Smile and Practice Your Eye Contact
Eye contact and welcoming facial expressions are the most rudimentary aspects of communication, yet they can be exceptionally challenging; even those with a lot of friends can sometimes find themselves in a social bind and look away in the middle of a conversation. Smiling can also be particularly difficult because it is a vulnerable thing to do.
This is to say that smiling eye contact is important to establish a real connection with someone. If you’re constantly averting your eyes, you might unconsciously signal that you’re unavailable, or even uncomfortable. However, if you confidently lock eyes with others, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about chatting with you.
Avoid Closed Posture and Practice Open
One of the most common ways that people respond to stressful social situations is by closing their posture, as it is a subconscious means of avoiding confrontation. In many ways, this works; if you look uninviting, then most people will steer clear of you.
The problem with a tight, nervous posture, then, is that it prohibits meaningful connections. Humans are social creatures, and the truth is that we long to engage with others, even though this can be difficult for those who don’t have the most welcoming body language.
The key to altering your posture is to make a conscious effort to open yourself up; try your best to look relaxed while you’re speaking to others, but make sure that you aren’t forcing it, or the illusion will crumble. Try not to slouch, either, or lean back while you’re seated.
Appearance Matters a Lot
Beyond improving your conversational aptitude, you should also look inviting!
Personally speaking, facial rejuvenation such as a facelift allowed me to start giving off a warmer vibe and boosted my self-confidence, and it boils down to a good skincare routine; I noticed a great difference in my face’s vibrancy after just a few months of consistent care. The great thing about facial rejuvenation is that it can be anything as simple as washing your face to something more involved, like a cosmetic surgical procedure.
Other people tend to notice changes in appearance, and a nice, clean look will make you far more likable—take my word for it!
Get Rid of Distractions
We live at a time when a tiny handheld device dictates our lives; it’s easy to get absorbed and distracted. But while our phones are wonderful tools, they can unfortunately hinder real-life connections, making you look distracted even when you aren’t.
Having your phone up to your ear, or gluing your eyes to the screen, makes you look off-putting. In fact, it’s the kind of behavior you’d expect from someone on the subway who just wants to be left alone during their morning commute. So, get used to putting your phone down—you want to give off the impression that you are ready to interact!
Another thing you might try is to stop wearing sunglasses and hats indoors, as they are signals that you are preparing to leave the premises; most people will stay out of your way because they assume that you are busy and needed elsewhere.
Bright Colors and Eye Catchers
Colors convey mood and affect how others perceive you; most people tend to avoid those who wear darker clothes but gravitate toward brighter colors like yellow and reds. If you’re looking to broaden your social life, do your best to stay away from greys and blacks, and try colors that are more easily visible.
Another way to invite people to approach you is by wearing something eye-catching, whether it be a nice watch or a cool accessary, like a pin or a cocktail ring.
Generally speaking, people feel more inclined to approach those whose appearance is unique—sometimes, for example, a new haircut can spark a conversation. Another thing that most people don’t think of is how clear your eyes are. Sometimes, red eyes can communicate that you’re suffering from allergies, which isn’t all that attractive, so use eye drops.
Among all of this advice, it’s integral to remember that most people want to make friends—so do your best to be the most approachable person in the room!