8 behaviors that immediately make people feel at ease with you when you first meet them

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Ever met someone and instantly felt comfortable around them? It’s almost like magic, isn’t it?

You know the feeling. That rare, immediate comfortable feeling when you click with someone new. It’s as if you’ve known them for years, not just minutes.

But here’s the thing—it’s not just luck or coincidence. It’s about behavior; subtle cues and actions that create a warm, welcoming vibe.

I get it, we’ve all had our awkward moments. Those clumsy first meetings where you can practically hear the crickets chirping in the background.

Yet, some people seem to have this natural charisma, a way of making others relax right from the get-go. Want to know their secret?

Well, today I’m about to spill the beans on 8 simple behaviors that can make anyone feel at ease when they first meet you.

Keep reading, because these tips are game-changers. And trust me, they’re easier than you think. 

Ready to become the person everyone loves to meet? Let’s dive in.

1) Smile genuinely

You’ve heard it a million times, right? “Just smile more!”

But hear me out. There’s something undeniably contagious about a genuine smile.

I remember walking into my first networking event—nervous, fidgeting with my name tag. Then someone caught my eye with the warmest, most sincere smile.

In that instant, my anxiety melted away. That smile said, “Hey, you’re welcome here.” And that’s the power I’m talking about.

A real smile isn’t just about showing teeth; it’s that sparkle in your eyes that says you’re genuinely happy to meet the other person. 

It’s not something you fake; it’s something you feel. When you smile like that, it’s an open invitation to a friendlier, more relaxed interaction.

2) Listen more than you talk

It’s tempting to fill any silence with chatter about yourself, your experiences, or your views.

But there’s something incredibly calming about being with someone who is willing to listen rather than dominate the conversation.

Quick tip: by listening more than talking, you show that you value the other person’s thoughts and opinions. It makes them feel important and heard.

And isn’t that what we all want? To feel like we matter? 

So next time you meet someone new, ask them a question and let them do the talking.

Be present in the conversation, and watch how quickly they ease into a comfortable rapport with you.

3) Mirror their body language

Have you ever noticed that close friends or people deep in conversation often have similar postures? They might lean in at the same angle or gesture in a similar way. 

Again, this isn’t a coincidence; it’s called mirroring, and it’s a powerful nonverbal way to build rapport. 

When you subtly mimic the body language of the person you’re talking to, it sends a subconscious signal that you’re in sync with them, which can make them feel more at ease with you.

The key is subtlety; it should feel natural, not forced.

By doing this, you’re creating a silent rhythm in conversation that conveys empathy and understanding. This silent dance of sorts is a quick way to establish a mutual comfort zone, creating a sense of connection right from the start.

4) Offer genuine compliments

There’s something about a heartfelt compliment that can warm the coldest of days and soften the hardest of hearts. 

You know, when you meet someone for the first time, finding something you genuinely admire about them and expressing it can be incredibly disarming. It might be their choice of attire, a unique piece of jewelry, or even the way they express their thoughts.

This kind of appreciation goes beyond surface-level flattery.

When someone feels seen for the positive attributes they possess or the effort they’ve put into something, it creates an instant bond. It’s as if you’ve touched a part of their soul that’s been waiting to be noticed.

The secret is in the sincerity of your words. People can sense when a compliment comes from a place of authenticity versus when it’s given out of obligation or as a conversational filler. 

When it’s real, it resonates on a deeper level, making the other person feel that they matter to you even if you’ve just met.

5) Respect their personal space

Navigating personal space is like an intricate dance—you have to be in tune with the other person’s comfort zone. I always try to be mindful of how close I am standing or sitting next to someone I’ve just met. 

There was this one time I was introduced to a group at a conference, and I noticed one individual seemed uncomfortable with people getting too close. I made sure to give them ample space.

To my surprise, they later initiated a closer conversation, clearly feeling more at ease having had their boundaries respected initially.

Personal space can vary from culture to culture and person to person.

Being aware of and respecting these boundaries from the get-go can prevent discomfort and establish a foundation of trust.

It’s about giving the other person control over how intimate or formal they want the interaction to be, which in turn, makes them feel respected and secure in your presence.

6) Be present in the moment

In a world where we’re all glued to our screens, giving someone your undivided attention is a rare gift. I make it a point when meeting someone new to put my phone away and focus entirely on the person in front of me. 

This behavior says, ‘You are the most important thing to me right now.’ And it’s a powerful message.

By the way: being present isn’t just about putting away distraction.

It’s also about showing engagement. Nodding, maintaining eye contact, and reacting appropriately during the conversation all demonstrate that you are fully absorbed in what’s happening between you and the other person.

This level of attentiveness creates a safe space where they can freely and openly speak, forging a connection that could otherwise take much longer to develop.

7) Use humor wisely

Humor is a fantastic icebreaker—if used correctly.

Sharing a laugh can rapidly break down walls between strangers. However, I’ve learned it’s crucial to gauge the other person’s sense of humor and ensure that any jokes are inclusive and respectful.

I recall meeting someone who had everyone chuckling within minutes with their witty but gentle humor. It wasn’t at anyone’s expense; instead, it was self-deprecating and light-hearted, which made it easy for everyone to join in on the laughter without feeling uncomfortable or out of place.

When humor is shared in this way, it can quickly create a sense of camaraderie and comfort among people who have just met.

8) Be empathetic

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, and it’s an incredibly powerful tool in making others feel at ease. 

Showing empathy doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the right words; sometimes, it’s just about conveying that you’re trying to understand their perspective.

In closing: incorporating these behaviors into your interactions can significantly impact how people perceive you upon first meeting. It’s creating an environment where others feel seen, heard, and valued—where they can let down their guard and be themselves. 

As you practice these behaviors consistently, you’ll find that not only do others feel comfortable and at ease with you more quickly, but your own ability to connect with people on a deeper level grows stronger as well.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

9 signs you’re more creative than you think, according to psychology

9 common regrets of people who play it too safe in life