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Meryl Hartstein Headshot

How to Make a Good First Impression

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When we meet someone for the first time, it's natural for our guard to be up. We automatically size them up with our eyes. We subconsciously check out their attire, their accessories, how they style their hair. We even go as far as to check out their nails, teeth and hairline. This is all a learned behavior, something embedded in us from our role models. What a nasty way to behave. It's almost embarrassing, if you think about it too much.

We need to be aware of this in order to change it and open ourselves up to people. What we give is what we get. This competitive nature is not healthy. We all excel in different ways, and that's what makes us unique. To feel that you are better than another person is to have a false sense of superiority.

When meeting someone for the first time, search deeper than what the eye sees. Sometimes, a person who is lacking confidence and self-worth will put up a front only to hide their lack of self-belief. That front will only come across as cocky and condescending. We will automatically dislike this person for those reasons. I believe that there really isn't anyone who is truly like this without feeling low self-esteem. There are exceptions, such as a narcissist.

When I meet someone, I make sure to open myself up to them. I keep my walls down. I have learned to reach out with open arms. Sometimes, it can take some time to break down their wall, but with a little patience, it can be done. and it will benefit both of you. It's not important to impress people with a false attitude; it's much more impressive to be real and welcoming.

It doesn't take much to give a compliment to someone who could really use one. That is a great way to break the ice. Also, finding a commonality works like a charm. If you see something that you share with that person, a similar item they have on, a favorite food or even a comment on the weather, it also helps to make the other person feel comfortable.

Next time you meet someone for the first time, try searching their eyes instead of their handbag and shoes.

Give them an unexpected hug instead of a handshake. Let them see your warmth and caring. You will receive it back and so much more. People will see you as a role model. They will pass on what you gave them. If we could all stop judging people, we would all be so much happier.