Who doesn’t love a good life hack? Who doesn’t love a body language hack even more? Check out these subtle tips to open yourself to a first date connection.
What is your body saying on the first date? Making that great first impression is important; but when about 70 percent of what you say is unsaid, you should know your body language speaks louder than words. Having the wrong body language can squash your chances at a great first date.
Here’s how to use body language hacks to increase your attractiveness and likability on dates.
How to Use Your Body to Increase Your Likability
We like people who are like us. This means if they dress like us, speak like us, and have similar mannerisms, we automatically assume they have the same level of education, social background, even similar values.
If you can create a sense similarity on the first date, you can increase your own likability.
There is a type of behavior called mimicry. Mimicry activates your date’s brain to prompt them to be more open—and makes you look more attractive(1). To practice mimicry means imitating someone’s body language; this establishes rapport and gets them to trust you.
To your date, mimicry signals familiarity… ‘”you are like me.”
Most people won’t notice you are mimicking unless you are mimicking in an extremely obvious or inauthentic manner. If you are worried about coming across as unnatural or contrived, here are three ways to ease into the flow of your date’s mannerisms:
- Imitate only the gestures that are natural for you.
- Change the amplitude of the gesture. If they are using exaggerated expressions you can replicate them on a smaller level.
- Pause and wait a few seconds before copying them.
Some examples of nonverbal behaviors that you can mimic on a date:
- If they are leaning forward and talking in an excited manner, mirror how far they are leaning in. When it’s your turn to talk, match their tone and volume, as well as their speed.
- When they take a sip from their wine and nod thoughtfully, you can also sip your drink and nod.
Why You Need to Increase Your Eye Contact
Good eye contact is incredibly important on a date. It shows that you are listening and you take notice of their presence. Eye contact also signals to your date that you are trustworthy person.
I remember when I was at a Chinese restaurant making a request for a box to pack up the leftovers as the waiter was clearing the table. The waiter looked at me as I started talking, then glanced over in the middle of my request at another table. It was a brief interaction as he cleared the table, but the moment he looked away, I instantly felt like he was not paying attention to what I said.
If you want land a second date, be sure your date knows you are listening to them. Good eye contact is the first step to this. No one wants to go out with someone who doesn’t listen or pay attention to them.
But there is a difference in the level of intensities of eye contact; there’s “paying attention” eye contact and then there’s “predator eyeing its prey” eye contact. You definitely do not want to be doing the latter. This difference is what Olivia Fox Cabane, a charisma coach, calls soft and intense eye contact.
An intense eye contact narrows your range of focus and puts you on the path to a flight or fight stress level reaction, which interferes with your likability and attractiveness.
You want the opposite. Trust me.
You want the warmth in your eyes to convey friendliness that is achieved with soft focus. You achieve soft focus by closing your eyes and re-opening them to focus on the space that fills the background instead of focusing on one object. This is soft focus.
How to Use Your Body to Show Interest
On a date, you want your body to say you are enthusiastic and happy to be with the person you’re with.
Dale Carnegie once said that you can make friends quicker by showing an interest in them versus getting them interested in you. Show your interest by leaning in during conversations. This happens naturally with people we like, we are receptive to building a relationship and we are interested in what they have to say.
In addition, research from the book The Like Switch shows that the head tilt is one of the primary nonverbal signals that communicate friendliness. The head tilt is a lesser-known gesture that says “I’m friendly,” but is another powerful way to build a connection with people. Tilting your head slightly to the side signals that I am relating to you. It shows that you are present and interested says Vanessa Van Edwards, founder of Science of People.
Everyone can improve their body language to create rapport and build likability for successful dating. Through a consistent practice of self-awareness we can communicate a lot more effectively than what we are saying verbally.
If you’d like to develop the skills decode your date’s body language or practice dating specific body language get my free guide, Unlock Your Date’s Body Language by clicking here. My guide will help you figure out the different signals your date is sending out to you that you might not be familiar with.
- 1N. Guegan, C. Jacob, and A. Martin, “Mimicry in Social Interactions: Its Effect on Human Judgement and Behavior,” European Journal of Social Sciences 8, no. 2 (2009).