On the one hand, it is entirely correct to behave in a way that never gives much consideration to a person’s perception of you, particularly if that person is someone you are unlikely to ever see again or only see in a certain capacity. This attitude takes confidence, and if this sounds like you, you are to be commended on your personal self-worth and positive mental attitude.
On the other hand, however, it would be naïve to assume that first impressions count for nothing; the fact of the matter, however disagreeable this fact may be, is that a person’s first impression of another will stay with them through the entirety of their relationship, be that a five-second conversation in a shop queue or a marriage celebrating thirty years.
There is a multitude of ways to express your personality through your fashion and style choices, either in small changes to your outward appearance or larger, more permanent ones such as tattoos and piercings. However, fashion is probably one of the most important ways to control your first impression. Expressing yourself through fashion can be as enjoyable as you make it, and the most important rule is…well, that there are no rules.
Personal style and fashion are all about dressing for yourself and ignoring trends or certain looks that you have no interest in.
It is also incredibly important to remember the following two unfortunate facts about ‘fast fashion’:
- Social media, although possessing its own kind of benefits, is exceedingly poisonous when it comes to setting unrealistic expectations of body image and body size. Furthermore, it is vital to remember that the vast majority of social media photographic posts are photoshopped to within an inch of their lives and that often the real picture bears little to no resemblance to the posted one.
- Internet-based fast fashion clothes outlets have frustratingly lackadaisical commitments to sizing, and again this promotes a dangerously devastating body image to their customers.
There is no denying that your choice of aftershave or perfume will automatically and naturally draw certain comparisons in your mind and will trigger specific memories and associations. What you have probably not considered (and, well, frankly, why should you?) is how your choice of fragrance can have a positive or a negative impact on the people around you and how a scent can control people’s perceptions of you and your personality.
Naturally, and quite rightly, the fragrance an individual chooses to wear should not be influenced by what other people think. What cannot be denied, however, is the scent you choose to identify with yourself will convey a certain, if only subliminal, message to others about who you are as a person.
When experimenting with different perfumes to discover a signature scent that you feel correctly and creatively conveys your personality, the most cost-effective and exciting way is to treat yourself to a luxury scent box that can be delivered monthly on a subscription.
Your Body Language
Your body language is one of the most influential elements in creating the right kind of first impression, whether to potential business associates, new friends, or when on a date. If you ensure your posture is open and inviting, you will naturally appear to be an open and appealing person.
Eye contact is absolutely crucial, but you must strike a balance between engaging every member of the group you are meeting without overtly staring and coming across as a bit of a lunatic. Posture is another important factor in portraying your personality and who you are as a person to others and ensure you are open and relaxed.
When engaging in conversation with someone whom you are meeting for the very first time, to create the right first impression, you should choose your words wisely and ensure you are not being overly opinionated on controversial issues such as politics and religion.
Although conversation and dialogue are an intricate dance that is, on the whole, usually improvised, there are certain elements that you may wish to keep in mind if seeking to make a strong first impression with your initial conversations and oral interactions with new people. These elements include, but are categorically not limited to:
- Listening – Giving someone your attention and being genuinely involved in what they have to say essentially shows them that they are worthy of your time and subsequently enhances their confidence around you.
- Relaxing – Moments of quiet calm in an otherwise busy working or socializing day are always welcomed by everyone. Resist the urge to be highly energized in conversation, especially when that is not who you really are or how you truly feel. Let your body language open up, allow your speech to slow down, and essentially strive to put people at ease around you.
- Positivity – A person’s general attitude shines through in everything they do and intimately reveals their emotions, desires, and personality. A positive mental attitude is one that will naturally be picked up on by old and new friends alike and will greatly affect the way another person perceives them.
Your Real You
Twee, perhaps, and slightly trite, but the bottom line when desiring to make a good first impression is to simply be yourself and let your natural personality shine through. If you are a naturally shy person, never feel the need to put on a confident, brashy facade and, conversely, if you are a naturally confident, perhaps even arrogant and particularly self-assured person, don’t waste time trying to ‘reel yourself in’ to become more attractive and acceptable to others.
People are attracted to people who are genuine, so frankly, no matter what you are wearing, what fragrance you smell of, how you are standing, and what you are talking about, just be yourself. If the person you have just met loves you, then brilliant.
And if they hate you, well, quite frankly, that’s their loss!