When you meet someone for the first time—be it a business encounter with client, an interview or a casual coffee date with someone special—the first few seconds actually decide your future relationship with the person. Several researches have pointed out that we tend to form perception of one another within seconds of meeting a stranger. In fact, within just first seven seconds of meeting, our brain decides whether we like the other person, if he is trustworthy and approachable and whether we want to enter into a business alliance or strike a friendship. No wonder, we hear it time and again that first impressions are the lasting impressions.
It is thus crucial that we lay emphasis on how we behave and conduct ourselves to be perceived as likeable and approachable. Follow the below three-point approach to make a positive first impression:
1. It’s all about attitude: An important aspect of having someone appreciate your presence around them is expressing the right body language. Certain social rituals like exchanging pleasantries, handshakes, smiles and making eye contact form the gist of proper social etiquette. Exhibits of warmth and politeness in speech, act like icing on the cake. These ‘encounter essentials’ are important as you unconsciously communicate a lot via your movements and posture.
2. Appear approachable: Your first move should be to reciprocate the feeling of amiability. In other words, convince yourself that you genuinely like that person. A radiant smile, positivity, and warmth will naturally follow along. Along with making eye contact and being an active audience, respectfully address them by their name, as everyone appreciates one’s effort to learn their name. Remaining undistracted by the minimal amount of cell phone usage is a highly valued communication etiquette. Social media and other means of interaction through the Internet require proper use of language, to portray a professional you. Furthermore, it gets you in the good books of others, when you demonstrate punctuality.
3. Dress for success: Another significant way to have someone show interest in you is your visual image, i.e. how you present yourself to the world. Dressing up according to the occasion, your age, and the place is essential. Appropriate clothes show that you care about your appearance and are organized, smart and neat. Have an idea of what you can carry off, what fits you the best according to your personal colors, body shape and what you find comfortable. Alongside wearing apt clothing, attention should be paid to proper makeup and accessories, such as bags, shoes, belts, and jewellery.
Remember, bringing out the ‘real you’ is the ideal goal of presenting yourself to make someone like you. Abiding by these social ethics will help you emerge out more confident than ever and appear as approachable and likeable to strangers.