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

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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.

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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 October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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