We have all met someone and thought ‘Well, I do not like you!’ Different, shall we call them ‘professionals’ give different times frames for a first impression. Some say 3 seconds, others less than 3 seconds and then the extremists say after a few split seconds you have made your mind up about someone.
If that is the case you do not have much of an opportunity to make an impression. The thing is people can also very quickly change their first impression of you so that nonsense about your first impression lasts is, well.. NONSENSE! I have met loads of people who I did not like at first and then after spending some time with them I change my mind. I also met people who told me after they took the time to get to know me, they first thought I came across as a big bitch; but now they love me. How did I find that out? I asked people what they thought of me when they first met me. They thought I came across as a bitch because I never smiled when I met them, but that was because I hated my smile. Such a small detail and look at the impact it had! It is not meant to be vain, but if you never know what people think of you how can you ever try and better yourself. Plus, you get to have a good laugh at yourself.
You can of course read all these different ways to make a good first impression, such as smile, dress neatly, be at ease, be positive, be open and confident, be courteous and attentive, small talk and of course be yourself. Some things are a given. If you want to walk around with dirty hair, grubby clothes and a chip on your shoulder people will not have a very good first impression of you and probably will not want to see you again.
The most important thing when making a good first impression is making an impression that lasts, not only for the people you are meeting, but more importantly for yourself. You cannot hide your imperfections from everyone you meet forever. Even if you worked very hard at it and got it right, how exhausting would that be? There are people who will put on a facade and keep it up until they have you right where they want you. Watch out for those people. They would have perfected every step in the ‘How to make a great first impression last’ guide, until they could not care enough to keep it going. You would be surprised at how many deceitful people there are out there.
You will not be everybody’s cup of tea and if you are a people pleaser and that upsets you just remember there are people out there who you cannot stand to be around either. The best advice I can offer is that a first impression works both ways and you should never forget that. So go out there, chat to people who you feel comfortable with and ask them to tell you honestly how they feel you come across.
I would like to end this off with,