How to make a great body language first impression

By Dawn Papandrea

You may not realize it, but when meeting up for an impromptu date with someone, your body does a lot of talking before your mouth ever opens. Learn what it’s saying about you…

Let’s see those hands. You don’t want to necessarily go all Snooki and start fist-pumping, but be sure to keep your hands out of your pockets and out from behind your back. Keeping hands hidden sends the signal that you’re uncertain, insecure, or uncomfortable. Along those lines, holding your Mojito at chest level (or even crossing your arms in front of you) will make you appear guarded or insecure. In short, try to keep your arms down by your side instead.

Sit still. See? Your grade school teachers were onto something. If you’re waiting for someone at a crowded bar or coffee shop, or out in front of a restaurant on a busy city street, try to pick a comfortable spot and stay put. Pacing, tapping your foot, or fidgeting will give the impression that you’re anxious or nervous, which you may very well be, but he or she doesn’t have to know that, right?

Make eye contact. Confidence is such a huge part of being attractive to the opposite sex. So here’s a pop quiz for you: Which do you think exudes more confidence — looking someone in the eye, or looking down? While the answer is probably an obvious one (yes, the eyes have it!), be sure you stick to it so you don’t seem bored or uninterested.

Find the right touch. A good, firm handshake, you’re taught, can establish a sense of self assurance, but you don’t want to overdo it by crushing your shake recipient’s fingers, or worse – holding on way too long. That’s just creepy! Try this: apply a firm grip, do three quick pumps, then let go. If you want to greet your blind date with a quick hug or peck on the cheek, that’s OK, but again, don’t linger too long.

Avoid product overload. Go easy in the perfume/cologne department. He or she shouldn’t smell you coming a mile away. In fact, showing up over-scented, over-gelled or over-jeweled will make it seem like you’re trying way too hard, and send the other person running.

Show off your Koolaid smile. In other words, if you want to seem like an approachable and overall nice person, a shallow pursed smile isn’t going to cut it. Flash your pearly whites proudly. Hint: You might want to do a quick teeth check before your meet-up just in case an errant poppy seed or speck of spinach from your earlier lunch decides to make an appearance.

Remember, until your charming personality and wit has the chance to win over that new Intro, you’ll have to make a good first impression. By making your body language work for you, you’ll be on your way to date number two.

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