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But you only get one chance at a first impression.
And first impressions matter. People are sooo busy that they tend to make snap judgements about people that they meet, (Guilty) and many times are missing out on new friends or new opportunities.
Since we can’t go back in time and redo some of our first impressions, we can make some improvements to make the most of every new impression.
My day job is in retail, so I see EVERYTHING. And I mean everything. I don’t generally let appearance influence me but sometimes it can be VERY HARD.
And first impressions aren’t always appearance. How we speak to all people, how we stand (remember always being told to “Stand up Straight and don’t fidget”?), eye contact and even the tone of our voice all add into how we are perceived by people that we meet.
Spoken or Verbal Communication: face-to-face, telephone, radio or television and other media.
Non-Verbal Communication: body language, gestures, how we dress or act – even our scent.
Written Communication: letters, e-mails, books, magazines, the Internet or via other media.
Visualizations: graphs and charts, maps, logos and other visualizations can communicate messages.
Read more at: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/what-is-communication.html
This is from a job skills site but the information is beneficial to everyday life.
So now that we have a better understanding of perception and first impressions, let’s see what this can mean for you.
Ways to make the best first impression
- Treat every new encounter like an interview for a job that you really want. By doing this, you automatically censor the tendency to overshare and will ask more relevant questions to show your genuine interest.
- Get Dressed!!! I can’t tell you how many times I see people young and old out shopping in their pjs and slippers. It doesn’t matter where you are going, you never know who you are going to meet. I have even encountered a person who showed up to an interview in pjs.
- Dress your age. I used to hate this one, but with the current fashion trends I am starting to agree with it more. You can still look on trend, sexy and current without wearing ripped jeans, bare bellies and boobapalooza.
- Hair is a touchy subject, as I just went through this one myself. You can read about it here.
- SMILE… This is the easiest way to make people feel at ease, and may make their day better. Try to keep a happy thought or memento present. It will make you smile from the inside and radiate out.
- Makeup trends change al the time but using the exact techniques do not work for everyone. Makeup is supposed to be fun and accentuate your best features and downplay any areas you may not like. Play with it to find the look that works for you.
Talk to all people you meet like the person you respect the most. This one is sometimes very hard. I have met a lot of nasty people who are just looking for something to complain about. It is up to you to rise above their negativity and interact with them as someone important. It makes it very difficult for people to complain if you are being polite and courteous, besides making themselves look like an idiot.
There is no limit to what we can do in our lives. Go out there and make the most of it. I would love to hear your stories of first impressions or how you are making changes to how you approach new people and situations.
Until next time.