At your significant other's parents' house
Pay attention to their eye color
Those parents are definitely trying to guess whether you’re one of those people who collect other people’s baby teeth in a jar on the bedside table. When going in for the handshake, make direct eye contact; focusing on their eye-color will give you a few more seconds to establish the connection. You’ll come off as a likable, trustworthy, and confident person.
To boost confidence, assume a power pose
Why do you think the Queen’s Guard stands like that all day? Power pose. (That’s probably not why.) Studies show that taking up more space affects testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and helps you actually feel confident. They'll know you're no pushover and respect your commanding presence.
Mimic postures or expressions to show you’re in agreement
Mimicking allows you to form a better connection and greater understanding with the person you’re talking to; it will usually go unnoticed, but subconsciously make an impact on the other party. It’s especially helpful if you’re trying to sort out an argument, and make all sides feel accepted and understood. Like Oprah. Be more Oprahatic.
Use silence as an effective conversational tool
A moment of well-timed silence can steer a conversation in the direction you want it to go. Whether you’re on a first date getting to know someone, interviewing a potential employee, or trying to get her grandfather to reveal where he buried the priceless family heirlooms he saved during the fall of the Shah, the silence will compel them to continue talking.