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How to Make Someone Like You Before They Even Meet You

How to Make Someone Like You Before They Even Meet You

As humans, first impressions are very important. While we’ve heard that someone makes their first assumptions of you in the first 60 seconds of meeting, latest research by psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov from Princeton University have found it’s much much quicker than that. In fact it’s thought to happen within a tenth of a second.

In other words, it’s our facial appearance that will make or break a first impression with our brains instinctively looking for likeability, competence, trustworthiness, and aggressiveness.[1]

So can a negative first impression in that valuable blink of an eye be reversed?

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We All Judge and Make Assumptions

We don’t make judgements out of spite. It’s the human instinct to survive that causes us to make a decision to judge in order to decide if a particular person is worth keeping around or not, as quickly as possible.

There are a couple of things going on in the brain here: our lack of relevant memories we hold with a new person causes the brain to compensate for the lack of information. It therefore tries to make connections through what we see and hear together with past experiences. This is the survival mode kicking in that helps us make that decision on whether it’s someone worth meeting again and weighs up the value of the person to us.

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    What Can Influence People’s Perception?

    You may think what you see is a big factor in first impressions and, of course, it is. But have you ever formed an opinion of someone you’ve never met just by listening to someone else’s opinions of them? This is because the brain tends to make up stories or imagine information strongly based on our deep-rooted thoughts and beliefs.

    As a result, when you do meet someone after hearing opinions about them, everything they do will tend to further reinforce that imagined impression. If they happen to act in a different way, the brain will assume it’s just an exception in the moment.

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      This is why, when you form an impression of someone you’re about to meet, it can be very difficult to change how you think about them. Most of the time we are unaware this first impression bias is going on. If you’ve heard Fred is a forward-thinking entrepreneur and you’re ideas of forward-thinking entrepreneurs tend to be aggressive, cut-throat, confident people, Fred will have a hard time convincing you differently even if he shows he’s none of those things. This isn’t because you’re a terrible person; it’s the first impression bias taking over.

      Override The First Impression Bias

      We all want to make a good first impression with anyone we meet and one of the most common ways to do this is to give a compliment. Compliments are little gifts you can give others especially when they’re meaningful and genuine. However, there is a danger to giving compliments to people you first meet. It’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with them; people tend to discount your efforts because they suspect you are intentionally trying to influence them through flattery even if this isn’t your intention. A way to get around this is to get someone else to pass on the compliment. This naturally reduces skepticism.

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        The third party route can work the other way; getting someone to say something good about you. This is because it psychologically shapes their idea of you in a positive light. This is a strategy that will instantly help you mingle with people who you haven’t met before as they’ll subconsciously like you from what they’ve heard. Of course, this can go against you if someone was to bad-mouth you (even unintentionally) and as a result people will naturally be more wary and closed off towards you.

        There are some things to keep in mind when doing this:

        • Never force anyone to speak about you. A compliment through a third party must always come from the heart. Asking a friend to do something they don’t want to do won’t come from a genuine energy. It could also backfire and cause that person to end up saying negative things about you. Just make sure you choose a person who knows you really well and would love to emphasise your positive attributes.
        • Choose the type of compliment wisely. Make sure the compliment isn’t aimed at anything superficial like looks. Whether it’s a romantic opportunity or just friendship, it’s our personality that forms deep connections. So make it more about how kind, helpful or fun you are. This will cause less judgement in advance than your outward appearance.
        • Don’t lie or exaggerate. It can be tempting to build yourself up to others in order to give a good impression but this only lasts in the short term. Getting someone to lie will never turn out well because people will always notice eventually if something doesn’t match up. Make sure the compliment is genuine and coming from a good place.

        So, while a tenth of a second is all it takes to make a judgement (and something we can’t really control) the best way to counteract any possible negative conclusions someone makes of you, is to use the third party tactic. Sowing the seed first will allow someone to form a more positive opinion of you and will help give you a head start by eliminating the brain’s tendency to judge on a first meeting.

        Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

        Reference

        [1] Association for Psychological Science: How Many Seconds to a First Impression?

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        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

        How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

        How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

        Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

        That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

        Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

        1. Write Your Goals

        The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

        Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

        As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

        Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

        2. Beat Procrastination

        Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

        Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

        Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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        What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

        When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

        3. Celebrate Small Wins

        In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

        Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

        It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

        So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

        4. Practice Gratitude

        It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

        Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

        So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

        60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

        By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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        5. Be Optimistic

        Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

        At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

        Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

        6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

        A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

        Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

        What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

        So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

        10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

        7. Face your Fears

        You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

        If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

        Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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        Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

        How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

        Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

        8. Visualize your Success

        You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

        One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

        Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

        9. Find Inspiration

        Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

        From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

        Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

        Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

        10. Enjoy Downtime

        You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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        Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

        You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

        11. Meditate Regularly

        Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

        Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

        Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

        The Bottom Line

        Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

        However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

        So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

        More Tips About Staying Motivated

        Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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