Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

10 Social Cues To Never Forget

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Miami (OH) chapter.

Some social cues are more difficult to pick up on than others. They appear everywhere in our daily lives and they’re all nonverbal communications, like facial expressions, hand gestures and posture. Picking up on these cues can help you make a killer impression, respond to a situation appropriately, avoid some painfully awkward moments or make yours and your friends’ night Uptown that much better. However, there are some social cues that should never die. Her Campus compiled a list of the top ten!

1. The “I’m not ready to talk” in passing. Whether it’s that really cute guy you met last weekend or that nice girl you started bonding with over calculus last week, when you spot them walking towards you in between classes you just might not be in the mood to strike up a conversation. You have your head down, your eyes peering anywhere else, your sunglasses on or you’re glued to your phone. You’re doing anything to deter a “hello”. This lack of friendliness shouldn’t always be taken personally. It usually has more to do with the mood you’re in. Maybe you just failed your midterm, maybe you’re just having a bad day, or maybe you just don’t feel like talking to anyone. Stopping you will only lead to a rather edgy conversation. It might be safe for any person who spots you hiding behind your sunglasses to go on their merry way.  2. Holding the door open from afar.Yes, freshman. Holding the door open for people is a common courtesy here on campus. What really should be acknowledged, though, is when someone holds the door open for you when you’re about as far away as what seems like Western Campus. This kind gesture is usually awkward as they wait for you to reach the door, you staring at them – them staring at you, each second passing feels like a millennium. Please, pick up the pace to cut this agonizing wait in half. Knees to chest people, knees to chest!

3. Invite the lone wolf in. If you see a person standing by themselves outside the group of people, nervously listening or pretending to play on their phone. Ask them a question that pulls them right into the conversation and hopefully they’ll warm right up. No one likes to feel left out or uncomfortable, especially if it’s with people they don’t know. A simple gesture can make their whole night that much better.

4. When a girl bites her lip or flips her hair.Whether it’s intentional or subconscious, this usually means she’s interested in whomever she’s talking to. Boys, take note.

Especially when that one cute guy walks in the door and you make a point to say hello…

5. Eye contact longer than the average second. Eye contact we’re talking about isn’t dished out that easily. It can be holding contact for just a little bit longer, a bat of the eyelashes or a certain look. The eyes say a lot. Guys especially show interest this way; eye contact is one of the most powerful tools we can all use to flirt.6. Table manners.Noting how those around you are conducting themselves at the dinner table, restaurant or even bar, can go along way. Unfolding your napkin on your lap, sitting up straight, using the correct hands and silverware, not putting your elbows on the table can make all the difference in how others view you. Knowing the difference between being in Stella and Skyline quite possibly could make you or break you on that first impression of your boyfriend’s parents…

7. Cue to exit. Reading your environment around you through body language and tone might be your biggest savior. Realizing a fight is about to break out after witnessing a girl spill an entire Redskin all over that other girl’s adorable cashmere sweater or that guy you were talking to isn’t interested anymore after he turns his back can make all the difference in which direction your day goes. Reading the environment early on can give you sufficient time to run for the hills and get ahead of the game.


8. Facial Expressions.What seems like the most obvious one is the most overlooked. Oftentimes, one’s true feelings about a particular situation are revealed through their disposition and facial expressions. Picking up on these can give you a much better read of the situation. It’s not always about what you say but how you act and react, ladies. Don’t be alarmed; it’s only human nature.9. Tone of voice.Paying attention the way someone speaks to you and to others can tell you a lot about what kind of situation you’re in. Someone’s tone can tell you what kind of mood their in or how they feel on a subject and clue you in on how to respond appropriately. Being conscious of your own tone too can make all the difference for those around you too and help convey the messages you’re trying to send.10. Yes, I did just take a step away from you and no, that doesn’t mean I want you to take one towards me. Personal space: “You respect mine, I’ll respect yours” type of deal. We’re pretty sure no one wants someone else’s elbow being repeatedly jammed into our rib cage or another person breathing down our neck with their “I just ate Bagel & Deli breath”. Personal space is scared, especially when  “Shake It Off” just came on.

Kaira is a Freshman contributing writer for Her Campus Miami (OH).
Her Campus Placeholder Avatar
Ellie Conley

Miami (OH)

Ellie Conley is a senior at Miami University. She is the current Editor-In-Chief and the former Publicity Coordinator for the Miami (OH) Chapter of Her Campus.