With seemingly endless amounts of holiday parties, work events, and gatherings popping up on your calendar over the next month, small talk, chit-chat, and witty banter will likely compose a big part of December. When it comes to making a good first impression and strengthening a fresh relationship or friendship, it's completely understandable and utterly human to want to be liked.
Although, coming across as your best, most authentic self is not always easy. Whether you're meeting your partner's family or chatting with the boss at your office holiday party, making a good impression can be challenging, even with the best intentions. Fortunately, according to human perception expert Brian Boxer Wachler, MD, there are subconscious, scientifically proven things you can do to be your most likable self, MindBodyGreen reports.
1. Make direct eye contact. This is one skill that never seems to go out of style. One study found that direct eye contact makes people feel joy as opposed to fear and sadness, the latter of which can result from avoiding eye contact.
2. Mirror body language and verbal cues. According to Wachler, people like others who appear to be similar to them. There's research to back this theory, too. Studies find mirroring the body position of someone you're speaking to subconsciously increases your likeability and mimicking verbal cues shows you are engaged in the conversation.
3. Reinforce identities. In other words, make statements that show you understand and support the things that make someone who they are. One study found this practice plays a large role in how people perceive others.