," Jordan says. With a well-timed quip or lighthearted joke, they magically put everyone at ease.
15 You Go With The Flow
While almost everyone gets upset occasionally, the calmest people have a knack for going with the flow. Sure, they look for solutions to problems, as mentioned above. But they also know when it’s time to give up, laugh it off, and move on.
"People who have a calming effect on others tend to not dwell on things, especially little things that really don't matter," author and natural lifestyle expert
Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. "This ability to go with the flow has a calming effect on people, even if they can't figure out exactly what it is." 16 You’re Warm & Friendly
Think of the most calming person you know and chances are you can practically
feel the warm, friendly energy radiating off them, Myra says. Maybe that means they smile a lot, make great eye contact, offer hugs, or simply know when to listen. Everyone’s personality and positive traits are different, but the feeling of calm is the same. 17 You’re Empathetic
When talking to someone who gives off calming vibes, you almost always leave the conversation feeling like they truly "get you." And that's because they're pros when it comes to empathy — so they’re really good at helping others and know just when to offer a shoulder to cry on. "They feel deeply and put themselves in the other person's shoes,” licensed psychotherapist
Lisa Hutchison, LMHC tells Bustle. And that makes everyone around them feel super good. 18 You Use Positive Language
People who are cool, calm, and collected often use uplifting language in their everyday life. They
put a positive spin on the rainiest day. They also tend to offer tokens of reassurance, especially when sh*t hits the fan. "These words send a message to us that the world around us is OK in their eyes, which has a calming effect,” clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow tells Bustle. 19 You’re Tuned In
You’re able to fully relax around calm people because you know they’re tuned in, often to the point they anticipate your needs before you even verbalize them. “They seem to
intuitively know what others need and will validate these needs, helping others feel understood and generally worthy,” Acieri says. 20 You Have Realistic Expectations
About to go on vacation? Out to dinner? Or are a bunch of friends coming over? You can rest assured this person will have realistic expectations, and thus won’t get angry or stressed if and when things go wrong.
Kristen Bingaman, NBC-HWC, RYT, PT, a board-certified health and wellness coach, they’re able to stay calm because they don’t get hung up on perfection. They’re much more focused on compassion, emotional intelligence, and resilience, which helps them deal with life’s twists and turns — without screaming or stressing everyone out. 21 You’re Grateful Gratefulness is at the root of it all. When someone is grateful, they’re able to remain positive even when negative things happen, Dr. Christie Jenkins, MS, a clinical mental health specialist, tells Bustle. Gratefulness also removes jealousy, comparison, and a need to be right — basically all the traits and habits that put others on edge. Sources: Lauren Donelson, MA, LMFTA, therapist Kelli Reese, certified leadership and transition coach Xanet Pailet, intimacy coach Dr. Jill Murray, licensed psychotherapist Alexandra Trevisan, leadership coach Dezryelle Arcieri, MA, LMFT, 200YTT, licensed marriage and family therapist Lindsay Preston, multi-certified leadership coach Aniko Dunn, PsyD, psychologist Michelle Davies, certified life coach Sharifah Hardie, business coach Laura Jordan, MA, LPC, LMFT, licensed professional counselor Jaya Jaya Myra, natural lifestyle expert Lisa Hutchison, LMHC, licensed psychotherapist Dr. Josh Klapow, clinical psychologist Kristen Bingaman, NBC-HWC, RYT, PT, board-certified health and wellness coach Dr. Christie Jenkins, MS, clinical mental health specialist
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This article was originally published on
April 17, 2018