Writer and communications expert Leil Lowndes has spent years studying how people interact. She offers these ideas for making others warm to you:
1. Don’t smile too quickly when meeting someone. Offer them a slower, floating smile – one that’s intended just for them. You don’t want people to think you smile automatically at everyone you meet.
2. Get people talking about themselves. Listen for any interesting words and pick up on them – this is all about paying attention to someone else. Avoid asking lots of questions without really listening to the answers, or agreeing with everything the other person says. Both will make you appear insincere.
3. Speak at the same pace and volume as the other person. Use their kind of language – this makes your communication feel much warmer. Avoid words or gestures that feel unnatural to you. Adapt to different situations and people, but don’t repress the real you.
4. Watch out for social cues, says Dr Sandi Mann, a senior lecturer in occupational psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. ‘Are they avoiding eye contact or looking bored? If so, check you’re giving them positive feedback.’ Don’t talk too fast, talk solely about yourself or bombard them with trivia.
5. The body is like a magnet: we move towards people we like and away from people we don’t. Lean in, but don’t get too close. If they move nearer to you, don’t obviously back off. And if they edge away, don’t move in.