13 Things You Should Know About First Impressions
From your smile to your handshake-here’s the scoop on meeting someone for the first time.
You never get a second chance, the saying goes, to make a first impression. It turns out you may
not even get that. Within 50 milliseconds of seeing someone’s face, you unconsciously make decisions that will influence your interactions.
You can influence a first impression by wearing glasses, which imply intelligence, or facial piercings, which suggest rebelliousness, but research shows that a face can retain the same characteristics no matter how it’s presented.
Older faces are more telling than young ones. After decades of frowning, for example, a senior’s muscles adopt an angrier baseline expression. So smile more-it won’t hurt in the short term either.
What happens after the first 50 milliseconds? A firm handshake is important, but don’t discount vulnerability and humility, which will encourage authentic interaction.
Be conscious of body language. Don’t cross your arms, don’t slouch or fidget, and maintain eye contact and nod to indicate you’re paying attention.
Ditch digital for the real thing. According to a trio of 2014 University of British Columbia studies, we make better first impressions face to face than through pictures
Stop tweaking that Facebook profile. “Online, people try to do a lot of impression management,” Rule says, but it might not have the hoped-for effect. You might fixate on an aspect of your online presence deemed unimportant by others.
If you’re doing the judging, listen to your gut. Studies maintain that people can correctly determine a CEO’s profitability and even a person’s sexual orientation from a glimpse of their face.