Meeting a stranger for the first time is always a bit awkward, even if you’ve been chatting online or by phone before. If you can calm down your appointment instantly, your nerves will fade and you will be able to get to know each other properly. Here are five ways to create an instant connection.
Make eye contact
Eye contact is the fastest way to connect with someone. Show confidence and enjoy your company. If you look away from them, they may feel that you think they are boring or that you are uncomfortable. If you’re really struggling with eye contact, try focusing on the tip of your nose, because to them, it looks like you’re looking them in the eye.
Listen for real
We hope you are completely engrossed in what they say, but sometimes anxiety or nerves can make us conscious, which prevents us from concentrating. By genuinely listening to what they say and showing that through body language and asking questions, they will be able to relax, which will also make you feel calm and secure.
Touch their arm
A short, light touch of the arm is a great way to let your date know that you’re committed to what they’re saying and that you’re comfortable enough with them for a small amount of physical contact. Make sure the touch stays between your wrist and elbow, and don’t try to touch them anywhere else on a first date. Notice how they respond to your touch: If they look uncomfortable or move away, don’t try again, but wait to see if they work for you later.
Read your body language
Reading and reacting to someone’s body language is a great way to connect with them. For example, if they lean toward you when they speak and maintain eye contact, this is a good sign (and a good time for a soft touch of the arm!). Mirroring someone’s body language is an effective, non-verbal way of showing empathy.
Tell them you like them
This seems very obvious, but it is very difficult to do. If you’ve enjoyed spending time with someone, tell them you’d like to meet them again. It sounds much better in real life than later in a text, which can often be misinterpreted or forgotten. Tell them you like them and see what happens.
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