Meeting Someone New? How To Make A Good First Impression
Do you ever get nervous when you are meeting people for the first time? Perhaps you dwell too much on what could happen or what you might say, that you often don’t make a great first impression?
It can be really nerve-wracking when you have to meet new people, no matter what situation you are in. Whether it is a job interview, meeting your partner's parents or just new friends and strangers, it can be difficult to face whilst feeling nervous. Although it is natural to want to make a good impression, it can be hard to know how to do so. I am going to talk about how you can make a good impression, but first, let’s take a look at why we get so nervous when meeting new people.
Why Do We Get Nervous Meeting New People?
There can be many different reasons why we can get nervous, and it can vary for everyone. Whilst some people seem to be great at giving a good first impression and don’t feel nervous at all when meeting new people, for others, it can seem quite scary.
Here are a few reasons you may find it so difficult:
- You attach your self-worth to the outcome of the first meeting. This means that you put too much pressure on yourself. Plus, you may feel that if it goes wrong, it says something bad about you.
- You let your nerves take over. I know this is an obvious one, but when you let these feelings take over it can make matters much worse than they actually are.
- You forget that this is a two-way street. It’s easy to only focus on yourself when you feel nervous or anxious, but you have to remember that they are also meeting you for the first time (something we talk about a bit later).
- You let your imagination take over. If you are waiting outside for a job interview, and you are nervous you can start to imagine all the things that could go wrong, silly things you might say and how embarrassed you could feel. This does not help the situation and can be one of the main reasons you find meeting new people difficult.
How To Make A Good First Impression
To make it a little bit easier for you, here is a list of 6 things that you can do before and when you meet someone new.
1. Prepare Questions And Talking Points
Depending on the scenario, it can be a great idea to prepare your questions and things you are going to say, beforehand. This can be especially great if you are going to a job interview. This can then help you to be prepared for any random questions or talking points.
Preparing can also help you to have a clear understanding of your own thoughts and feelings, which can make it easier for you to navigate a conversation.
It can also help you to know what else you can talk about if any dull moments make an appearance. This is great when you are trying to give a good first impression.
2. Remember That Others Are Likely To Be Nervous Too
As mentioned previously, once you take all of the focus and pressure off yourself, you can start to see that it is not only you that may be nervous. Others who are meeting you are also trying to make a good impression. So, they could also be feeling the same as you.
Once you start to recognize this, it can help you to feel a little less nervous and more positive. This is because you can see that you are not the only one who is slightly worried about making a good first impression.
A lot of people are in the same boat as you are. So, try not to focus on your own anxieties and worries. Realize that more often than not, the people you are meeting also want to make a good first impression.
3. Pay Attention
When we are so focused on making a good first impression and not seeming nervous, we can sometimes lose focus on the most important thing: what the other person is saying.
Try and make sure that you are actually listening and paying attention to what the person is saying to you. This helps to keep the conversation going and not have moments where you do not know what to say.
Making sure that you seem passionate and interested in the conversation (even if you aren’t) is a great way to make a good first impression.
Smiling, even when forced, can have a very positive effect on how you and others around you feel.
Smiles have been shown to improve our attitude and also be contagious to the people around us. This helps everyone to feel positive and generally happier.
It can also make you seem more approachable, so smiling can help others to feel more comfortable when meeting you.
Even if you do not necessarily feel like smiling at first, do it anyway, as the feelings that you can get are still very real.
This can help you to feel much more positive about meeting new people.
5. Dress Your Best
How you dress can really improve or worsen your mood. When you are feeling low you may want to wear casual, comfortable clothes and not care much about your appearance. This probably would not be a great day to meet new people.
However, depending on the situation, the way that you dress and present yourself can really help you to make a good first impression. If you are for a job interview, make sure you have dressed appropriately and in a way that makes you feel confident, just like if you were meeting someone in a formal setting, make sure you are dressed formally.
However, make sure you dress how you feel comfortable and that it makes you feel confident too. This will help make it easier for you to make a good first impression.
6. Watch Your Body Language
Although you may not know it, your body language can really show a lot when you are meeting new people. There has been research showing that body language has four times more influence than anything you actually are saying when you meet someone for the first time.
This also includes eye contact, eye contact can show that you are more confident and interested in the conversation. When someone has good body language, eg. standing up tall, firm handshake and good eye contact, they can be seen as more confident, so this can help you to start feeling less nervous when making your first impressions.
Further reading: Learn How To Love Yourself: 20 Self-Love Tips
If you would like to make a good impression, it can also be great to look at ways to control your stress and anxiety, check out this stress and anxiety relief self-hypnosis and see if it can help you.