There’s this guy I see around all the time but never talk to. Saturday, by stunning coincidence, he sits down next to me on a plane. We get to talking, and Daniel (finally, I learned his name) tells me that he runs this website, improve your social skills. When I checked it out, I had two reactions: 1) why the heck haven’t I been to this site yet? and 2) why the heck hasn’t someone made such a simple site before this? In other words, I was really impressed.
If you’re the picture of social grace, maybe this site isn’t for you. Actually, scratch that, you should read it so you know how the rest of the world, the awkward part, feels pretty much every day. The site has a bunch of information about how to improve your social skills, so here’s an introduction.
Instead of listing hundreds of minute body language cues, Daniel breaks cues into two categories: comfort and discomfort. Here are some comfort cues:
Leaning In, Moving Closer, or Turning to Face You
When someone is comfortable with you or interested in what you’re saying, they want to remove distance between the two of you. You can think of it as “If someone FEELS close to me, they want to BE close to me”.
Removing distance can take different forms. Sometimes your partner will lean towards you—a good sign! Other times, they’ll turn to face you, or physically scoot closer. They might also remove an object that is between the two of you (for instance, setting their dinner plate aside when at a restaurant.)
Feet in particular are a reliable (if subtle) indicator of someone turning towards you. Someone might consciously be choosing to face towards you, but most people aren’t consciously aware of what their feet are doing. So if someone turns their feet towards you, that’s probably a genuine expression of comfort and therefore a very good sign.
A Tilted Head or a Head Rested on a Hand
A tilted head indicates curiosity, whereas resting their head on their hand implies that they’re listening intently. Both indicate comfort. If someone is focused on what you’re saying, it’s very common to see them leaning forward, resting their elbow on a table and their head in their hand.
See the rest at the website, which has tons of great information. You can also watch Daniel’s TED talk:
Via Improve Your Social Skills.
More ways to hack your life.