You only have one shot for a great first impression, make it count.
When looking for a partner or job, it is essential to give off a great first impression, because it is the first impression that determines how the relationship will develop. This stems from our ancestors who had to rely on their basic instincts to survive.
We still use the same technique. It's subconscious but it's very difficult to change our opinion about the first impression of that person or establishment.
Because it's sometimes hard to see your own first impression, ask family and friends for feedback by asking them about the 8 things below:
1. Dress well.
The first thing people noticed is the way we dress. Therefore, ask your friends (or even a stylist) what they think about your clothing style. Ask yourself, "Is my clothing style in harmony with who I truly am and what I want to show others?"
2. Don't talk about religion or politics right off the bat.
Laughing and joking are a great way to break the ice in a new situation, but be careful with the jokes you tell, because somebody can take offense or doesn't share the same sense of humor than you do. The same counts for swearing, or talking about religion or politics.
3. Pay attention to your body language.
Communication is over 70 percent done through body language: how you move your arms or tilt your head. Those are little clues you give off on how you perceive the interaction you are in.
Smiling is contagious. When you smile the other will smile back and it tells them, "I am a friendly safe person, don't be afraid." This gives you an open and approachable appearance that will make people gravitate to you.
5. Talk about something you know.
When you talk, talk about something you know. When you want to contribute to a conversation where you have no knowledge of the topic, ask questions.
If you pretend that you know something and you don't, you make yourself look like a fool. Keep in mind that nobody knows everything, but asking questions gets you involved and you may learn something.
6. Be genuine.
Be genuine, show the really you. Nothing is more attractive than somebody who is real. It gives the other permission to do the same and that is a great foundation for a lasting relationship.
7. Let someone know in advance if you're in a bad mood.
We all have good and bad days, and it's beneficial when you let somebody in on your mood. You don't need to explain in detail your bad mood, but you can say: "If I come over as grumpy or anti-social I'm sorry, there's just a lot going on right now that don't go well and it has nothing to do with you."
8. Make your home inviting.
When you have a clean counter, floor, and washroom, de-cluttering the space goes a long way. No need to scrub the place within an inch of your life or have impressive art hanging on the wall.
Good luck and please share a story about a first impression that either turned up a right or a wrong one. For more tips, contact Ellen Nyland.
This article was originally published at Ellen Nyland. Reprinted with permission from the author.