Mirror Magazine


Creating that all- important first impression...
By Ishani Ranasinghe
You walk into a room to meet someone new. Her eyes bore into you. You know that this person is judging you. From the minute you walked in, even before you open your mouth, you are being judged. Your style, personality, looks, everything is judged in that brief encounter.

You are not alone if this leaves you feeling very uncomfortable and wondering whether the first impression you created was indeed a good one.

First impressions are an important part of our day-to-day lives. They can sometimes make or break your first meeting with someone. What happens during that first moment can affect the rest of the relationship. How many times have you heard, "When I first met him..." or "The first time I saw you I thought...?" How often do you find yourself baffled, bewildered or even hurt because the response you elicit from others is different from the one you had hoped for? Blame it on first impressions.

When you first enter a room, an office, or a business meeting, you only have one free moment, one fleeting instant in which you receive the complete and undivided attention of those around you. In that instant, the people observing decide whether you are a threat or an attraction, whether you are of interest to them or not. In most cases, people make the vital decision about a stranger in less time than what it takes to blink an eyelash. If you mess-up that moment, you have to work awfully hard for the next.

Every relationship - whether personal or business - starts with a first impression. The right body language and conversation takes just seconds to set the stage for a winning impression.

If it is in an interview, the first impression we create could be what makes us get that job we dreamed about or have it denied to us. The impression you create could well be the all-important factor in the whole meeting that gives you the edge.

The interviewer makes a judgment on you within the first two or three minutes. The rest of the time is spent filtering information. If there is a negative first impression, the rest of the time the interviewer is likely to pick up any other negative vibes as well. Thankfully, the reverse is also true. If the first impression is good, the interviewer will only see the positive.

It is the same when you are going out and meeting new people or someone special. They tend to look at you and start judging you the minute they see you. Everyone hates being judged, but that is reality and even though we hate it, we have to admit even we are guilty of doing the same thing.

Here are a few tips from etiquette experts on how to create positive first impressions:

When getting ready to meet someone for the first time, how you act and dress depends on who you want to impress.

You first have to ask yourself what you would like to project, which qualities in you that you would like others to identify.

It is also important that you should be sincere about what you project; never be superficial. People have the instinct for telling if a person is faking it.

Let's face it, we live in a society where how you look counts.

Whether it's fair or not, a person's first judgment of the other is based on clothing. Beauty and personality come second. Clothing is the first clue absorbed by the eye before the brain judges first impressions.

It's unrealistic to suppose that everyone has the patience to wait for you to open your mouth before making a judgment. But the clothes you wear create a first impression.

It is always important to look your best so you feel confident about the impression you are making. Be able to carry off what you are wearing and always be well groomed. Never be careless with your clothes.

Keep in mind the way you treat yourself is the impression that someone has of how you will treat them.

You make your best real-world impression by being calmly and confidently yourself. Try to enjoy the nervous energy you are feeling. Have fun. Remember to smile. People are perceived as more attractive when they are having a good time.

To help create a good first impression in an interview, find out the appropriate dress standards at the company you wish to work and then dress one notch above.

Act and feel confident. Get plenty of sleep and take care of your body (shower, hair, shave, etc.). As you do these things, you are able to create a positive frame of mind and confidence comes easier

Just keep in mind: Cleanliness, being up-to-date, polished, and looking good are the words we want in your vocabulary when you fix yourself up for that first meeting.

Your manner of communication is also important. Your body language, tone of voice and manner in which you speak is all going to be taken into consideration.

It is also important that you should always be polite, and have a good understanding of what you are saying. Avoid using slang or inappropriate language.

Listen as much as you talk. Show interest in the other person. Be confident, but also geniune. Make eye contact. By doing this we are showing that we really do care about what the other person is saying and that we have nothing to hide. Connect.

It is also important that you should never be over confident. Be less-than perfect. Regardless of the style you choose or the language you use to express yourself, be careful not to extol your own virtues to the point of boredom, or even suspicion. No one can be that perfect. Your minor faults and charming inconsistencies make you human, interesting and approachable.

Are first impressions people create always accurate? Not necessarily. Many people admit that the impression they form in their minds about someone at times has ended up being very wrong. This is why many people tend not to believe in the concept of creating a good first impression. But no matter what is said and done, the first impression that you created in a person's mind sticks with them, and changing that is no easy task.

They all say that everyone deserves a second chance, but when it comes to impressions, one chance is all you get and you have to make good use of that chance.

How much does it matter?
So do we all really believe in first impressions being all important?

Tatiyana (21):- I do take first impressions quite seriously but, the key is to give the person the benefit of the doubt and leave room for your first impressions to change, if necessary.

Radika(19): - Yeah I believe in first impressions. I think most of the time it is right, especially when it comes to my friends. Girls? Nah, they fake it most of the time.

Thara (39):-First impressions are everything, so it is important that you make a good first impression. However, this is not strictly correct because someone who doesn't appear friendly initially can turn out to be quite the opposite.

Dushi(20): - Well, I guess first impressions are important. But then, it is hard to judge a person on that because most of the time it is fake.

Denu(17):- No way! First impressions are never right, unless that person doesn't know that he or she is being judged, which is so impossible.

Shehan(22):- I know most of us don't really believe in first impressions. But in my case, I believe them to be true to a certain extent. No, I don't have a different attitude when it comes to girls and guys.

Kushlani(21): - I don't know ! I am pretty good at judging people. The first impressions I form of people are most of the time right. So...I believe in it.

Nishani(19):- First impressions? Interesting. No I don't really believe in it. But then come to think of it, I do judge people.

Mekala (25):- I don't go by it. I guess it influences me a little. I need time to get to know someone, so I really don't go by my first impression.

Kushan(26): - I don't know. Don't you think it's unfair to judge a person like that? Come on, we hate it, so imagine how others feel.

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