First impressions are key. They’ll affect how someone sees you forever, whether that’s in your personal or work life. Luckily, there are some key tips that you need to make yours more successful, instead of making the other person want to run away from the conversation and never see you again. Here’s how to up your first impression game.
1. The way you present you opinion on things – if you’re overbearing or force them on people, this could leave a bad taste in their mouths.
2. A weak handshake. A strong handshake indicates confidence, success, and an openness towards others.
3. Looking at your phone instead of valuing social interaction. This signals that whoever you’re talking to isn’t important, which is terrible, especially when you’ve just met them!
4. Dressing like a slob. It’s true that your personal style shouldn’t affect how people feel about you, but if people believe they don’t put effort into your appearance, it may reflect your personality and values, in their eyes.
5. Not respecting personal space. While this is kind of annoying on the subway, it’s even more annoying when people voluntarily do this and make others uncomfortable by breathing over their shoulder or with unwanted touching. Still to the 4 to 12 feet rule.
6. Forgetting someone’s name. It happens to the best of us, but the most effective way to avoid this is to repeat the person’s name right after they introduce themselves. Otherwise, you’ll be embarrassed and come off as self involved, or uninterested.
7. Looking at someone up and down as if you’re judging their appearance or noticing something negative. Smile and keep eye contact, even if you have the urge to observe. It can come off as rude.
8. On a similar note, avoiding eye contact can often ruin a first impression. Eye contact reflects confidence and intelligence, while avoiding it can imply that you’re not as sincere, and reflects anxiety.
9. Chewing gum. This is the same as the glued-to-your-phone effect – it comes off as trashy and even childish to some! Who knew that minty freshness came at such a price?
10. Bringing up polarizing topics immediately, such as religion, finances, or politics. This might indicate that you enjoy drama and confronting people on private or uncomfortable topics, as well as only focusing on yourself.
11. Fidgeting. Foot or fingernail tapping provokes anxiety in others and is distracting. It can also imply that you’re trying to agitate people, or are being dishonest. If you want to avoid being perceived as annoying, don’t do this.