According to a 2015 study, touch has a crucial role to play in our lives and is important for improving both our physical and mental health during childhood and adulthood. The study states “Touch is central in building the foundations of social interaction, attachment, and cognition,” and has neurophysiological and epigenetic benefits. Another study found that “Casual social touch influences emotional perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of interaction partners.”
Touching in a non-threatening way can promote intimacy, warmth and create an instant connection. It shows that you find the other person appealing and attractive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This can be highly beneficial in dates and romantic encounters.
However, touch can help to show interest in non-romantic interactions as well. “Light, friendly, affirmative touches like a handshake, a pat on the back, a hand on the shoulder, or even just a tap to get someone’s attention or direct it somewhere else, can build a warmer bond between colleagues,” they add. But the authors warn that “ one has to tread carefully” during this time of “heightened sensitivity to sexual harassment.”
Here are some other quick body language tips to help you make a great first impression on someone:
- Always greet someone with a firm welcoming handshake. This can set the tone for the interaction and decide how the entire conversation flows.
- Observe the body language of others and watch what kind of nonverbal cues they use to communicate with you.
- It is a good idea to mirror the other person’s body language and facial expressions. Align yourself with them. This will show you like the person and acknowledge their presence.
- Laugh openly, but appropriately. It will help to make the other person relax and feel comfortable. Moreover, it will break the ice and lighten the mood.
- Don’t blink too much. Excessive and rapid blinking shows that you are uncomfortable, nervous, stressed or even sick. This can greatly hamper your conversation.
- Monitor your voice and vocal quality. Keep your voice low and depict credibility and confidence through your voice. Speak softly, slowly and emphasize on important words. Also make sure you don’t engage in a hesitant speech pattern.
- Avoid dominant postures like putting your hands on your hips unless you want to convey arrogance, superiority or disapproval to the other person.
- Avoid dropping your head to tilting it to the side. This sends the message that you lack confidence and so you are avoiding eye contact.
- Respect cultural differences. Learn about their cultural norms before meeting someone so that you don’t end up disrespecting them unintentionally.
Nonverbal Communication And First Impressions
Did you know it takes only 27 seconds to make a first impression? According to new research, 69% of Americans form a first impression about somebody before the other person even speaks. According to the study by Dollar Shave Club, factors like smiling (53%), being well-spoken (49%), being polite (53%), being a good listener (48%), smelling nice (46%), and making eye contact (49%) are crucial for creating a positive first impression.
The researchers also observed that 44% of people think that body language is a determining factor in forming a positive first impression. Apart from these, 83% of participants claimed that confidence also plays an important role. On the other hand, if you behave arrogantly (62%), dress shabbily (49%), and smell bad (66%) , then you will end up creating a poor first impression.
This is why it is crucial that you are aware of your nonverbal communication and body language during the first 27 seconds when you meet someone new to make a positive impression. Nonverbal cues like smiling, eye contact, posture, and body language can significantly enhance or weaken the first impression you make on someone.
Leave A Lasting Impression
Jeff Haden, author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win, writes “When you meet someone, make sure you’re sending the right signals. Sure, your body language is a fundamental part of who you are. Chances are you don’t even think about how you stand, sit, and move. You should, of course, because other people instinctively pick up the nonverbal signals you send.”
The body language tips mentioned here can help you appear more open and confident and show interest in someone to make a killer first impression. This will allow you to connect better with everyone you meet on a regular basis.
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: