Have you ever dreamed of confidently walking into a room and becoming the magnet of attraction? Admit it, it’s a yes.
Did you know that studies have shown that we accurately predict someone’s social, economic, education, success and confidence levels in less than three seconds? What conclusions did you come to the last time you met someone new?
93% of the impression you make is based on what you look like and how you sound. Words are only responsible for 7% of the initial impression. If you want to leave a great first impression, your appearance and tone of voice need to show confidence and self-esteem. Then the message of your words can take over.
So here are some of the most important things that people who make great first impressions don’t do.
1. They don’t dart their eyes.
How do you feel when you are in the middle of a conversation and the person you are talking to looks away to check out who else is in the room? You probably feel insignificant. So don’t do this to someone else. And if you dart your eyes more than once during a conversation, it becomes repulsive.
Keep a steady gaze and give your undivided attention and empathy through eye contact, a slight tilt of the head, leaning in and nodding.
2. They don’t say stupid things.
A former colleague once asked where I went to college. I said, “Cornell,” and his immediate response was, “How did you get into that school? Who did you pay to take your SATs for you?” My jaw dropped and so did those of other co-workers who heard him. I immediately thought he was a jerk for saying such a stupid thing.
It’s likely the fact that I went to a great school triggered a part of him that felt inferior. A few months later, when he and I spent a day together working on a project, he said, “I never knew you were so interesting and deep. I really like you. I’m so sorry for what I said.” So my negative impression of him turned positive after spending so much time with him.
You will probably not get a second chance to undo a negative first impression. So it’s important for you to bite your tongue when you want to say something dumb. Think before you speak.
3. They don’t hide their vulnerabilities.
Being vulnerable means you are confident enough to express your feelings. “I’m a little apprehensive coming to events where I don’t know anyone. But I’ve found that as soon as I introduce myself to someone I don’t know, I feel good. Hi, my name is…” Or, if after some small talk, you feel you are not at your best and something else is on your mind, admit it. “I’m usually a little more lively but I just experienced a horrible break up.”
By showing your vulnerabilities first, the other person will more than likely reciprocate with what they have experienced. You’ve just made a much deeper connection than you would have otherwise.
4. They don’t brag about themselves.
Someone who talks on and on about how great they are is a big turn off. “I just bought a Porsche…I’m the Vice President of….I have a summer home in the Hamptons…Let me show you my wine cellar…etc.” Wait until you are asked to share more about your life. And when you do share, be humble.
5. They don’t look sloppy.
Everyone judges a book by its cover. How you show up is a reflection of your self-worth. You don’t want your appearance to turn people off. Show up presentable and polished.
6. They don’t forget to say the person’s name.
There is nothing sweeter than the sound of your own name. How did you feel the last time someone said your name in the middle of sentence? Probably pretty good. Because so few people remember to say a person’s name in the middle of a conversation, if you do this, you’ll leave a better impression than most.
7. They don’t sneak peeks at their phone.
If you’ve been the on the receiving end of someone who constantly looks at their texts and emails as you talk to them, you probably felt unimportant and you probably wanted to drop the conversation and move on. Give the gift of your undivided attention. Because so few people do this, you will positively stand out.
8. They don’t have poker face.
Lack of expression will look like you are holding something back or that you are socially awkward. A genuine smile makes you approachable and attractive.
9. They don’t walk like a wimp.
When someone walks with their shoulders slumped and looking down, what’s your impression? “What’s their problem? They look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.” If you have burdens that hold you back from feeling good, do something about them so you can show up confident.
10. They don’t talk like a wimp.
Speaking tentatively and softly shows lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Work with a coach or therapist to overcome your fears so you can speak fearlessly and confidently.
11. They don’t forget to ask about people’s families.
Find an opening to ask questions about family. Your connection will go deeper fast.
12. They don’t talk excessively about their kids.
Most people are not interested in hearing everything about your kids. Pick another topic.
13. They don’t have negative self-talk.
Ever been guilty of thinking, “I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m not smart, I’ll never amount to anything, etc.”? The more negative self-talk you have, the lower your energetic vibration and the more likely you will turn people off.
Positive thoughts such as, “I’m fabulous, I’m smart, I’m attractive, I’m loving,” emit positive energy and make you attractive.
14. They don’t churn in the past.
Just about everyone has emotional baggage. Some have more than others. If you have made lemonade out of your lemons of your negative experiences, share your story and inspire others.
15. They don’t hide their bodies.
Having 10 extra pounds on you is not going to ruin your first impression. When you are proud of your body, others will be attracted to your self-love energy.
On the other hand, if you are too out of shape, it reflects a lack of self-love. So you need to get to the bottom of why you don’t love yourself enough to treat your body right.
16. They don’t wait for others to approach them.
If you approach others first, they will be impressed with your confidence at making them feel at ease. Everyone is waiting for someone else to go first. Why not let that be you?
17. They don’t talk too much.
You have one mouth and two ears. When you let others talk through asking questions because you are genuinely curious, you will leave a great impression because you are making the other person feel important about what they have to say.
18. They don’t monopolize the conversation.
If you are on the receiving end of someone who is very attentive to what you have to say, just remember to reciprocate and make it a two-way conversation. Reciprocate and ask questions about them so that you can leave a great impression too.
19. They don’t interrupt.
It’s rude to cut someone off in the middle of a sentence. If you’ve been on the receiving end of this you know how bad this feels. So don’t do this to someone else. Wait until they are finished before you speak.
20. They don’t just ask small talk questions.
Small talk is fine when you first meet someone, but it won’t help you make a lasting bonds. When appropriate, go deeper with more powerful questions. These questions also help to make them feel validated and important.
- What’s most exciting about what you do?
- What would you like to be doing three years from now? What’s your mission?
- What’s the biggest challenge you have with getting to the next level? Maybe I have someone in my network I can introduce you to help you get there.
21. They don’t hold back compliments.
The #1 most important human need is to be validated and appreciated. Give sincere compliments freely. “I love your dress.” “I love your tie.” “I admire the passion you have for raising money for the Cancer Society.”
22. They don’t hesitate to touch.
Touching appropriately mean a soft touch to the elbow, back or shoulder. When the moment is right, take advantage of the this sincere gesture, you will be instantly seen as more attractive and likable.
23. They don’t hesitate to help others.
Help solve other’s problems first. Maybe it’s a tip, maybe it’s an introduction to someone in your network. In return, the Universe will eventually show you the help you need to take your life to the next level.
24. They don’t forget to follow up within 24 hours.
How did you feel when an acquaintance followed through with something? You were probably pleasantly surprised because very few people follow through with promises. Follow up right away to leave a lasting great impression.
You only have three seconds to make a great first impression. If you want to be the magnet of attraction, not only do you need to have confidence and self-esteem, you also need to show verbally and nonverbally that you are genuinely happy to get to know them. The more you make the other person feel comfortable, heard and seen, the more you will be instantly liked and leave a great and lasting impression. Conversely, if you are too self-absorbed, people will avoid you like the plague when you walk into a room.
Resources to further your learning:
Basic techniques of winning others over: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Advanced techniques of winning others over: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi