First impressions have always been important. After all, when it comes to judging people’s homes, the average person takes just 38 seconds to form opinions that they’ll stick by forever afterwards. There’s no reason to think that a similar timeframe can’t be applied to you in terms of your appearance and behaviour. Of course, not everybody is smooth when they’re meeting new people. The very thought of doing so can cause flare-ups in anxiety, leaving many people shaky, sweaty, and nervous. This can be enough to sully your chances of coming across well when meeting someone for the first time.
If you’re struggling in this area, try not to worry. Read on for some of our tips that should help you successfully land a solid first impression.
Positivity can make each one of your social skills a little bit sharper. That extra edge can influence every interaction you have for the better.
It’s no secret that anxiety levels have risen substantially in recent times. While many people would be understanding of a slightly pessimistic outlook (especially in the UK), it’s not always a good idea to complain about matters, even if you’re searching for common ground. Resilience is what resonates these days, both in social and professional contexts.
You might find that those you interact with will gravitate toward you if you’re persistently positive. Implement an infectious energy around yourself, and others won’t just want to interact with you – they’ll wish they were more like you too. If you can make every room you’re in a little bit brighter, you’ll be sure to make an impact right out of the gate.
Behaving in this fashion also marks you as an individual who others cannot be easily influenced. You might appear to be more genuine, characterful, and unique, and people will appreciate those qualities of yours too.
Smiling is a crucial way to distinguish your positivity. It’s possible to refine things more to your liking here.
The brighter your smile, the better. You can visit specialists like this award-winning dentist in Fulham to perfect all the grins you’re offering. Invisalign treatment can straighten your smile, and they’ll use other state of the art technologies to handle any dental challenge you present them. Composite bonding and gum treatment services are also available.
Once you’re happy with your smile, you need to use it well. Timing your smile on specific moments in an encounter may lead people to assume that it’s not a genuine grin you’re offering. Let your smile linger slightly as much as possible, then only widen and emphasise it when something amuses you.
You should also try to maintain eye contact when you smile. That way, you’ll seem more approachable, which is instrumental to building a positive first impression.
Work on small talk
It’s not always easy to hold your own in a conversation. However, you need to be comfortable in navigating this area, irrespective of the topics being discussed.
Many people have been trying to brush up on their skills in this area, so be content that you’re not alone in your efforts here. Useful tips that help here can include:
- Shifting focus – If talking about yourself makes you feel uncomfortable, you can always make the person you’re speaking to the subject of discussion. Ask plenty of questions, and they may be flattered by your show of interest.
- Staying informed – Keep up to date with the news and any social media rumblings. Talking about current affairs can help you hold people’s interest. You’re also less likely to run out of things to say when doing this.
- Avoiding controversy – Refrain from discussing polarising subject matters. Keep the conversation light and accessible, and things should proceed smoothly.
- Timing your departure – Small talk shouldn’t be too involved or convoluted. Give each exchange time to breathe for a few minutes, and then be comfortable talking to others in your vicinity or tending to other matters.
Small talk can be quite a delicate thing to gain agency within. However, with enough practice and a conscious effort, you should be able to get through these situations unscathed and earn a solid first impression.
Think about body language
You can say a lot about yourself without ever uttering a word. It’s best to think about your body language and consider how you might improve it if necessary.
Have you ever been told that you have poor posture? If so, it may be a good idea to straighten your back straight and hold your head high as you engage with others. This will help you to exude confidence, which will help you secure the good first impression you’re looking for.
Refrain from folding your arms or excessive fidgeting. Others may interpret either of these things as being standoffish or nervous, which will go against you. Avoid touching your face often, as well, and you’ll find it easier to maintain a calmer composure.
Let others help
It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure when you’re trying to create a positive first impression. You may even feel isolated in your efforts.
However, it’s not necessary for you to feel this way. Depending on the context of the situation you’re in, it might be that your loved ones can help you here. For instance, some of them may shower you with praise publicly on social media. Others may be willing to set you up with their friends on dates, too.
Having people around you who can ‘hype you up’, so to speak, can speak volumes of you as a person. If the loved one is a great person in their own right, then their praise of you can serve as a trustworthy character reference of sorts. Therefore, if you’re meeting someone important for the first time, having your biggest fans around you could be a definite win when landing a positive first impression.
As you start to build positive first impressions with people, it might be that they’ll introduce you to others in their social circle too. Lean into these moments should they occur. If you manage things well, you may find things snowballing in the best way possible.
Request in-person meetings
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have felt content in their own company. After so much time being spent at home during the lockdowns, some people will favour Zoom and direct messaging over in-person contact.
If you’re the one to initiate an in-person meeting, it could identify you as a sociable, friendly person. For example, if you’re interviewing remotely for a job, expressing an interest in attending in-person could highlight your enthusiasm. Others may assume you have nothing to hide as well.
Rejections in these situations are fine and fair. The point is that you made an effort to make a real connection in the real world, and that’s what will count for the other person. In time, things might change, so be open to that as well.
Obviously, some tact will be required here so that you don’t come across as overly forward. If your exchanges have been predominantly over digital media so far, ensure that you’ve established a friendly rapport before making the request. If the remote nature of an interview is mandatory, then don’t question it. Remember, context is crucial here!