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Think Of First Impressions Like A Mirror

Friday, October 2, 2017 | by Rachel Trainum

How much do first impressions actually matter? Could your first impression be a make or break moment for you?

When I first meet someone there are three things I notice almost immediately; teeth, height and facial expression.

In the book First Impressions: What You Don't Know About How Others See You by Ann Demarais and Valerie White is an instructional and educational tool to help you redefine the first impression you give.

Often first impressions are how we decide what we think of someone. For example, if someone has had a wonderful day and they banter back and forth with you, you may think them to be kind and friendly.

Now that same person has had a horrible day and when you meet them they give one word responses and have a closed posture. You will think of them as cranky or perhaps rude when they're really not.

The feelings you give off are likely to be projected back towards you according to the book and stick as a lasting memory in the persons mind. Impressions are memorable and the person might not forget it.

"An impression is important in the sense that there is a retained remembrance."

First impressions also include the attitude or personality that comes across when meeting someone. But let's not forget about the first impression you leave to others.

Interactions can be affected by four different types of emotions according to White and Demarais:

  1. How you feel about yourself
  2. How you feel about the other person
  3. How the other person feels about you
  4. How the other person feels about himself or herself

When evaluating yourself and the impression you leave, authors Demarais and White suggest thinking about this question. How are you presenting yourself to be to everyone you meet?

In business those impressions can come from the conversation after the hello, the type of handshake you use or even if you're smiling.

Identify your behaviors and if they need to be changed to improve your lasting impressions. Don't let something small ruin a networking event, sale or even business partnership.

You have the tools to create the best first impression.

Ultimately, think of your first impression as a mirror. What you give will be reflected back at you, and you never forget a bad impression like you never forget a bad hair day.

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