Most people want to be welcoming to others. It’s natural to want to be friendly and help others feel comfortable with you. Simply put, pleasing is a pretty good feeling, and making others happy when they’re around you is rewarding.
But it is not always easy to make people feel comfortable. Some people take longer to assimilate to others than most, and it can be quite uncomfortable if you don’t know how to handle it. Here are 8 behaviors that will make others feel safer around you.
1. Start with common ground
Common ground is a great way to start bonding. That’s why you often connect with new people by talking about your mutual friends, for example. When you meet other people for the first time and want them to feel comfortable and safe talking to you, start by trying to find common ground.
- Where are you both from; you will have more to talk about if you grew up in a similar area and went to similar places as a child
- The music you like; Studies indicate that shared taste in music can increase interpersonal connections and have positive effects on the perceptions of others
- Places you have traveled to; most people like to talk about their travel experiences and will be more than happy to talk about somewhere you’ve been too
- What sports teams do you support; There is an innate camaraderie among sports fans!
- Programs, movies, books or other media that you have consumed. There are many things to discuss when it comes to media that you both enjoy.
- Current events; most people are somewhat aware of recent events, and you can bond with neutrals.
- Any potentially unusual questions about preferences, you’ll be surprised how talking about favorite ice cream flavors or lucky numbers can lead to common ground.
You know what to start with, but what shouldn’t you start with? Try to avoid personal, political, or controversial topics, unless you are with someone you know enjoys that conversation.
2. Be confident
Confidence can be intimidating, but it can also make others feel safe around you. Being able to show from the start that you are a confident person tells other people that you have your things together and have them under control. This can help them feel safer or more comfortable. You can behave confidently when you meet someone for the first time:
- Make eye contact when speaking or listening, in balance
- Shake hands firmly
- Stand upright with a positive posture
- Smiling in a genuine way
- Initiate a greeting when possible
- Present yourself clearly and ask for their name as well
- Maintain an open posture (do not cross your legs or hide your face in your hands)
Of course, it is possible to overdo it. You can go from confidence to arrogance by accident, and that will work against you. So remember to keep a balance – you want to be confident, not arrogant, and at the same time be nice and friendly to the people you meet.
Smiling is a great way to make someone feel safe and comfortable. It is the universal sign of well-being. This is because:
- Smiling is contagious, so when you smile, other people automatically smile too, even when they don’t necessarily want to.
- Increase the smile positive thinking, not just the other way around, so encouraging others to smile will help them feel more secure around you.
- The lack of a smile can often indicate that something may be wrong and unconsciously worries those around you.
This doesn’t mean you have to force a smile when you don’t feel like it, of course. Often times it’s the genuine characteristics of a smile that make people feel comfortable, after all. But making an effort to be nice and positive with others will help them feel more secure!
4. Reduce speed
Have you ever found yourself standing uncomfortably while someone’s words come out of their mouth at a mile a minute, ruining your ability to understand them? It’s hard to get comfortable with someone you can’t understand in this way, as they may not know how to stop or slow you down.
This concept applies to you. Yes, it is wonderful to see how passionate people can be when they talk about the things they love, but it becomes very strong when you meet someone for the first time. You can overwhelm them if you go off the rails too fast. Here are a few ways your speed may be affecting things:
- You may get excited when you have a spark with others, causing you to speak quickly or intensely.
- You may murmur or have trouble speaking clearly or loudly, which means that if you go too fast effectively, it will be very difficult for anyone to hear your message.
- Perhaps you can provide a lot of information at any given time without slowing down, leaving others feeling overwhelmed and panicky.
- It may become difficult to understand the faster you go, and others may not be comfortable trying to ask you to repeat it.
Slow down your speech restricting the most intense movements of your handsand relax. Pause to ask questions, include others in your conversation, and take a breath, and others will feel much more secure listening to you.
If you have a disorder that tends to manifest itself in overexcited speech or intensity, you may find it difficult to slow down or even notice when you are going fast to start. Asking others to let you know if they need you to repeat it or are having trouble keeping up can help you stay alert. You also tell the people you are talking to that you value open honesty and want them to understand you, which will help them feel more secure and like they can trust you.
Mirroring is quite an interesting and somewhat cunning way to encourage others to feel safe and comfortable, both around you and in general. It involves the act of subtly mimicking an individual’s actions and posture through body language, which will relax you even if you don’t know why.
You have to strike a balance, and reflecting too much often discourages people. But in general, duplication will encourage others to feel more positive Around you. Here are some tips and steps to take to reflect on others and help them feel more secure around you.
You can’t reflect someone very well if you don’t stand up to him. After all, mirrors work best when you look directly at them.
Build a connection
Indicate that you are listening by making eye contact and nodding when the other person speaks. Show that you are interested in understanding them and really try – duplication works best when you really show genuine interest.
Match its verbal components
How is the other person speaking? What tone are they using? What kind of language? And at what rate? When you speak, try to imitate his general speed and voice style and use the appropriate vocabulary for the conversation.
Match positive gestures
Subtly pick a few gestures every now and then to mimic. Do this without showing that you are openly copying them – keep it casual! When it touches your chin, wait a few seconds, then copy the motion. When they change their weight, change yours too.
Reflecting it is a careful practice. Some things will work against you, so don’t:
- Imitate exactly everything they do; that’s too much and it will be obvious.
- Mimic negative gestures, such as crossing your arms; This habit will perpetuate an atmosphere of negativity.
- False interest in the other person; people are more insightful than they think, especially subconsciously.
- Focus too much on mirroring to the point where you stress or can’t hear; That defeats the purpose.
6. Be thoughtful
Being thoughtful is a sure way to show that you are a safe person to be around and that actions speak louder than words. When you indicate that you are aware of the people around you and that you are compassionate towards them, they will naturally adopt a more positive thought towards you. Here are some examples of ways of thinking:
- Congratulate them on something remarkable in a genuine way; If you notice and like his shoes, say so, or if you admire his strength, indicate it
- Take note of the needs they may have, especially if you are in a host position; Offer them what they may be too uncomfortable asking for.
- Ask them how they feel or about themselves and show genuine interest in their response; let others know that you care enough to listen
7. Participate in the narration
Storytelling attracts people and is a useful way to start a conversation, especially between people who are calmer or do not know what to say. It also gives you a great starting point for future discussion topics.
You can try one of the following conversation starters:
- Tell a true story that happened to you; Try to opt for light-hearted or funny stories over serious or dark ones.
- Tell jokes that you have learned, especially those that are a little longer and more engaging.
- Talk about an interesting story, show, or movie you’ve seen recently and tell others why you like it.
- Collect stories from others and pass them on to new people.
- Talk about a story you recently read; again, try going for the cheerful ones!
The type of story you choose to tell tells others something about you. For example, talking about something embarrassing that happened to you shows those who accompany you that you feel comfortable making fun of yourself.
8. Use names
While it doesn’t apply to all situations, in most more informal settings you will have the ability to choose between someone’s first or last name when addressing someone. As long as the other person agrees with that, it would be better if you tried to use first names to create a simpler and safer atmosphere.
Think about it. Someone is more likely to catch your eye saying your name than the last one. On top of that, you are more likely to react with a festive mood when someone uses your first name, while your last name denotes formality or sometimes even aggression.
Make others feel safe it is a great asset to your social life. It helps you network, make new connections, build stronger bonds, and solidify yourself with a positive impression. Still, it can take practice, so work on these 8 behaviors to make others feel more secure around you.