Did you know it only takes a fraction of a second to make a first impression? Business owners can tell you the importance of first impressions the best. If you are not putting enough work into it, you are missing out on a lot. First impressions are not just a fleeting moment; it plays a vital role in your relationship. It lasts well beyond the moment. People tend to remember the firsts more than anything else. Did you stammer the first time you spoke to your crush, or maybe cracked a casual sexist joke out of nervousness? They will remember it! That one moment can seal your fate.
When people don’t know you very well, your behavior or what you said the first time they saw you have an impact on them. People form an image of who you are in their minds. It can be miles apart from who you are in reality. If you don’t leverage the first impression properly, people can have a wrong impression of you. If they have a negative interaction with you, that might be the only memory of you that stays with them for a long time. Undoing the first impression can be tricky.
Long gone are the days when people had the luxury of taking time to establish a connection and win over their crushes. The dating pool is full of people waiting to sweep your love interest off their feet. You get some fleeting seconds you leave a permanent mark on them. Use it to your advantage. When you meet someone for the first time, you need to be on the top of your game. From being aware of your body language to the word you choose, to convey your feelings.
Every encounter and interaction you have with a person creates an impression, and yet the first impression does more than form an image. It sets the tone of the kind of relationship you will have with the person. It can also decide whether or not you will ever get the chance to have another exchange with them. But let’s not overcomplicate it. It sounds tricky but some simple measures can help you a lot in building the perfect first impression:
1. A Smile Goes A Long Way
When it comes to first impressions, facial expressions have a big part to play. It has a significant role in terms of how people will perceive you. Your facial features are not within your control, and if someone judges you based on that, it’s better not to engage with such people. But, what is in your authority is your smile. A smile can have a positive effect on the person you want to woo. It makes you look warm and works as an open invitation for others to approach you. It is a signal that you are trustworthy and genuine.
A smiling face radiates confidence. Such is the power of first impressions. Whether you are or not is not relevant; people will perceive you to be someone who values others’ time and attention. A genuine smile reaches your eyes and lights them up. Go for that.
2. Dress To Impress
Is it not shallow to judge people by their appearance? Yes, I would say so. But judging people by aspects they can’t control is absolutely unacceptable. But how you dress is within your hands. Dressing to impress does not always mean wearing costly clothes and uber costly shoes. What it means is to put some effort into looking presentable. It shows you are interested in the other person and value them enough to work on your appearance.
One piece of truth we rarely want to accept is that physical appearances often matter more than they should. Whether or not people realize it, whether or not people think it matters is not relevant here. It usually leaves a mark on our subconscious mind.
Now that we have gotten down our high horses and faced reality, try to dress for the occasion. If you are going on the first date with your match, don’t dress so casually that it looks like you came out to buy groceries. It will leave a wrong impression in your date’s mind. They can take it as insincerity towards the date.
3. Politeness Is Key
Movies will have to believe that a rude guy scores the most dates. But contrary to popular belief, it is just another misconception. Being rude and broody the first time you interact with your match or date will leave a bad taste in their mouths. People are, as such, bombarded with troubles regularly; nobody wants to add another by getting into a relationship with an arrogant Adam.
Polite people are the ones that leave a lasting impression on people’s minds; they are the most memorable because they stand out in this world of entitled and smug individuals. They are in focus for positive reasons. Politeness often leaves you feeling respected, valued, and comfortable. Who would not want to be around such a person?
The three steps to exhume politeness:
● Step forward when you meet your date, smile, and tilt your head.
● Let your expressions show that you are happy and honored to meet them.
● Do not gossip with them or about them.
4. Body Language
Where words fail to express your emotions, body language makes up. It is an indispensable aspect of communication and hence in making a perfect first impression.
To begin with, let me tell you an interesting aspect of human behavior. Psychologists say that human beings often mirror each other. Meaning, that if you seem uninterested while conversing with someone for the first time, they might start imitating you without their knowledge. If you tend to avert eye contact while talking to your crush, they might do the same to you. Because of this, you never experience quality interaction, and the first impression you leave on each other is subpar.
A proper and effective body language often goes beyond a firm handshake or standing the right way, though these are important. Psychologists say, when meeting someone for the first time, don’t clench your fists or cross your arms and legs too tight. It gives the impression that you are under a lot of stress from the interaction, and people tend to feel uncomfortable in your presence.
The trick is to lean in when conversing to show that you are listening or eager to listen to what they have to say. Don’t hold back from using hand gestures while communicating. Such non-verbal cues work to make a powerful impact on people’s subconscious minds.
Behaviors to withhold and why:
● Tapping on the table or any surface. It shows you to be impatient and shows off your nervous ticks.
● Try not to touch your face or hair too often. It might make you seem too conscious about your appearance.
● Blinking too much can make people think you are nervous, more than the usual amount.
● Standing too close. Respect people’s boundaries.
5. Choose Your Words Carefully
It goes without saying, any good conversationalist will put extra effort into choosing the words they use while interacting with someone for the first time.
Words matter more than you think it does. The perfect string of words at the right moment can open up doors you never thought possible. How you frame your sentences to express your feelings have an impact on people; with the right words, people will feel more comfortable interacting with you and eventually want to spend more time with you. Positive languages have a positive effect on people’s minds. It does not need to be cheesy or woke to create better influence. Instead, focus more on making it clear and simplistic.
6. Look Interested
Of course, you are interested in listening to what your crush has to say, but your face does not always show the same. Don’t hurt anyone’s emotions by looking unphased by what they are saying. One of the tricks to make a good impression is to look interested in a conversation. Not only will you be able to win over your crush, but it is also decent to show enthusiasm while interacting with people.
What is the best way to show interest in a person or the exchange?
● It is as simple as letting them do the talking or at least let them speak first. Not only does this gesture make you seem decent, but you can also gather information on them which might come in handy in impressing your date. People want to date someone who knows those little details about them that others might not.
● Do not interrupt when they are saying their piece.
● Try to make eye contact.
● Enunciate your comments clearly and calmly.
How To Undo A Poor Impression?
This one’s tricky but not impossible. It takes consistent effort and some time.
● Accept that the blunder has been done and work towards identifying what went wrong. Introspection and self-awareness will show you what needs to be done differently.
● Apologize when necessary.
● Don’t let one mistake hold you back. There’s no point in dwelling on the past. Focus on the future!
A lasting first impression can do wonders. People take only a few nano-seconds to make up their minds about you; make it count! The tips mentioned above can guide you to that coveted first impression. With some practice, I believe you can create an imprint that lasts for all the right reasons!
Note: Image credit to unsplash.com