​8 Ways To Ruin A First Impression

You got roughly 10 seconds to make a first impression.

10 seconds.

Not a lot of time.

It is hard to really impress someone in 10 seconds, but unfortunately it is more than enough time to completely turn someone off.

Check out below the 8 biggest mistakes people make when meeting someone for the first time whether that be for an interview, date or just a casual social encounter.

Poor Body Language: Of course we are partial as we sell a “Posture Enhancing Undershirt but your first impression starts the second you are seen and not heard and during this time your body does the talking for you.

Are you projecting an air of confidence and possessing strong posture or are you walking with your head down, shoulders slumped and a lifeless expression? 

Every time you walk though a door or you get out of your car or elevator make it a habit to be conscious of your posture and the message your body is sending out. 

You never know who is watching you so it is best to play it safe and demonstrate good posture all the time.

A Weak Introduction: This includes your handshake, hug, kiss or whatever your custom is and the smile that frames it. 

I once had a woman lick my cheek….I am just kidding, but make it a point to get confirmation from trusted sources that your initial physical contact is not awkward and that you come off as confident and trustworthy. 

A quick side: an interesting way to stand out is if you have a signature greeting as long as it is authentic and natural - Richard Branson is known for rocking the fist bump and is there anyone cooler?  I live in Spain and when I am in the US, by habit I still do the double kiss and I hug guys. The girls seem to like it (at least I think), the guys…….not so much.

Weak Eye Contact: Imagine you meet someone who you have heard a lot about and they cannot look you in the eye to save their life. 

Unless they are last name is Moss, Aniston or Hayak (god I´m getting old) they have just created an uphill battle for themselves to change my opinion of them. 

A confident stance and firm eye contact that tells people you are listening and being attentive is a must in making a strong first impression. 

Observe someone who you admire who you think it a good convesationalist and good at putting people at ease and study their eye.

Moving too fast: When meeting a group, running quickly through the introductions, handshakes and other pleasantries is a big no-no and a sure fire way for no-one to remember you. 

Take your time with each person, look them in the eye, repeat back their name and breathe before addressing the next person. 

Most people run through names and hellos like Barry Sanders (really getting old) and reach the end of the line out of breathe and alone. 

Take your time and move slowly but with intention as you meet people.

Walking slowly also makes you look more more approachable.

Think about someone you know who is always busy, how do they walk?

I have a friend who is always running around town (literally running) and always has one eye towards a door.......not a great habit.

Too much hesitation:

“Go first in everything you do” - Gabrielle Reece

I love this advice.

I grew up with a stutter.

If I hesitated, I stuttered.

If I waited to be called upon, I stuttered.

If i waited to be chosen to give a presentation…..I really stuttered.

BUT and it is indeed a big but.......

If I volunteered to go first I stuttered much less.

If I shot up my hand to answer a question I did not stutter.

If I met a cute girl and was the initiator I felt much more confident and I did not stutter.

The list goes on and on.

Tim Ferriss often asks his guest on his podcast if given the chance what would they put on a billboard for the whole world to see.

“Go first” would be mine no-doubt.

Thanks Gabrielle for that.

Failing to have interesting questions in mind:

If you ever meet a celebrity in the street, instead of saying “I love your show” ask them a random question.

“Hey Eddie Murphy, do you eat tuna fish?”

The next 30 second encounter will be hilarious and you will always have that story to tell the new people you meet.

Thanks Mike Birbiglia for that gem.

What are your go to questions when you meet someone?

Have a couple questions in mind that go a little deep.

Oh, you are a therapist……what is your biggest challenge…….?

Even “how did you get into therapy?” works as it starts a conversation and maybe you can identify some things you have in common from questions like that if people open up some.

The point being is, if you want to be seen as someone who is interesting, the best way to do that according to Dale Carnegie is to be interested and that starts with asking good questions.

Forgetting names or using the wrong one:

What works better?

The last time we spoke you told me that your mother was not doing too well…..


Last time we spoke you told me that your mother, Judy, was not doing too well……

Which one is more powerful?

(You only have to remember 2 to 3 specific details from each conversation. The rest is a broad story. Make sure the things you do remember are the names of the people who are important to them and bring them up at a later date.

Most people I speak with say that they would love to be able to do this, but they are horrible with remembering names.

Did you remember your wife´s or hasband´s name when you met them for the first time?

Did you know that he or she was going to be your future spouse the first time you met?

The trick is to be interested in everyone you meet at that level and the names will take care of themselves.

Details, details, details.

Close talking:

It´s odd, the people I know who are the closest-talkers are also the biggest Seinfeld fans I know.

I guess they missed the thousand and one jokes about people who are close-talkers that Jerry and George dropped.

I read once that you need to make sure you do not have bad breathe when meeting someone for the first time.

Unless you are in Spain or France etc and you have to do the obligatory kiss, I do not want to be close enough to smell someone else´s breathe in the first place.

Give people their space to breathe.

Anything inside of an arms length is risky.

Unless you are Shaq.

The bottom line is if you treat people how you would want to be treated and you be yourself most things will take care of themselves.

But that does not mean that you cannot be more conscious of your actions and take the necessary steps to improve your first impression.

Go ask a few people who you trust what they first thought of you.

Try to find a few that you thought you did not leave a good first impression with and see what they remember.

Is there is any skill move important than mastering the art of the first impression?


Michael Thompson / Brand Manager

Your Posture Correction Undershirt - Learn how to improve your confidence, productivity and overall well-being www.corporewear.com

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