Some people are human magnets.
There’s just something about them that draws other people in.
The good news is that if you want to have their “magnetic powers”, you simply need to know their tricks and you’ll be winning people over in no time.
Let’s start with the most important— body language.
Here are some moves you can use to instantly win people over.
1) Smile with your eyes, not just your lips
We all get told that the secret to being personable is to flash a big smile. But it’s not good enough to just smile at someone—you also need to do it right.
You can curl your lips up all you want, but if you don’t smile with your eyes, you’re more likely to make people uncomfortable instead.
You’d look like you’re faking it!
On the other hand, even if you keep your lips stiff, if people can see that smile in your eyes, people will be drawn to you. It’s simply more genuine.
And the best way you can learn to smile with your eyes is to simply be genuinely happy to meet someone.
Eyes are the windows to the soul, as people like to say, and your smile will naturally reach your eyes if your feelings are genuine.
2) Look at people in the eye when they talk
Talking about the importance of your eyes leads me to this next point.
People don’t like it when they’re speaking, and the person they’re talking to is looking at something else. It’s a bit rude when done repeatedly. So don’t do that.
You should instead try to maintain eye contact. This tells them that you’re truly interested in them and what they have to say.
Just don’t overdo it, though. You don’t want to creep them out.
You need to be natural, and for that, moderation is key— take the time every now and then to look away, blink, and react to what they have to say.
3) Look friendly
There are times when you need to project a stiff, professional, and even standoffish atmosphere around yourself. Well…don’t do any of that!
If you want to win people over, you need to LOOK personable and warm—someone that people won’t feel uncomfortable striking up a conversation with whether you’re at a conference or in a pub.
So how do you do this?
Start with the basics. Stand with an open posture and smile. Look curious. Try to relax and be at ease if you can.
But more than that, avoid being on your phone all the time. Look around you, be aware, and give an aura that you’re ready to have a conversation.
4) Avoid crossing your arms
This is one habit that gets in the way of displaying an open posture and looking friendly.
Crossing your arms can be comforting, and it can mean that you’re trying to concentrate. But neither of these will be what people will assume if they see you crossing your arms.
Instead, they are more likely to assume that you do not want to be bothered, or that you’re defensive and standoffish.
So unless it’s necessary—like if you’re hugging yourself in the cold of winter—you’re best off avoiding having your arms crossed.
It might seem harmless and natural for you to cross your arms, but it’s actually a stance that “cues” people to stay away.
5) Mind your posture
Still on the topic of posture, let me tell you this — people are drawn to confidence, and if you want to look confident, you need to stand and sit straight.
It also means that you’re alert and paying attention to the person talking to you.
Standing with your shoulders slouched, on the other hand, gives people the impression that you’re insecure, afraid, anxious, or even angry. And trust me, people don’t want to be near those who look depressed.
It’s not that they don’t want to be infected by their “negativity”, it’s just that they don’t want to bother those who seem to be processing their feelings.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to be actually confident and happy to give people the impression that you are—you simply need to make yourself look confident, and standing straight will help you a lot.
6) Be firm with your handshakes
Your handshakes can say a lot about your state of mind and personality.
If you’re firm with your handshake (and you couple it with eye contact and a warm smile), people will naturally feel good meeting you.
The tension would be broken as they realize you’re not that intimidating, after all. You’d then start talking about things…and it could even lead to friendships.
On the other hand, a limp handshake will tell people you’re uninterested in them.
The ideal handshake should not last much longer than your greeting towards one another. It should be firm enough that they won’t feel like they’re gripping a wet noodle, yet loose enough that they can pull their hand back when it’s over.
Striking that balance between being professional and personable with your handshakes takes effort to learn, but it’s not like learning body language was ever meant to be easy.
7) Mirror the people you’re speaking with
Mirroring—imitating the gestures that other people make—is a thing people naturally do when they’re with someone who’s interested in them.
It’s hard to imitate consciously, at least not without coming off as forced and creepy. And it’s hard to teach, given that mirroring can be as diverse as the people involved.
So while it’s not impossible to fake it, it’s better to just be genuinely interested in someone and let your subconscious do its thing.
8) Use your hands when explaining something
People who are known for their charisma tend to be quite animated with their hands while they’re talking. They would roll their hands over the other, make shapes, and many other gestures to punctuate their words.
People who openly use gestures are generally perceived as friendly and warm… and for that reason, people are inclined to listen and be around them.
So go and don’t be afraid to move your arms around but don’t force it! Don’t try to move your hands when you really don’t feel like it. Just ALLOW yourself to use them more instead of being shy for appearing “too animated.”
Trust me—it’s much better to be animated and full of life than to be stiff.
9) Don’t be glued to your phone
I mentioned it earlier but it deserves repeating: Do not use your phones, especially when you’re in a one-on-one meeting or you’re in social gatherings.
Think about it like this—would you like someone if you’re trying to speak to someone and instead of giving you the dignity of paying attention to you, they bury their nose into their phone scrolling social media?
If you want to win people over, you have to show interest (and respect!).
Except around certain people (often those who are already familiar with you), it’s outright disrespectful to pour your attention on your phone, pager, or laptop when there’s someone trying to talk to you.
And even when they’re not talking to you, being buried in your phone means that whatever you’re doing is more important than trying to start a conversation with them.
10) Nod your head
Nodding along to a conversation communicates to the people talking that you’re actually paying attention to what they’re saying.
And being an attentive conversation partner who makes people feel heard is one sure-fire way to get people to like you.
Even if you aren’t particularly interested in what they’re talking about, at the very least it saves people the indignity of feeling like they’re talking to a brick wall.
Just don’t overdo it, though. You don’t want to appear like you’re trying hard to win people over.
In broad terms, people are drawn to bodily gestures that indicate honesty, confidence, and friendliness.
It’s possible to imitate body language to feign things like interest and confidence, of course. But it’s not generally easy.
It’s very easy for your true feelings to make themselves known if you aren’t careful, and with that end up giving people mixed signals that will only put them on edge.