6 People, 6 Ways: How To Win Them Over In 3 Minutes

Turns out, what we say and do when we first meet someone has a crazy amount of impact. Use these tips to wow six people you always want on your side.

You know first impressions count, but new research reveals just how much. According to a study from Ohio State University, the kind of relationship we’ll have with someone (superficial versus meaningful) is set within three minutes of meeting them. And, that first impression carries more weight than anything else you do or say, says study author Artemio Ramirez, PhD. So if you’re initially sweet to someone, she’ll continue to think of you as sweet—even if you’re occasionally bitchy. Cool, right? Here’s how to make those 180 seconds count.

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“It’s so nice to meet you! Thank you for raising such a great man.”

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By complimenting her amazing parenting skills, you show that you respect her and her role in your guy’s life. She’ll warm up right away and reflect some of those feel-good vibes back at you.

Dress a little more conservatively than usual, and let your arms hang loosely at your sides. We automatically think someone who is dressed like us shares the same tastes, making them instantly more likable. Keeping your arms at your sides shows that you’re non-threatening and open for anything…like that hug she’s about to dole out.

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“I understand you’ve been in this company for quite some time. What brought you here?”

People like to talk about themselves, and asking about her will immediately make her more engaged in the conversation. The end result: She’ll like you even more.

Extend your hand before she does when you meet. Making the first move shows you’re confident and comfortable in your own skin. It also signals that you are aware of proper business etiquette and can be counted on to make clients feel at ease.

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“How’s your day been going so far?”

It sucks to be nice to someone who clearly doesn’t deserve it, but asking how she’s doing is a subtle way of showing you care (even if you really don’t). She will appreciate the gesture and should scale back on her crappy ‘tude.

Keep your arms behind your back. Studies have shown that this stance automatically ups your likability, while crossing your arms or putting your hands on your hips sends the message that you’re impatient and pissed off.

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“A few of us are heading to [insert the latest nightspot here] after work. I’d love to have you join us.”

When you ask her to hang out outside work, you’re basically telling her you think she’s awesome. It is guaranteed to make her feel good...and will up the chances she’ll think of you in a positive light.

Slouch a little when you’re talking. Perfect posture is great around your boss, but relaxing your shoulders around a potential new work BFF signals that you are approachable and aren’t trying to be competitive with her.

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“What’s good to drink here?”

Right away, you’re showing that you’re interested in what he thinks—a big plus for dudes, who, no matter how hot they are, can be insecure when they meet someone new. Your little ego boost will give him the guts to ask for your digits.

Throw on one item of distinctive but casual clothing, like a tee with the name of your favorite band, before you go out. Your outfit says you are low-maintenance but have a cool personality, which makes him think you’ll be fun to hang with. Just avoid anything too out-there. Studies show that bizarre fashion makes people think you’re less likable.

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“Welcome to the building! You definitely moved to one of the coolest places in the city.”

He’ll interpret the compliment on his choice of place to live as one on his decision-making skills. It’s also a great way to segue into a more in-depth convo, like about where he used to live, without overstepping any personal boundaries.

Throw your hair into a ponytail beforehand, and paste on a smile. You already know that flashing a grin makes you seem friendly and non-threatening, but by pulling back your hair, you subconsciously send the message that you have your life together and can be counted on in a pinch.

SOURCES: Ann Demarais, PhD, co-author of First Impressions; Debra Fine, author of The Fine Art Of Small Talk; Laura P. Naumann, PhD

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