We all know that first impressions are important. Heck, we’ve made lists of all the things that people judge subconsciously when they first see you.
Those 9 things we mentioned in that previous blog were for a wide array of different emotions and stereotypes that people feed off of. But, what if there is only one impression you want to make when you first meet someone?
If confidence is that thing, then you have come to the right place.
1) Eye contact
First thing, do not have sunglasses on (despite the psychological benefits). Eyeglasses or reading glasses are fine. The point is that somebody needs to be able to see your eyes.
A large amount of information is conveyed through the eyes, more so than the rest of the face combined. It’s why superheroes wear masks that cover up that area, and it is why sorority girls trick you into thinking they are pretty when they wear huge glasses.
Cute sorority girls are coming, better keep it cool!
When you first meet someone, it is natural to look at their eyes immediately. It is a natural instinct to get a sense of what they are thinking.
It is also a natural reaction of many people to not hold prolonged eye contact. If this is you, overcome that desire with conscious practice.
Unwavering eye contact is the first step.
2) Raise your sternum like the conductor of an orchestra
You have probably heard, either through your mother or through media, the value of “putting your chin up, head back, shoulders back, stomach in” etc etc.
There is a reason for this (again, check out our first link talking about postures influencing your internal body chemistry), and it is essentially to convey the message that you are confident, alpha, and ready for the world.
But, it is a lot to remember. That is, until I read a little while back one little trick: pretend your sternum is attached to a string, and that the string is being pulled upwards.
This will automatically puff up your chest, fix your shoulders and slouch, as well as get your head in a good position. No need to memorize a laundry list of items, just keep that sternum up (and maybe hands out of your pockets, with feet spread apart a bit).
3) Firm handshake
We all have heard that a weak handshake conveys all the wrong messages, and it is true.
I think all of us guys have had a handshake close too early, and suddenly feel emasculated like we are giving a lady handshake from the 18th century:
Ahhh! We grasped too early! Abort, abort!
But, the same thing can be said about regular handshakes. And all guys know this.
And, yet, it still happens.
I believe it is because people are just unaware. We figure we do not want to squeeze too hard, so we opt for keeping our hands still hoping it will at least be neutral.
…And, instead, it ends up with a weak, floppy handshake.
Nobody tells the offending handshaker, of course. We just want the moment to be over and not embarrass them after all.
If you are unsure of whether you have a firm handshake or not, practice with somebody. Say, “hey, I want to make sure my handshake is not too weak or too strong, mind if I shake your hand and get some feedback?”
It’s a 15 second ask, and can change your first impressions forever.
Next time you go in for a shake, make sure your thumb and the opposing person’s thumb hits each other (thus insuring a dainty handshake faux pas is avoided on both ends) and then deliver a quick firm squeeze.
4) Be excited
This carries over to lots of things. Emotions are contagious and everyone wants to feel good. Therefore, if want another person to feel good about being around you, you should feel good about being around them.
How do you do this?
Well, it sounds cliched, but smile.
And be genuine about it. You are meeting this person and something cool could come from it. No need to be over-the-top, and of course do not be fake to how you really are. Try to simply be in a better and more positive state.
It is also conveyed in your tone of voice.
Most people might take this to mean that you have to be high pitch, but that is not necessarily the case.
Pretend that you were on the radio, and you wanted just your voice to convey your happiness, how would it sound?
What is your tone when you are excited with your guy friends? What is your tone when you are happy with your wife? What is your tone when you are proud of your kids? What is your tone when you get praised at work?
It’ll vary depending on the situation, but be mindful of it.
And that is all that we got for you guys. Do any of you have any further tips and tricks? We would love to hear from you.