How to Make a Great First Impression on a Date – 8 Attractive Tips
Whenever you meet someone new, there is a new impression formed about you. This impression is very hard to change over time, so making it great is extremely important, because you only have one chance. I know, it sounds like a lot of pressure, but fortunately I have some tips that you can use in order to make the best out of it:
It doesn’t matter if this is a business meeting or a romantic date, or whether you’re just going out with friends-of-friends, being on time is always appreciated. You don’t want to make people wait for you, as this a sign of disrespect and/or bad time management, and someone who is just meeting you for the first time will not be interested in hearing your “good” excuses. Give yourself enough time to prepare for the meeting and remember, it’s always better to arrive a few minutes earlier than later.
Be careful with your look
They say a person needs less than one second to judge you and tell if they like you or not – and if a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case the “picture” is made of your outer appearance. Make sure you are well groomed, your clothes fit your size and you are dressed appropriately for the occasion you’re at (how you dress for an open-air festival will differ from how you dress for a business meeting). So decide whether you want to stand out or blend in, and remember that cleanliness and freshness will take you a long way: if you didn’t have time to wash that expensive brand shirt, it’s always better leave it at home and wear something that smells good instead, no matter the label. This also extends to your car or your house or even smaller objects – make sure they are clean if you think someone you’re trying to impress is going to see them.
Details can give or take impression points as well: too much make-up (unless you’re at a punk music festival), too many necklaces or rings, too much perfume can really affect your overall image so just take it as a general rule that going overboard with anything is a no-no. A neat hairstyle however, or a cute pin on your shirt or any other small accessories can really boost your image.
A well balanced handshake
Handshakes, in most cultures, have a lot of importance and one can tell a lot about a person based on how their hand feels like. Give a “dead fish” hand and you’ll be seen as weak, cold, lacking initiative or guts; give a “stone-strong” hand and you’ll be seen as dominant and stubborn. Try to find a balance between these two and you’re good to go! Remember to smile, make eye contact and keep it short – if it lasts more than a few seconds will become awkward and make the other feel uneasy.
Thinking that everyone feels just as awkward as you do, will help you a lot when meeting new people. We’re not so different from each other, and most people feel shy when they enter a room where they don’t know most people. So there are many chances the person you’re meeting feels just as anxious about meeting you, as you are about meeting them. So instead of trying to impress them, try to make it easier for them to talk to you – most people love to hear themselves talk, to feel heard and understood. Active listening can help you earn a lot of sympathy.
Being interested in meeting people, finding out stuff about them and being open about finding out who they are, is a nice way to appear desirable and comfortable to be around. So no matter how hard you want to impress, keep bragging at a minimum and focus on the others instead. This behaviour is contagious, and will make them feel want to know more about you as well – and you might end up having deeper, meaningful conversations, and making real friends, because your interest in them sparkled their interest in you.
Watch your mood
It’s best to meet new people when you’re feeling at your best and full of energy, as this will create a positive vibe and will make people like you from the start. If you’re having a bad day, then you’d rather stick with old friends, who can help you vent and who will understand you because you have a history of knowing each oher through good and bad days.
I guess this one doesn’t need any arguments, but I’ll still give you one: according to research from Princeton University, facial expressions influence the way people judge you, and apparently smiling faces are often viewed as trustworthy, while angry-looking faces as untrustworthy.
Watch your body language and other nonverbal cues
It’s only natural to feel nervous when meeting new people, but of course we want to appear confident and strong – so in order to achieve that, make sure you adopt a confident pose: sit straight, keeping your spine erect and shoulders down, look forward, and “fake it ‘till you make it”! A slouched pose, with the head buried deep between your shoulders will just make you look like a scared tortoise and will not help your overall image.
Keep an eye out (or better, an ear) on how you speak: nervousness tends to make us increase (or decrease) the volume, or makes us talk so fast that people are having a hard time understanding what we want to say. Also, talking in a nice and friendly tone will always give you some extra image points!
And last but not least:
Nobody likes to talk to a person that always sees the bad side in everything and always complains. Try to keep critiques to a minimum (at least in this first meeting), and keep a relaxed and positive attitude toward things.