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You Are Judged Based on These 2 Things When People First Meet You

You Are Judged Based on These 2 Things When People First Meet You

Ever felt like you were being judged and you wonder why is it that they can’t seem to get along with you? We’ve all been in that situation where you might be a new-comer in a company or a new person introduced into your friend’s groupie and it turns into an awkward ride.

But just remember these 2 important things that people judge you on first impressions and you’ll be scoring points faster than consecutive bonus tunnel hits in a pinball game. People value trustworthiness and respectability. If you fail to appeal to these two qualities, there is no new friend to make at the end of the day.

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Why Do People Value Trustworthiness

Harvard School Professor Amy Cuddy said that although competence is an important factor, people would evaluate you based on trustworthiness from the get-go due to our survival instincts. “From an evolutionary perspective, it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”

And by putting things into perspective, it does really make sense. Think about the cavemen days as it was all the more important to find out whether your partner was cunning enough to steal all your valuables when you’re not looking than whether he was competent enough to make a fire.

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Why Do People Look Out For Respectability

The saying that goes “respect needs to be earned,” has more meaning than you’d have thought. And respect has to do with whether you can keep to your promises, do what you’ve been expected to do and to be truthful at all times. Breaking any of these three will jeopardise the respect that people might have of you.

But when meeting people for the first time, we get too anxious on wanting to win trust in by revealing all of our competences in that limited timeframe of being in their presence. In this case, Cuddy had warned that focusing on winning people’s respect without gaining their trust can backfire as you might come across as manipulative.

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Five Practical Ways You Can Enhance Your Trustworthiness and Respectability

So how exactly can we win the trust and respect from people during first impressions? Here are 5 practical ways that you can apply in any social setting, even for a short interview that you need to prepare for and effectively win your potential employer’s trust and respect in a short span of time with him or her.

1. Always Be Truthful

Lying can be tough work and if you’re not good at it, it’s best not to try it when you meet someone for the first time. Seasoned interviewers might be experienced enough to spot a liar, especially one who’s not good at lying. Signs like taking longer to respond, blinking or touching of the nose can depict a lie and it easily breaks the trust between you and the other party. Hence, the best policy is to always be truthful.

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2. Be Vulnerable

A new book called Friend and Foe, written by psychologists Maurice Schweitzer, Ph.D., and Adam Galinsky, Ph.D, revealed that showing our vulnerability proves to be an effective technique to gain trust in the shortest possible time. By dropping a pen or spilling coffee and then making a joke out of it makes us vulnerable and warm at the same time. However, an important point to remember is that competence has to be displayed first before you can demonstrate vulnerability, otherwise it wouldn’t work.

3. Hand Positioning

Dressing up for a first date or interview is very important. However, most overlook the importance of body language. Just the simple positioning of your hands during the first meet up can give away signs whether you are nervous or unconfident or whether you come across as a cunning person or a genuine one. Steepling your hands or putting your hands on the table with open palms can make you look more approachable.

4. Eye Contact And Blinking

Maintaining eye contact 80% of the time is the ideal amount when you talk to someone for the first time. This gives the impression that you’re actively listening. Not only that, blinking is also very important. According to Michael Argyle, a well known 20th century psychologist, 7-10 seconds of holding eye contact at a time shows that you are trustworthy, any lesser than that and it shows that you are not. Excessive blinking can also make us look very suspicious as we blink more when we become nervous.

5. Mirroring Movements

According to a research done, MBA students were instructed to mirror their partner’s movements, for example, if the partner puts their elbow on the table, they should do the same too. And the other half of the students were told not to. The results were striking. 67% of those who mirror movements struck a deal with their partner and only 12.5% reached a deal for those who didn’t mirror movements. Simply mirroring movements can help to build rapport with one another.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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