It is much easier to build a relationship with someone if you are comfortable together. Conversation flows more smoothly and you can find things you enjoy doing together. Early in the relationship, you can build comfort by getting to know one another better and treating one another with respect. Over time, tension, stress and conflict can reduce comfort levels, but you can rebuild them with conscientious effort and a little teamwork.
Go out of your way to be friendly, smiling and welcoming, suggests neuropsychologist Rick Hanson in "Be Friendly" for Psychology Today. Treat him respectfully and with importance. Make eye contact and display open body language, with hands visible and your body core open. Treat him like a friend, sharing jokes and including him in whatever activity is going on. If you aren’t sure if he is comfortable, lean over and quietly ask him what you can do to make him feel more at ease.
Show interest in him when you are together, suggests The Herald in “7 Tips on How to Make Someone Feel Comfortable With You.” Lean forward and point your body in his direction. Ask open-ended questions to gain more information about him. Let him talk without interruption while you listen. A little silence between exchanges can be comfortable, but long silences may make him uncomfortable, so share humor and information about you. Encourage him to ask questions by saying, for instance, “What would you like to know about me?”
Respect Personal Space
He may require some physical distance between the two of you to be comfortable, advises therapist Cynthia Klatte in "Personal Space -- What Is Your Comfort Zone?" on her website. Respect his personal space, sitting or standing 6 to 18 inches away from him -- further away if he indicates that you are too close. Gently touch an extended arm or hand to gauge how comfortable he is when you make physical contact. Avoid touching him if he says it makes him uncomfortable.
Be yourself when you are together, and let him know it’s okay for him to be himself. Encourage him to let his guard down and speak freely. Maintain his confidences so he knows that you can be trusted and reciprocate with some confidences of your own, such as that you fear what life after graduation will bring or that you feel comfortable talking to his parents.
Environment Can Help
Look around the area and find places that encourage him to open up. The colors around you can encourage him to be more comfortable, according to the WebMD feature “Color Psychology: How to Make Your Home Feel Good.” Warm colors, such as red, orange, brown and peach, can encourage him to get comfortable, build connections and chat. Blues, greens, turquoise and lavender encourage him to relax and unwind. Yellow is a sunny color, known to inspire confidence in people. Open, outdoor spaces may cheer him up and let him breathe when he feels closed in or overpowered. Comfortable furniture invites him relax more easily than rigid furniture.
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