From first date to first interview and everything in between – the stress of making a good first impression is all too real. Even for the most social butterflies, meeting someone new can so often be stressful. We want to be charming, friendly and witty, but can never be quite sure how our new acquaintance will view us. However, if you think you have no control over the first impression you’re making, think again! Read on for five simple ways to put your best foot forward and make a great (and lasting) impression.

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Dress to impress.

Wear the outfit that makes you feel amazing, no double-stick tape, safety pins, yanks or tugs necessary. The outfit you can walk in, dance in, breathe in – even after the dessert course. There’s nothing quite like the perfect outfit to keep your confidence soaring, but keep in mind: comfort is key. Opt for a comfortable shoe, save your toes the blisters, and plan to wear those 4-inch block heels on the second date.

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Watch your body language.

It’s probably no surprise that our body language often speaks louder than our words. Think about what types of body language rub you the wrong way when you’re on the receiving end. For example, no one likes to be mid-conversation with someone only to catch them glancing over your shoulder, checking their email or peeking at the time. When meeting someone new, remember to be present. And perhaps keep your phone tucked in your purse.

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Make purposeful small talk.

Show of hands: how many of you have been in a conversation with someone new and unavoidably turned to fail-safe small talk? (Guilty as charged.) The moment you both run out of things to say, most of us automatically fill the uncomfortable silence with commentary on the food or weather. Consider turning the conversation instead to more personal topics, like a favorite movie they’ve seen lately or what they enjoy doing on the weekends. Then…

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Dive deeper.

Ask questions that matter, encourage them to elaborate, let them know you’re listening – and then, of course, actually listen. Having a genuine curiosity about another person’s life gives them the confidence to open up a bit more. And on the other end, make sure your own responses are more than just bare bones. Don’t just answer what you do for a living. Share why you chose that career, the people you enjoy working with; maybe even ask for advice. Giving them a few personal details of your own will open the door to a more meaningful conversation. Just try to remember the two big don’t’s here: no complaining, and no over-sharing. This is only the first impression, after all.

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Relax and remember: you’re probably not the only one who’s anxious.

Chances are, whoever is on the other side of the table is just as nervous as you. So be yourself, break out a smile, and have confidence in the fact that first impression anxiety comes from both sides. If you’re comfortable, you will definitely make the other person more comfortable. And one surefire way to leave a good impression is to leave them feeling good about themselves!

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14 comments
  1. 1
    Steph (Nourish ME) (@stephhartley4) | May 3, 2016 at 7:07 am

    I always forget about how important bod language is and it makes me appear to be cold rather than anxious as I really am. This is definitely something I want to start working on!

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    Reply
    • Emily B. | May 3, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Girl, no worries…I’m still a work in progress myself! 😉

      Reply
  2. 2
    Kelly | May 3, 2016 at 8:35 am

    The last one sure is the one too keep in mind. I am not the only one anxious! I still thinking why do we have to behave? Do everyone have to love us?

    Reply
    • Emily B. | May 3, 2016 at 10:39 am

      What a great thought to remember! Awesome insight, Kelly!

      Reply
  3. 3
    ujjaini | May 3, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I always get into that awkward moment after we have run out of conversations about weather. I think I need to make a small cheat sheet to cover me up there 🙂

    http://www.myhappynook.com

    Reply
    • Emily B. | May 3, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Don’t we all! 😉 Good idea, thanks so much for sharing!

      Reply
  4. 4
    Amber Renee | May 3, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Hello!

    I’m also a blogger. I blog about art/lifestyle and diy mostly. I was searching for beautiful style blogs that I enjoy so that I can expand my blog community. <3

    I'm looking for any blog-community building advice you could offer as well! I think it's more tough when one has their own domain; it's standalone from the community. I've heard of bloggers promoting content through blog listings like bloglovin', as well as sites where you can earn promotional opportunities for having good content content like Advowire (https://advowire.com//users/profile/new?referral_code=AW36707). Do you use any of these sites to promote content or to collaborate with other bloggers? Do you know of other sites/resources you'd like to recommend?

    Thank you so much for reading! Hope to hear from you. xox

    Reply
  5. 5
    samanthacsuarez | May 3, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Love this post.. such a great reminder!

    sam
    http://www.samanthasuarez.com

    Reply
  6. 6
    Diana | May 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    These are great tips, your 1st impression matters so much. Thanks for sharing!

    Diana | http://thechicdiary.com/blog/5/5/2016-girlboss-modern-home-office-and-work-space-inspiration

    Reply
  7. 7
    Anne | May 7, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    I like your images that come with the tips. I haven met people for over a decade! Since I became a mum, it’s terrible I know

    Reply
  8. 8
    Ella | May 9, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    very true about small talk

    Reply
  9. 9
    Aleda Johnson | May 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Small talk has always been my weakness!

    Reply
  10. 10
    Tina McCann | May 28, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Talk about thing that REALLY matter and forget the small talk except when 1st meeting. Example, (small talk) So, does your family live here? Do you have siblings, if so how many, sister’s brother’s? After a while you can start talking about things that matter to you. Play the game you tell me 10 personal things about yourself, I’ll guess which ones are true/which ones are false, then I’ll do the same. In the end both people must know 10 true things about eachother-10 things that are important/personal/give the person ideas/information about the other persons charater etc…

    Reply
  11. 11
    La Deutsche Diva | July 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

    This is a great article! I recently used #1 in a feature with navabi. It’s an oldie but goodie. We get so caught up in looking good, sometimes we forget the key to looking good is FEELING good too.

    xoxo,

    La Deutsche Diva
    http://www.ladeutschediva.com
    ? Deutsch ? Englisch ?

    Reply
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