Meeting new is always stressful and can cause anxiety in a number of people. Fears such as missing social cues dominate our mind and make interaction hard. Well, here are ten tips that will help you relax when meeting new people.
#1. Look them in the eyes
Eye contact is a definite must. There’s a reason we’re taught to do it from an early age. It helps build trust between you and whoever you’re talking to. If they do it too, then the trust only builds more.
#2. Have a firm handshake
Having a firm handshake shows that you have strength – sounds a little obvious now, doesn’t it? It lets the other person that you are capable of being friendly as well as assertive and in charge.
#3. Be polite
We’ve covered the eye contact and handshake – now comes more politeness. “Please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” will make the situation a lot more relaxed and easygoing. It shows that you want to make sure the other person is comfortable, and they’ll respect you for that.
#4. Show interest in what they’re saying
When they’re talking, be sure to show you’re interested in what they’re talking about. Don’t let your eyes wander around the room. Keep your body facing theirs. These small yet important gestures show you’re interested in what they’re saying.
#5. Be responsive when they talk
Small things like nodding your head or smiling when they make a joke show that what they’re saying is registering on you – you are no longer someone they’re simply talking to, you’re someone they’re holding a conversation with.
#6. Ask questions that show interest
This is called active listening. Ask questions when appropriate, or ask for more details. This will show the other person that you are taking in the details they’re relaying to you and that you want more from them. Things like “is that so?” and “oh, really?” show the other person that you want to hear more of their story.
#7. Keep a little distance between the two of you
This is something that not a lot of people tend to think about. Distance between you and the other person is an often overlooked social aspect. Too close is a little uncomfortable, but too far makes it seem as if you aren’t interested in them. Stand roughly a step or half-a-step away from them to have the perfect amount of distance.
#8. Be flattering, but not too much
Nobody likes a yes-man, so don’t be overbearing with this. However, when you get the chance, be sure to pay a compliment or two to whoever you’re talking to. It will be a welcome surprise for them, and it’s sure to leave a good impression on them.
#9. Be accommodative towards them
Do a couple small favors for them – they’ll definitely appreciate it. Nothing extravagant, though! Simply offering to refill their drink or letting them borrow your phone are kind gestures in and of themselves, but when meeting someone for the first time, they leave a great impression.
#10. Show confidence
Don’t be afraid to show your confidence off. When they ask you what you do for a living or anything similar to that, don’t belittle your accomplishments. Be proud of what you’ve done, and talk like you’re proud too. You’ll make them proud for you as well.