Contributed by: Taisha Lewis, Verano Place Housing Assistant
Most of us are taught at a very young age the extreme importance of first impressions. Many of us can remember a time when our parents reminded us of best behavior when meeting a new person. Whether they be within social circles, professional atmospheres, or among anyone that we are meeting for the first time, a higher level of self expectation to be our personal “best” exists. It takes a short time period to “sum up” a person in our minds after meeting them. Here are a few tips to ensure you are making the impression that you desire:
- Be Punctual: The first impression you will make on a person will be whether you are on time or not. Always strive to be early. The early bird does get the worm.
- Shake Their Hand: Shaking a person’s hand when you meet them is a sign of respect and creates a certain openness amongst people.
- Smile: A smile can tell a lot about you. Smiling while speaking, or listening, to others makes the interaction feel more welcoming and comfortable.
- Stay Conscious of Your Posture: Good posture is not only beneficial for your health. It also shows confidence and self-esteem.
- Keep Your Conversation in Context: While it is definitely important to be yourself, certain conversation topics are better suited for certain situations than others. For example, meeting new friends may call for a discussion of hobbies, while meeting a potential employer would make discussing future goals and skills a more successful topic.
Some say that it takes mere seconds to make a lasting impression on another human being. With that being said, many first impressions can be suppressed in the mind by the positive interactions that follow. If you feel that the first impression you made on another person was not the one you desired, or didn’t truly exhibit who you are, DON’T GIVE UP. Continue communication in an attempt to redeem your character with them or even apologize if you feel it is appropriate. Strive to make people’s first impressions of you memorable, and remember that there’s always a chance to better the impressions you leave; even after the first one.