One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Whether it be that hot date, that job interview or just a social gathering, first impressions are important. Meeting strangers in an unknown territory can be scary. You don’t know who these people are or if they will like you. This fear even stops us from pursuing our goals. It’s so easy to stay in our job or our childhood town where we know everybody. It takes courage to uproot yourself and trust yourself that you will be able to find another click of friends somewhere else. In this article, I will give you some tips on just how to do that.
This may sound cheesy but to make a good first impression the first thing to make to do is to introduce yourself correctly. Now, I’m not going to give you some line or script to read off of, that’s not helping you. Just say what you want to say and be yourself but there are few things to keep in mind.
First of all, don’t be afraid of introducing yourself. There’s no first impression if there’s no first impression. A lot of us have this fear that we are somehow bothering the other person if we casually walk up to make that first impression. This is basically a mindset problem. First of all, nobody will ever get angry at you for simply introducing yourself. And if they do you don’t want to be talking to that person anyway. All you are doing is you are walking up and introducing yourself because you want to meet that person – You’ve done nothing wrong. If they don’t want to talk to you they can simply say so. It’s not a big deal. When was the last time somebody actually lashed out at you for simply talking to them?
Secondly, why wouldn’t this person not want to meet you? This fear of will this person like me or will I be bothering this person is basically you just being self-conscious. Do you think Brad Pitt or Kanye West walks around thinking that they are going to bother people if they walk up and talk to them? No, they know they’re awesome and more importantly they know that people want to meet them. In fact, they always have good first impressions because they know everybody wants to meet them.
I know you’re not Brad Pitt or Kanye West but it’s the mindset you need to adopt. That everybody wants to meet you and if they don’t want to meet you there is something wrong with them. Ultimately, you need to have the mindset that it’s their loss if they don’t meet you. This goes for interviews, dates, whatever. If you’re in an interview adopt the mindset that you are overqualified for the job. Not in a cocky way but in a confident way. As if you know you will get the job. This confidence will transfer over and you will appear more confident.
Oh, my God names, probably the most important thing. Everybody’s favorite word is their own name and if you want to make a solid first impression then you should take note of people’s names.
Have you ever heard this before? “I’m not good with names.” Here’s my tip – Stop saying that. Look, everybody is bad with names there’s no need to make up an excuse if you tend to forget names it is perfectly natural. A person’s name is stored in a different region in the brain than other information which we associate with that person. That is why it’s so hard to remember names. But don’t worry I am about to drop some awesome name tips on you that will make your first impression flawless.
If you happen to forget somebody’s name you’ve met before all you have to say is “What was your name again? “ Trust me, I’ve done this plenty of times and nobody got offended or upset. As long as you say it as if it’s normal and don’t make a big deal out of it nobody will care. Then when they offer their name, offer your own name once again too because they probably forgot your name too.
Most of us apologize as if we did something wrong there’s no need for that. It’s not a big deal, we all do it. The exception to this rule is, of course, if this person is important like a job interview. First impressions at a job interview is hugely important so maybe you should try a little harder to remember this person’s name.
Name Remembering Tips
Let me also say that some people really are bad at remembering names and I feel like I should give some tips on how to remember them. After all, there really is a point where if you keep saying you forgot the other person’s name it might seem like you’re not even trying. So two quick tips on how to remember names.
Our imagination is an amazing thing. One thing you can do is picture somebody you know with that same name standing next to the person. That way you associate that person’s name with your friend or associate.
The second thing you can do is simply repeat his or her name as soon as it’s said. For example, if the person goes:
“Hi, I’m Matt.”
Instead of going “Nice to meet you.”
Say: “Hey Matt, nice to meet you.” Or “Nice to meet you, Matt”
Something like that to commit it to memory. Then keep repeating the name in conversation to retain it in your memory. This not only helps you but this also builds a strong connection with the other person. You are using their favorite word and he will like that.
So that’s how you make powerful first impressions. I know I didn’t give you too many tangible things but a conversation shouldn’t be a script. If you came here looking for some kind of script of ‘what to say’ how would that help you? Most of conversation is a mindset. It’s a confidence mindset. Looking for what to say is just your fear of putting yourself out there to be ridiculed.
There is some truth to being yourself and some people might not like you. Some people might hate you. That’s fine, it’s their loss. That’s the mindset you need to adopt. This whole apologizing about forgetting somebody’s name; something which happens all the time also stems from this self-conscious fear of putting your true self out there.
Be okay with forgetting people’s names. Be okay with putting your true self out there and not worrying about being judged. That’s confidence right there.
Have a great day!
Alpha m. makes a great ‘kickass’ video on how to make a good first impression. I like a lot of his videos, they are very interesting and informative. I think it’s a worthwhile watch.