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This simple body-language tweak may snag you a bunch of new friends


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Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

Smiling is an easy way to instantly look like a nice, friendly, and healthy person—but it’s not the only body-language tweak that could help you draw some new friends to your inner circle.

In a new study, researchers had participants look at computer-generated female figures that were either nodding, shaking their head, or staying still. Results showed that the nodders were 30 percent more likable and 40 percent more approachable than the other groups. Yep, just from a simple head motion.

Recent study results showed that people who nod are 30 percent more likable and 40 percent more approachable than those who don’t.

And it makes sense, considering the act of nodding is perceived as a positive attitude (like nodding “yes” versus shaking your head “no”). But since this is the first study to show subtle head motions can be interpreted with a warm bent, study author Jun-ichiro Kawahara says more research is required before you depend on the head-bobbing technique IRL.

“Generalizing these results requires a degree of caution because computer-generated female faces were used to manipulate head motions in our experiments,” said Kawahara in a press release. “Further study involving male figures, real faces, and observers from different cultural backgrounds is needed to apply these findings to real-world situations.”

So get your nod on—but also keep smiling, just in case.

Here’s how to make finding friends as an adult a little easier. (Spoiler: Start at the gym!)