People who we meet for the first time decide whether they like us or not, as well as which things we are capable of, even before we start to speak. It happens subconsciously, sometimes in less than a second. It’s this first impression that is so hard to change later.
We at Bright Side found out what conclusions people make about each other within the first seconds of meeting. Keep this information in mind because it can help you impress your new acquaintances.
1. Can people trust you?
Our brain takes only 0.1 second to calculate whether it’s worth trusting a stranger or not. Scientists from Princeton University figured out some interesting things during an unusual experiment. The first group of people were shown photos of strangers in 0.1 second, while the second group of people had an unlimited time to study those photos. Both groups were supposed to choose which people in the photos were trustworthy and which were not. Surprisingly the choices of both groups matched.
The conclusion is simple: your new friend subconsciously decides whether he will trust you or not before you say a word.
2. How available are you?
Here is how Kayla Hylton, an employee of a tattoo parlor, commented on the results of the research (the photos of Kayla’s tattoos were part of the experiment): “In my opinion, tattoos are a really big commitment. If you are able to commit to having something on you for the rest of your life, I don’t see a problem committing to someone else for the rest of your life.” That sounds fair. Nevertheless, we should admit that stereotypes in society are quite strong and sometimes it’s better to hide your tattoos under clothes, especially if you want to make a good impression on someone.
3. How prone are you to leadership?
Bald men can rejoice — they come across as strong-willed personalities with leadership skills that are able to manage people and their surroundings. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania found this out during an experiment where they were showing photos of bald and hairy men to a group of volunteers. The participants considered the bald men to be more courageous, dominant, tall, and strong. However, participants thought they were 4 years older than their actual age.
This effect relates only to completely bald men. Those who have partially started to lose hair are out of this group. So if a man with bald patches wants to appear more dominant, he should shave his head completely.
4. How successful are you?
If you want to make the impression of a successful man, put on a suit that fits your body perfectly. The best option is a suit tailored individually for you. People in your surroundings notice details like proper and precise tailoring and how comfortable you seem. From this they draw conclusions about your success. This was discovered by a group of scientists from Great Britain and Turkey.
Surprisingly, women in short skirts and blouses with deep cuts are perceived as employees with a lower status more so than ladies that follow the dress-code and wear more conservative clothing. Scientists attribute this to the fact that more conservative body language has historically been associated with power. The representatives of ruling structures have always worn modest clothes.
5. How confident are you?
Shaking hands also helps people draw appropriate conclusions about you. According to psychologists, a good handshake is one that is quite strong, not too long or fast, done while looking into the eyes of your opponent.
A strong, palm-gripping handshake is perceived as a sign of aggression, a desire to dominate, and hints at the fact that you are a dangerous competitor. A handshake that is too weak is a signal that you aren’t interested in communication and that you are weak-willed. A handshake that is too quick signals that you want to finish it ASAP and denotes nervousness and self-doubt. If you want to show your unique attitude and gain trust, shake the hand of your opponent with both hands. They will remember you as a pleasant and honest person.
6. How conscientious are you?
The appropriateness and state of your shoes can affect both your career and personal life. The director of Sydney’s Raw Fashion Agency, Faith Agugu, says, “If I meet someone and see that their shoes are unclean and scruffy, then I know it’s not going to happen. If a man doesn’t take care of his shoes, why would he take care of me? I also evaluate the shoes of potential business partners at our meetings and it helps me understand whether I want to do business with them or not.”
Shoes can tell a lot about our age, social status, level of income, and even emotional stability. This fact was discovered during a scientific experiment at the University of Kansas. Psychologists handed out photos of 208 pairs of shoes to 63 students and asked them to form conclusions about the people who wear them. The interviewed were sure that classic and clean shoes (even if they were not new) say that the owner is conscientious and responsible. Stylish and expensive shoes show status and stability. Bright and unusual shoes, according to the participants, belong to extroverts. If the shoes were new, ultra-trendy or puffy, it was said to be a signal that you could be suffering from anxiety, a strong wish to impress others and an obsession with the way you look.
7. How adventurous are you?
According to the participants, an energetic and firm manner of walking denotes extroversion, propensity to want to adventure, and purposefulness. These people always get what they want but sometimes they might seem cold and inaccessible. So, if you usually walk at a fast pace, it’s better to slow a little down and adjust to the pace of the person you are with.
People with a slower and difficult manner of walking that keep slouching all the time are perceived as reserved, passive, and shy. Those who have a jerky manner of walking show their nervousness. So, if you want to impress someone, keep your shoulders broad, and walk straight and confidently.
Surprisingly, conclusions people make within the first seconds of their meeting can be wrong. A person who walks at a slow pace doesn’t necessarily love traveling less than the one with a quick walking pace. Nevertheless, keep in mind those signals that your body and appearance subconsciously send to your partner when getting ready for an important meeting.
Are your first impressions about people usually right or wrong? What do you usually pay attention to when meeting a person for the first time? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!