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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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Lim Kairen

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

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    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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