how to make good impression, first impression, body language, eye contact, facial expression

How to Leave a Good First Impression in 7 Steps

“I didn’t like you when I first saw you,”

is a sentiment often shared between friends. But how often do you get the chance to develop that first meeting into something deeper, to have the chance to change their first impression of you? Get it right the first time, so you don’t have to scramble for second chances.


1. Resting face

Ever heard of bitchy resting face—the social media-invented syndrome? If not, you may find you’re a sufferer. There are many people with this affliction. Thankfully, there’s a temporary cure called self-consciousness. Be aware of your facial expression as soon as you enter the space, the first thing people will see is your face. If you have a negative expression, they will automatically think negatively of you. However, if you have a more neutral, or smiling expression, the mood is immediately lifted.

kristen stewart bitchy resting face
Kristen Stewart is a famous sufferer, photo via Stuff


2. Body language

It is sometimes believed that your body language, or non-verbal communication, holds more weight than what was said. This can refer to the way you walk, your body posture, and arm positions. A positive body language involves a good speed and even strides when walking, an open, upright posture, as well as relaxed arms and hands. These are all related to your confidence, status, and comfort level.


3. First words

Perhaps they didn’t see you walk up to them, or perhaps they didn’t have time to look up when you entered. Before they’ve had time to judge your body language, your first words will set your impression. This was always taught to us when taking oral examinations, but the courtesy was lost on us once we were out of the student life. Before settling into a comfortable position, ask if you may join him/her, or if you make take the seat, if it was not offered. Otherwise, a good bet would be to start with a greeting, “How are you today?”. Jumping into a self-introduction immediately may come off as nervousness, or self-centredness.


4. Handshakes are tricky

Meeting people for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially with thoughts like, “Should I offer my hand first?”. The answer is: no. The general rule of thumb is for the person with the higher authority to offer a handshake first. This shows respect for the person’s position. However, if you feel comfortable, you can offer a hand first, indicating your level of assuredness and self-confidence. When it comes to jewellery, less is more. Don’t wear rings or bracelets that might potentially scratch or poke someone. Bracelets that make a lot of noise will probably leave you with a less than desirable impression. Keep your nails clean and neutral-coloured; make sure your palms are dry as a courtesy to the other hand; use a firm handgrip. 


5. Eye contact

Always make eye contact. This is a universal rule that applies to anyone, anywhere. Though the amount of eye contact is key—too much eye contact and people may find you to be rude and condescending; too little might indicate insincerity and uneasiness. An appropriate amount of eye contact is about 30% to 60% of the time. This will encourage trust and likeability between the parties.

eye contact first impression meeting job interview
Photo via SlideGenius


6. Be interested, to be interesting

Develop a natural curiosity for the things around you and for the people you speak with. Ask questions; enjoy the responses. This will cause you to be more engaged in the conversation, and they will start asking questions about you too. Thus, they will find you interesting and be interested to hear your story. While this is more applicable to social situations, at interviews, ask more when you’re offered the chance.


7. Attire

Everyone wants to look his or her best when meeting someone for the first time. Unfortunately, that could mean wearing new clothes and shoes that might cause visible discomfort. In situations like these, it will be wiser to put on something you’ve worn many times because you know it looks good and fits well. If you don’t have a tried-and-tested alternative, make sure to do trial runs in your new get up, so you won’t have any nasty surprises.

uncomfortable clothes attire first impression
Photo via Adafruit


Featured photo via SheKnows

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