It is normal to feel a bit awkward when first meeting someone new, and this can feel especially difficult if it's a guy you might be interested in romantically. Girls may feel self-conscious and worry about how they come across to a guy, which can produce feelings of anxiety and stress. He may be feeling just as nervous as you, but luckily there are ways to put you both at ease and make the encounter less awkward.
Smile at Him
Take the pressure out of the situation simply by smiling. Not only does a smile look warm and welcoming to a guy, but it could actually relieve you both of stress. According to a study published in "Psychological Science" in 2012, smiling during a stressful event can reduce your heart rate, making you feel less anxious. The University of Kansas research showed that a genuine smile, which engages the muscles surrounding both the mouth and eyes, is even more effective for reducing stress than a smile using only the lips. Think briefly of a happy memory to bring about a genuine grin.
Make Him Laugh
When people feel socially awkward, humor can often help to break the ice. A study by John Jay College, which was published in "Group Processes and Intergroup Relations," showed that making a joke diffused tension when people were in awkward social encounters. A good introductory joke that doesn't sound too corny is: “When I told my best friend I was meeting you tonight, she advised me: ‘Don’t try to be too charming, witty or intellectual. Just be yourself.’”
Other things that made people feel less awkward when getting to know each other included emphasizing common interests and receiving compliments, the University of Kansas research revealed. A good way of doing both things together is to pick up on an item of clothing he is wearing and tell him what you like about it. Perhaps you could compliment his shoes and tell him you have a pair that are the same brand. Or you could mention that his shirt is your favorite color.
People often find it difficult to have a flowing conversation with someone new, because they make short, closed statements, reports the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast. For a conversation to flow, you must provide "hooks" that a guy can catch onto, so he can continue the conversation. A good way of doing this is by making a statement and then asking him a question about it. You could try: "I saw a great movie yesterday. Do you have a favorite film?" or “I'm going to a concert tomorrow. What music do you like?"
- Group Processes and Intergroup Relations: Stranger Situations: Examining a Self-Regulatory Model of Socially Awkward Encounters
- Psychological Science: Grin and Bear It: The Influence of Manipulated Positive Facial Expression on the Stress Response
- Shyness Research Institute: How to Make Successful Small Talk: The Key to Connecting, Not Just Conversing
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