Each interaction with others people carries with it an Opportunity and a Possibility. Every person you meet is a potential new Friend, Lover, Client, soul for the Kingdom or Destiny Helper. Every day you’re making contact with people for the first time; it happens so often you may not even really register these encounters. Whether these possibilities turn into something often hinges on the first impression you make on them.
Have you ever heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Many people have never thought about their first impression because they think changing it would mean acting fake, or that judging someone at a glance is superficial and inaccurate. The implication here is that people have already decided on what you’re like before you’ve said anything beyond your initial introduction.
Characteristics of First Impression
- First impressions are registered with lightning speed,
- First impression last a surprisingly long time.
- Because of what’s called the “primacy effect,” people tend to lend more weight to the things they learn initially about someone, rather than the information they take in later.
- First impression forms a filter or lens through which a new acquaintance will henceforth see you.
- Moving forward, people generally look for your behaviors that confirm their conclusion from their first impression.
- Largely people ignore things that contradict that first impression they had of you.
- Once you’ve made an initial impression on the clay of their mind, the rest of the relationship tends to follow its contours, affecting all their future thoughts about you.
- It can take up to six months of regular contact with someone to change their initial impression and alter the lens through which they see you.
It might seem unfair that people form such a firm assessment of you in such a short time, and think that these snap impressions are bound to be faulty. Yet dozens of studies have shown that first impressions are actually highly accurate in gauging a person’s true personality and abilities.
What makes good first impression?
Generally, people like other people who are:
- Make them feel comfortable
- Feel interesting
- Feel valued.
Basically, people like people who seem like they’ll be a social benefit, rather than a social burden. People are attracted to people who have something to offer — not just monetary resources, but those of many different kinds. People are looking for those who come bearing 4 social gifts: Appreciation, Connection, Elevation, and Enlightenment
On the other hand, people tend to avoid “high maintenance people” – those who are boring, empty, self-absorbed, insecure, and needy; people who will inflict a cost; who will require a greater energy investment than they give. So if you’re serious about improving the impression you make externally, you have to start by shaping your inner values.
Mastering the mechanics of a positive first impression thus isn’t about hiding your true personality or trying to be someone you’re not. The goal of improving your conversational strategies and body language is simply to get these external behaviours to match and enhance, rather than contradict, your inner self. Doing so helps you reveal and showcase your best qualities, and gives others greater access to them. Such packaging may only be skin deep, but it draws people in and entices them to want to “unwrap” you further.