If you’re anything like me then chances are you quite often feel nervous when you meet new people.
I’m better with it than I used to be, but I do still worry that I’ll say the wrong thing, or that the whole exchange will just feel really awkward.
Over the years though I have learnt that if I can try and relax and smile then that tends to make the other person feel more relaxed too. Even if we’re kind of faking it, if we can come across as confident and comfortable then that tends to make meeting new people easier.
There are some other little psychological tricks you can use as well that can help these interactions.
Here’s an interesting little body language trick you can use to help people feel more at ease with you, even if it’s the first time you’ve met.
When you first greet them, give them a little eyebrow-flash.
You know that little thing you do with your eyebrows when you see someone you know across the room? That really quick raise of the eyebrows, that’s sometimes accompanied with a little head bob.
This is something we all do when we see someone we know, and we tend to do it pretty much subconsciously.
It’s a way of communicating to the person that we know each other, and that there is no threat to either of us. There must be an evolutionary reason why this eyebrow raise has this meaning because all primates do it, not just people. I’m not sure what that reason is though. It might be to do with making our eyes seem bigger, which makes apparently makes us seem more submissive and less of a threat.
Whatever the reason, this eyebrow-flash is something we all do and when someone does it to us we take it as a sign that we know them and trust them.
So you can use this little trick to your advantage.
Next time you meet someone for the first time, give them a little eyebrow raise and then follow it up with a relaxed smile. Their subconscious mind will read these cues and they’ll feel as if they’ve already built up a good rapport with you.
You might feel a bit odd doing it, but if you’re subtle with it the other person won’t even consciously notice it, but it will make them feel more at ease with you.
Give it a try next time you meet someone new. Just don’t go over the top and end up Hermione Grangering at people or they might not feel quite so comfortable chatting to you!