January 27, 2016

How to leave a first good impression

Photo by xmyrcn [Flickr]

Darrell is a polite, handsome man, who had little luck meeting people and making friends. He didn’t get why and it was frustrating. I first met Darrell during his final months in prison -- a few of robberies and a bad temper had got him into trouble.

But Darrell is one of the few who manage to overcome the nasty effects of jail time. He decided to change. And he did. What didn’t change was the way people reacted to him. It seemed as though everyone knew his past.

Then he figured out why. And it had nothing to do with his past.


People won’t figure out your past by looking at you.

But they’ll read your present in just a glance.


It was actually quite obvious and he felt stupid for not figuring it out earlier. Back in the day, Darrell had the side of his neck tattooed with the universal “F*** YOU”. It was small but nonetheless LOUD!

He had it for so long, he no longer noticed it -- Gosh, I no longer noticed it and I hadn’t known him for that long. But for people who didn’t know him it was a big thing. Obviously! It automatically kept everyone away, giving him no chance to interact.

So Darrell covered it with a new tattoo. And the next time we met... he was smiling.

 
Don’t be surprised at the way people react to you

when your face is telling them just how you feel. 


We might not have tattoos on our neck, but our facial expression and body language are tattoos we carry around always. They provide universal information before we speak. The way you look, move and talk are the first signals other people pick up.

In the art of human relations, this is nothing new. However, we’re not always aware of how we read these signs automatically (and sometimes unconsciously) and how others do too.


There’s never a second chance

to leave a first good impression!


Do you sometimes feel a bit concerned about leaving the right impression or little uneasy when meeting people for the first time? I do. But think about it: other people do too. Chances are theyre busy thinking about themselves, not about you!

So before I step in, I make a conscious decision to step away from this trap, and think: These are people, not monsters. And they’re in the same situation as me.

If you’d like people to walk away thinking: Well, that was pleasant. Seems like a nice person. And what conviction!, here’s a tip:

Your best business card is YOU. Make sure you look the way you want others to see you. Stand tall. Radiate determination and serenity with every step. Smile. Make eye contact. Smile. Speak with a clear, confident voice. Smile.

Love to hear what you do to leave a lasting first good impression?