First Impressions Are Everything: The Ways To Ensure You Make A Good One

We all know "that" person… the one whom everyone loves. As annoying as it may seem to have people fawning over him or her, you can’t help but also like him or her. When someone’s likable, that’s just the way it goes.

Now, think of all of the people you will meet throughout your lifetime. This number could range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands depending on your geographical location, culture, profession, etc. As astonishing as this thought may be, your next thought might lead you down the path of wondering how many of these people will actually stay in your life.

Your Facebook or Twitter page may be littered with hundreds of distinctive faces, “liking” a post or retweeting a clever statement you’ve whipped up, but how many of those people truly like you for you — and not just what you post? How many people in your life will stick around until you’ve breathed your last breath?

It’s an obscure answer. You, however, have the ability to plant the seed of likeability early on in the relationship. Given the right circumstances, timing and the right people, relationships that would have otherwise instantly wilted have the potential to blossom.

If you’ve moved to a new neighborhood, job or state, you’re probably experiencing the struggle of meeting people and “making new friends.” First impressions are everything. Here are some ways you can have the upper hand during introductions:

Hold back — at first.

For the sake of other people’s sanity, stop talking about yourself. During introductions, it’s okay to divulge the basics, but narcissism — like putting your child on a leash — is frowned upon. Keep the person thirsty for more information. If he or she asks you specific questions, feel free to spill the beans. Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than meeting someone who only wants to talk only about him or herself. Balance the conversation.

Listen to the other person.

The ticket to making a quality impression is to listen. When you’re getting to know someone, do just that: get to know him or her. Ask the person questions and listen. People are more likely to be open when they know the other person is interested in what they have to say — even if that means suffering through hearing about what the person feeds his dog or her opinions about how Disney stereotypes gender roles.

Fill in the gaps.

Awkward silence is the worst. If you can keep the conversation going, you’ll make the person feel more comfortable. People often feel like they “clicked” with a person if the conversation is fluid. Even if you’re grasping at straws, show interest in what the person has to say.

Show some personality.

Obviously you don’t want to tell the person about the time Jose Cuervo coerced you into becoming a Vegas bride, but you do want to drop some personality bombs along the way. Crack a joke here and there, maybe sprinkle a short story in there along the way. If they take the bait, the more power to you. If the person seems like a dud, well — just like in dating — there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Be open-minded.

This isn’t high school. You’re going to meet a lot of different people from all walks of life. The biggest mistake you can make is automatically shutting down a potential relationship before it has had the chance to bloom. A person’s background, philosophies or opinions could change your life and lead you see new perspectives. As cliché as it may sound, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Photo credit: Theo Gosselin