How can you make a good first impression?
Most advice on the subject is defensive, just telling you how to not offend. How can you strategically make a good impression?
From the outset, frame the conversation with a few well-rehearsed sentences regarding how you want to be perceived. This will end up being the structure the other person forms their memories around.
And keep in mind that whenever you’re speaking emotionally, the words you use almost don’t matter at all. Voice tone and body language are far more important.
What makes us click with other people?
In Click: The Magic of Instant Connections Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman (authors of the interesting book Sway: The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior) explore how people connect and give some solid insights.
They discuss a number of the more obvious causes of connection like proximity and similarity but what struck me most was their emphasis on vulnerability.
How can you improve any relationship?
Just try. Put a small amount of conscious effort into trying to be a better friend, spouse, whatever. That’s it. Sounds ridiculous but:
- Improving any relationship is as easy as actively showing interest in the other person or sharing with them.
- Pretending time with a romantic partner was a first date makes it more enjoyable for you and for your partner. Why? On first dates we make an effort to impress.
- Racists actually make a better first impression on minorities than non-racists do. Why? Because they have to try to not act racist and the effort makes them come off better than someone who doesn’t have to try.
- Worried that all this is fake and contrived? Relax. Putting your best face forward actually reveals your true self.
How do you win over someone who doesn’t like you?
How do you keep relationships strong over time?
Remember 5 to 1.
From Richard Conniff’s interesting book, The Ape in the Corner Office: How to Make Friends, Win Fights and Work Smarter by Understanding Human Nature:
More on strengthening friendships here.
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Assume everyone already likes you and they probably will.
- Mistrust is self-fulfilling.
- Name-dropping doesn’t work. Flattery and mimicry do.
- Trying to seem smart makes you seem stupid.
- What you say about others says more about you.
This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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