When it comes to engaging with others, there are certain unwritten rules, traits to adopt when making that good first impression, and you have one chance to do so. The most common including your body language, dressing accordingly, controlling your anxiety levels when meeting someone for the first time.
But know that any impression extends beyond that initial first instinct. If you’re going to get people on your side, to like you, whether at work, or among your friends and family, you need a well polished follow up act.
Impression management comes down to minimizing your mistakes. To magnify the positive skills that you have while covering up your deficits. The more that you place them into practice, the more that you can expand your influence, increasing your odds to impress and perform.
Always Be Enthusiastic
What’s your first initial reaction if you’re required to do more work than you’re expected. Do you instinctively complain, make a pouty face, make up excuses, or passive aggressively attempt to sabotage the situation.
Think how you react when your supervisor needs that report today and not next week as originally requested. You find it unrealistic, unfair, and inconvenient. What you need to put in is massive overtime, which cuts into your leisure plans.
Unless your supervisor is being outright exploitative, being completely unreasonable or picking on you, making a list of reasons why it won’t work is a poor strategy. This since you’ll most likely need to do the work regardless. The first impression you project is that you’re a whiner.
But if you frame your refusal as regret instead of an outrage, then your superior will be more than likely to acknowledge or accept your response. Otherwise, your complaining just becomes annoying.
Always Show Respect
Without even realizing it, we communicate and react to others based on how we value them. It could the words that you speak or your tone of voice, while also providing nonverbal cues.
At work, if you show respect, listen and show that you’re a team player, or when at home, you display empathy by just agreeing with the bad day that your partner had, allowing them to express their angst, you come across as more likeable.
Any type of disrespect or display of bad attitude in the workplace will leave a mark. Your superiors will eventually hear how insensitive or rude you are with your co-workers or the clients.
With your relationships, even those who love you will become frustrated or annoyed if you continue to have a “me-first” attitude. Respect is a basic emotional building block when it comes to impression management.
Accept New Ideas
Always be open to the ideas and viewpoints of others, even if it happens to be diametrically opposed to yours, as doing so creates the impression that you’re fair, level-minded, mature, and a team player.
Infants will cry when someone happens to cross their will. So we allow them to throw their temper tantrums because they don’t have the emotional capacity to cope with being opposed. We expect adults to handle the opinions of others and accept or agree with them on occasion.
Someone might have a completely ridiculous idea that you think won’t work. Why not just go along with it, otherwise you’ll be branded as having a closed mind. You might just miss out on a great opportunity and be pleasantly surprised.
Always Be Positive
Constantly being in disagreement and saying “no” carries a number of risks. So regardless of the situation, look on the bright side of things, always smile more that you do frown.
Practice having a pleasant look on your face, which tells the world that you’re someone who’s nice. This will make you appear more approachable, which adds to your positive impression quotient.
A pleasant facial expression will then eventually become natural, while also having fewer frown lines as you age. What nature does is it gives you your adult face while in your twenties, so it’s your responsibility to keep it when your fifty.
There are times however when a serious expression is required, one that’s appropriate for the situation. You also can’t go around with a huge smile on your face at all times as you’ll appear creepy, deranged, that others will think you’re being insincere.
Other than your facial expression, being positive means you like to acknowledge those who do well while not becoming judgmental. By looking for the “good” in all things, even if the situation is glum, you’ll become a strong reliable reinforcing presence, and someone others want to be around.
It’s Always Not About You
We all have flashes of healthy narcissism and ego. However, those who are constantly focusing on themselves, how great they are, that they know everything, this instead of showing empathy towards others, risks appearing selfish, self-centered, and annoying.
Not all are disliked however. It’s found that those with a narcissistic personality, who has tendencies of being assertive, are liked more than those who are overly aggressive and confrontational.
So because of the importance of being positive, what’s suggested is that as long as you’re able to temper your narcissistic tenancies with a “can do” attitude, you should be able to get your own way, while getting others to accept you.
Constantly making yourself the focal point in every situation which involves the welfare of others, who has their own needs, opinions, and viewpoints, can become counterproductive.
What you can’t do is go back and fix a “bad” first impression, as you just have one opportunity. And also keep in mind that at times, first impressions are often cured by a second look.