Do you remember when you first met your best friend? Take a minute to go down your memory lane and think of where you’ll met, what you thought of him/her when you first met them, and what has changed since. Chances are the details of your first meeting are vividly ingrained in your mind, and this is because first impressions last a long time after they are over, and also because in the case of your best friend, the first impression led to a beautiful relationship.
First impressions are essentially mental images that we form of people when we meet them for the first time. As per a research published by Princeton psychologists, Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, it takes a mere one-tenth of a second to form a first impression. However, even though the first split second of an introductory meeting can be a game-changer, what really matters is how you build upon the first impression (if it works on your favour) or what attempts you make to change your first encounter (if it doesn’t work in your favour.) The following are some ways in which we believe you can portray your true self while acquainting yourself with people:-
Start with making a good first impression to yourself.
Think about the last time someone impressed you in one meeting. What aspects of them stood out to you first? It could be simple factors like the way they spoke to you, their warm hug or their firm handshake. This exercise will help you realize what in others you admire, so that you can imbibe those characteristics in yourself. Once you are confident of your persona, everybody around you will follow your lead and recognize your strengths. Remember, more often than not, you are your own toughest critic, and if you can please yourself, the rest of the world is a cake-walk.
You’re never fully dressed without a smile.
Visual appearances play a vital role in creating impressions. This is also one of the primary reasons why people are drawn to picturesque landscapes and they have the power to make your heart feel lighter. The good news is that making a visual impact is as easy as smiling. And here is the secret reason why - a smile is contagious, so when you smile, the person in front of you is very likely to do the same. It has been proven that the physical muscle movement of a smile results in an immediate boost of happy hormones like that of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. More than half the battle is won when you can make your acquaintance happier than they were before they met you.
Meditate on your breath before your meeting.
Impressions are made by the subconscious mind and research reveals that our brains fire neurons that mirror those of the person we interact with So, if you are agitated or nervous, the person in front of you will invariably reciprocate similar emotions of varying degree. Practicing simple deep breathing exercises to calm down before a meeting will ensure you are in a positive frame of mind and are energized to make the most of your introduction.
There is always a second chance.
Sometimes things simply spin out of control, and the universe seems to conspire against you- despite all your efforts for an ideal first interaction. When you find yourself spilling coffee on the other person’s shoe or mispronouncing their name - worry not. A first impression is not the be all and end all of life. Second, third and fourth impressions can undo your first impression in miraculous ways.
Apologize for any mishaps, and request for a re-introduction. Most importantly remember that actions speak louder than words. Show them that their relationship matters to you by going the extra mile. For instance once your first meeting is over, you can leave them a thank you note, tell them how you’d like to meet them again, read the book they said they enjoyed reading and give them your view on it and just let them know that their time with you is always valued.