Ready for a statistic that will blow your mind? Studies show that the average person meets 10,000 people in their lifetime. That’s right,10,000 people. That’s 10,000 handshakes, 10,000 faces, and 10,000 brand new chances to make a good first impression on someone new.
We know what you’re thinking: First impressions aren’t always easy to navigate, and for some, they can be nerve-wracking … but they’re also so important. After all, the best relationships, both in business and in life, start somewhere, right?
Whether you’re heading to a networking event or striking up a conversation with a stranger on the street, we’ got a few pointers to help you knock your first impressions out of the park to lay the groundwork for lasting relationships. 🤝
Hype yourself up.
You are great … and it’s time you start believing it! You’re amazing, you’re smart, and anyone would be lucky to meet you. The first step to making solid first impressions on others is believing that you’re someone worth meeting—because you are!
Try this: Next time you’re about to have a conversation with someone new, stop and give yourself a quick 5-second pep talk. Remind yourself of a few of your best qualities, or maybe even sprinkle in a positive affirmation or two (i.e., “I’m awesome and I have great ideas to share!”). Making a good first impression is one of those scenarios where confidence really is half the battle. So, take a moment to remind yourself of who you are and what you bring to the table!
(Side note: While confidence is a big part of making a good first impression, it’s also essential to pretty much every other area of your life, so work on establishing it, daily! Need a little help getting started? Start building up your self-confidence, here.)
We tend to get into this mindset that we show people that we have it together all the time, especially those we’ve never met before. The reality? I’m human, you’re human, and that person you’re meeting for the first time is human, too … “perfection” doesn’t exist. The absolute best relationships are founded on authenticity, so show up in every conversation as your real, honest self.
Check your body language.
Often, your body language introduces you before anything else. Your posture, facial expressions, the energy you give off … all that stuff matters. Here are a few pointers to help you maintain positive body language:
- Start with a good handshake. Make it firm, but you know, don’t break the person’s hand. Click here for a guide to the perfect handshake.
- Have an open posture. Avoid crossing your arms or legs so that you don’t appear closed off.
- Maintain good eye contact. Tips on making effective non-awkward eye contact, here!
- Lean in toward the person you’re talking to. This will show that you’re interested in what they have to say!
- Smile. Simple, yet so effective. Smiling is the quickest way to show others that you’re warm, friendly, and inviting. 😊
Find common ground.
“You love pizza? Me too! Let’s be friends!” That one tiny connection could turn into a long, deep discussion about whether pineapple belongs on pizza. Or maybe you dive into the depths of the perfect oven temperature to find a happy medium between crunchy and flat-out burnt crust. We’d say that’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship, don’t you think?
In all seriousness, one of the best ways to make an impression on someone is to find something—anything—that the two of you have in common. We’re willing to bet that no matter how different someone may seem from you at first, you can always find some sort of similarity with them. You just look for it!
How do you really get better at making first impressions? You put yourself in the position to make them … over, and over, and over again. The more interactions you can have with new people, the more you’ll learn about yourself and others. Push yourself to introduce yourself to someone new today—a neighbor or a new face in your yoga class. You never know what great relationship could be waiting for you on the other side of a handshake and a friendly “hello.” 😊