I boast to people about how quickly I know upon meeting someone if I like them or not. The first impression is the best impression you have on someone. After that, you will spend a lot of time getting to know them, only to realize what you knew all along was true about them.
How do you do this?
- Trust your instincts!
- This is a no-brainer. You must be aware of how your body reacts to meeting someone. Do you feel edgy or warm? Are you immediately attracted to their personality. Does this gaze seem genuine? Does the hair on the back of your neck stand up like a giant “Watch out for this person” statement? You can determine all this in seconds.
- Look at their eyes
- Making eye contact is the best way to peer into someone’s soul without really trying. If they hold their gaze, it means they are interested in making a connection. Averting eyes could be a cultural habit, or it could mean the person is flakey or insecure. But if that person makes and maintains eye contact, chances are pretty good that they are in control and confident where they stand.
- Do they speak quickly or slowly?
- Being a very astute observer of human behaviour, I’ve come to learn that slow speakers can be the most thoughtful, calculated people out there. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Quick speakers also have sharp minds but sometimes come off as being boisterous whether they intend to or not. I have a mix of folks in my close circle. You really need to look at the whole package.
- Is the person an active listener or just talking for the sake of it?
- One of my biggest pet peeves about people is when they start talking about themselves more than asking questions about me when they first meet me. I find this comes off very arrogant, especially to introverted people. Talking for the sake of filling dead air can come very naturally to people who are uncomfortable with silence. I find those people to be more anxious and stressed than people who just speak slowly or say very few words at all.
- Another offshoot of this is, does that person keep their word or do they come up with a lot of excuses to back out of things on a frequent basis?
- Is their handshake firm or limp and clammy?
- Firm handshakes are generally a good sign of confidence in a person. I find that quality very endearing because I like people who are decisive and in control. A vice grip comes off hostile. A limp and clammy handshake, which I call a dead fish handshake, is the opposite where I don’t believe the person to be in control or be very superficial.
None of my above observations are based on any sort of psychology degree, just what I’ve gathered over the years. It’s very easy for me to figure out where I stand on people within the first minute or two of meeting them. I’ve never really been proven wrong about a person yet. When I doubt what I sense is when I’ll end up getting disappointed. Trust your instincts!
Do you have any tricks that you keep in mind when you are meeting someone for the first time? What traits are important for you to find?
Thanks for reading!