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Health and Fitness News

First Impressions

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Here’s how to do it.

The first time you meet someone, you make initial judgements and assumptions. It’s human nature. You may notice their smile, their body language, or the way they carry themselves. Is the person friendly or guarded? Attractive or not so attractive? Whether your first evaluation of someone is positive or negative, it will affect how your relationship proceeds.

When you think about the way other people see you, you may care a lot about making a good first impression. Because you know how important they are. Maybe it’s a job interview, a first date, or meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time. Whatever the occasion, follow these tips for a successful first impression.

1. Be on Time

Running late is not going to make a positive first impression. You don’t want to make someone wait on you, so plan to arrive a few minutes early just to be safe.

2. Smile

If nothing else, people will remember your smile. Give a warm, authentic smile that’s not too big or too awkward. Smiling sends a positive message that you’re friendly and at ease, making the other person feel more comfortable.

3. Speak Up

As you introduce yourself, speak clearly without mumbling. The way you speak shows your level of confidence. You don’t have to speak loudly, but talk clearly in a calm, easy-to-understand tone.

4. Eye Contact

Another way to convey confidence is by maintaining good eye contact without staring at someone in an uncomfortable way. When you look someone in the eye while they’re talking, it shows you’re interested in them and what they’re saying. Constantly diverting your eyes may give the impression you lack confidence or are distracted.

5. The Handshake

In a professional setting, a handshake can say a lot about a person’s manners and confidence. Give a firm handshake that’s not overly tight but that’s not limp, either. And don’t hang on all day. Get in, give a shake, and release.

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

6. Dress for the Occasion

People notice your facial expressions and mannerisms, but they also take note of your physical appearance. To make a good first impression, wear clothes that fit the occasion. Think about the context of your meeting. A suit and tie at a ball game or jeans and T shirt at a business meeting will both send the wrong message.

7. Make Conversation

Small talk may come easy to you, for it can be a challenge. Look for common ground you both share to start a conversation, then think of things to say to keep it going. Be observant of the other person to see if there’s something you can comment on like their hair style or accent. Comment on something you share in the environment such as the weather or the reason for your meeting.

8. Be Authentic

Don’t try to impress other people by being someone you’re not. Never pretend to be someone else just to fit in. Be yourself while still being kind, friendly, and confident. Others will appreciate your authenticity and be able to truly get to know the true you, not a fake.

9. Focus on the Other Person

After meeting someone for the first time, you may not remember what they wore or they said, but you’ll likely remember how they made you feel. You may be nervous or uncomfortable meeting someone new, but take your eyes off yourself and focus on the other person. Be attentive to them and what they’re saying. Make them feel important, valued, and appreciated, and they won’t soon forget you.