How to Make a Killer First Impression

Did you know that the moment you meet someone new, they’ve already made an impression about you?  It just takes one tenth of a second.  Everyone judges, consciously or subconsciously – it’s human nature and uncontrollable.  It’s just the way our minds work.

I’ll give you some time to take that in.

Done?

I’m sure you realized the extreme importance of making a lasting and killer first impression and I’m going to show you 5 of ways how:

1. Dress to Impress

Take the time to put in thought and effort into your dressing.  Make sure your clothes are ironed and clean because you think we don’t notice – but we do.  More so, be aware and appropriate of how you’re dressing and for what.  For example, if you’re going into a business meeting, don’t wear short skirts that rise above the knee or wear a shirt that could potentially be showing your cleavage.

It’s not a good look.

Be appropriate and conscious of the message you want to send out to your boss and coworkers.

The colors you have different psychological effects on how other people perceive you too.  For example wearing red expresses power, black represents formal and blue shows that you’re a team player.

Check out my article here on power dressing.

2. Show Confidence

This doesn’t mean be arrogant or egoistic because that can switch people off quicker than you think.

It means be confident in the sense where you’re comfortable in your skin.

Show other people that you’re not nervous and that you’re perfectly content with yourself in the current situation.  It makes you look more approachable and reliable as well, it exudes responsible traits and in return.

If you’re not a very confident person, being conscious of all these things will psychologically start making you actually feel it.

A great way to show confidence is through smiling. Smiling is welcoming, makes the other person feel comfortable and portrays you as someone who is trustworthy.

I’ve recently written an article on the power of a smile and it’s incredible the effects that it can have on someone.

3. Be Conscious About Your Body Language

Similarly to confidence, make sure you’re conscious of your body posture as it speaks for itself.  The way you walk and hold your back can show confidence and gives off an authoritative vibe to others.

One example of this is keeping your shoulders square when you’re talking to someone new which makes you look natural and relaxed.

Avoid fidgeting as it shows that you’re either nervous or intimidated which will subconsciously and naturally give the other person a feel of power over you.

Another important aspect to remember is to keep eye contact when you’re talking to someone.  Be conscious about if you’re focused on the other person and what they’re saying but at the same time don’t make it look like you’re staring.

Match your eye contact with your overall facial expression.

4. Have the Perfect Handshake

Your handshake can say it all.

A lot of people aren’t conscious about their handshake but it’s surprisingly important aspect of making a first impression.

You may think that because it’s subtle it has little effect but in reality and psychologically, having a firm handshake shows strong character and portrays strength enhancing positive feelings in the other person.

According to Dr. Douglas Fields in an article called ‘The Power of a Handshake’, non-verbal and physical touch allows our mind to tap into the other person’s mind,

This communication through touch and body language conveys vital information through a rich unconscious and universal language that transcends spoken language.

Take politicians as an example, they exude power and all their campaigns and meetings start and end with a strong handshake.

5. Be Culturally Aware

Let’s take it a step further. In our globalized world today, we have the privilege of meeting people from all around the world.  It’s important to educate ourselves in being aware of other people’s traditions and cultures.

First impressions can differ greatly based on who you’re meeting.  Furthermore, when you’re culturally aware, the other person highly appreciates the fact that you took the time to actually familiarize yourself with their traditions – and that leaves a great impression.

Some examples of this is how in the West, a strong handshake symbolizes strength and authority while in some African cultures, a weaker handshake expresses the same message.

Another example is of if you’re in an Islamic country where there different culture to the West, men have to be aware about not giving out their hand first and instead waiting for the woman to initiate as some cultures are more conservative.

Bringing It Altogether,

In essence, body language and gestures can easily tell a person a lot about someone’s character.  When you make a first impression, that sticks with the other person and for the time that they talk to you, subconsciously, they keep trying to justify why they made that first impression through the way you carry yourself in the conversation.

Being conscious about your body, your words and your thoughts while expressing confidence can help you greatly in making a killer first impression.

There are no second chances in making a first impression.

5 Ways Smart People Deal With Difficult People

We all face difficult people. While some come across them every now and again, the unlucky ones have to deal with them on a daily basis whether it’s in the workplace or at home. It can be pretty easy to lose your calm and cool because difficult people can be very challenging to deal with. At times, it can go as far as affecting our perfectly good day.

I’m going to share with you 5 effective ways on how to deal with ‘energy-drainers’.

1. Realize and Set Your Intention

 

Some people may argue that your intention doesn’t really matter as much as the outcome; however, in the big scheme of things our intentions really do matter because they color our actions.  Your intentions have a big influence on the way you act – consciously or subconsciously.

When dealing with a challenging person, stop and think to yourself about what your intention is towards them.

Is it to hurt them?

Is it to understand them?

Is it just to get the job done?

Your intentions are a great guide for your thoughts and actions and setting them can stop you from falling back into old patterns of reactions or negativity that you may have had.

Your intentions come out to be a great ‘guide’ for what you’re thinking and for how you want to act.  Once you’ve identified what kind of a response you want out of the person, it can also help you from falling back into times when you let your negativity or reactions get the better of you.

Once you pinpoint what your objective is, that’s when you can start trying different means to reach that end goal.  Depending on what it is that you’re trying to get out of them, you have to understand what makes them responsive.

2. Listen to What They Have to Say

 

A huge part of being a good communicator is knowing how to listen.

Sometimes when we’re so busy reacting, we forget to actually listen.  Once you start listening to understand instead of to just reply, you might realize that there’s a reason why they’re being the way they are.  It could be because they’re just going through a breakup, a personal family issue or even something to do with at work.

A lot of people don’t feel comfortable voicing their problems to others, and some don’t feel like they have anyone to talk to.  By putting yourself in a position of wanting to listen to what’s bothering them, you’re already helping out making the situation better.

Allowing them to share their thoughts and opinions on things can actually go a long way.  Be open to have them say their part and show a genuine interest in what they have to say through making eye contact and even going the extra mile to ask questions.

3. Pick Your Battles

 

Personally, I’d call this a skill because not a lot of people know how to do it.

Picking your battles means that not everything deserves your reaction.  Sometimes even when you think you’re right, it’s wiser to keep quiet because not all individuals who are difficult require confrontation about their behavior.

According to Psychology Today, there are two situations under which you have to make a decision on whether or not to get involved.

For example if you’re dealing with a co-worker that you don’t get along with but is a good team member, you should take the high road.  If you’re dealing with someone temporarily, it’s worth not getting involved because this person won’t have any power over you later.

4. Be Relatable

 

It may take trial and error, depending on person-to-person and the ‘degree of difficulty’, however, it’s certainly not impossible.  Everyone has a trigger point or something that just makes him or her ‘tick’.

Based on whom it is you’re dealing with, you should be able to have close idea on what’s going to make them respond.  For example, if it’s a boss, talk to them about all the progress you’re making before asking for something, if it’s a sibling, do something that they like and enjoy to get them in a better mood and so forth.

By being relatable, you’re creating a genuine connection between yourself and the other person and you bring out the other person’s want to connect with you, too.

It creates a common ground for people between each other and makes others feel like they’re not alone.  For example, have you ever felt like you were the only one but then felt a genuine connection towards someone who shared a similar experience or opinion?

That’s what I mean.

5. Set Consequences

 

The last resort is to set consequences for their actions.  Respond with your actions rather than trying to discuss and talk out your problems.  Being able to assert consequences for others’ actions requires a lot of confidence and patience.

Similar to what you do with children, setting consequences can be a necessary response to unacceptable behavior.  People are more likely to repeat the behavior if you don’t draw boundaries of respect.  Drawing boundaries and sticking to them will force the other person to abide if they still want to be around you.

Above all, don’t feel guilty for setting boundaries and consequences.  You may feel the other person trying ways to make you feel bad for what you’re doing, for example, by trying to emotionally blackmail you and play the victim card but focus on the end result and rise above how difficult it might potentially be.

To Wrap it Up

Like I said, everyone comes across difficult people in their lives at one point or another.  It’s inevitable and that’s why it’s important to understand how we can deal with them.  Some are obnoxious, some might make you feel bad about yourself and some might actually get in the way of your growth.

Whoever they are or however they are, there is one thing they all have in common – that they have to be addressed and dealt with.