Tough Love: Why You Suck at Meeting New People (and How to Fix It!)

Written by Angela Atkinson

Whether we like it or not, we judge one another every single day without even realizing it. Even the least judgmental of us forms some kind of impression of a person’s overall “vibe” the first time they meet.

It sucks that people judge one another so significantly on first impressions, but it’s an absolute fact that we’re stuck with – so why bitch about it?

You’ve got two choices, as far as I can tell.

1. Accept the fact that people just don’t like you when you first meet them. Maybe you’re the kind of person who just needs to “grow” on someone for awhile. If you’re cool with that, then you’re done here – I’m not going to be the one to judge you. 

2. Decide that you’re going to change your life right now and do it. Become the person you truly want to be – and  start by changing the way you present yourself. You’ve got to learn to make a truly unforgettable first impression – and while we’re at it, let’s go ahead make it kind of an irresistible one too. (Learn more about how to be irresistible!)

How to Make an Irresistible and Unforgettable First Impression

Accentuate Your Assets

Even if you reject the idea that you need to conform to society’s standards and feel strongly enough that you’re willing to trade the quality of your life for your beliefs, there’ll be times when you need to meet new people.

And when you do, what kind of impression do you make? Does it matter to you? I’ll bet that, at least sometimes, it does.

So, let’s do a quick First Impressions 101, shall we? Learn how to accentuate your assets so you can make your best impression each and every time.

Answer these questions to help you plan a positive and memorable first impression:

  1. Do you smile and make eye contact? Your facial expressions can be an asset or a liability. A real smile is seen all over your face. It shows not only by the shape of your mouth but through your eyes. Do you genuinely smile when you meet others? Much of the early impression you make is determined by how people remember the first time they meet you.
  1. What do you say? When you first meet someone, are you very quiet? Do you just say, “Pleased to meet you,” or do you chatter on incessantly about whatever’s on your mind at the moment?

Tip: Your social skills and ability to communicate SIGNIFICANTLY affect the impression you leave – how you come across when you first meet someone. Make your first verbal exchanges with people memorable. If one of your assets is that you can tell a good story, go ahead and tell one. Better yet – journal some of your best stories and review them before a social event so you can recall them easily when you need to impress. 

  1. What kind of vibe are you putting out there? Are you serious or funny? Do you look like you’re waiting for something to happen, like you want to fade into the wallpaper, or like the class clown? Your mood shows your personality to people and could make either a forgettable impression or a fantastic one that will precede you for years to come.
  1. Do you feel like you look good? Take a minute and be honest with yourself. How do you look? Not sure? Ask a trustworthy friend or family member – or if you’re really serious, consider a fashion consultant or coach. But honestly, in the majority of situations, there’s no need to be dressed in the most expensive or trendiest fashion. Just be sure you’re aware of your appearance and that your look is clean and well put together. Consider the details too: did you skip ironing your wrinkly shirt or hope that no one noticses that you didn’t shave? Maybe you didn’t plan ahead what you were going to wear to an event and just threw on the first thing you grabbed.

* If you’re neat, clean, and your clothes aren’t over 5 years old, you’re on the right track to making a positive impression. Just remember, your appearance counts. If you have beautiful green eyes, wear that emerald dress.

  1. What kind of effort do you make? When getting to know someone, do you ask specific questions of the person to show your interest? Try finding common ground by asking how they know the host or what they do for a living.
  1. What do you want people to remember? This might be the most insightful question of all. If you know the answer to this, you’ll be able to adjust your behaviors, mood, and appearance to give the impression you truly want to make. You can use your assets to make a well-considered statement about yourself.

One thing is for sure: all your life, you’ll have opportunities to meet new people and make an impression. Plan now to make the most of your assets. You just might be unforgettable.



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