Whenever we meet a new person, we always form an opinion about them in a matter of seconds. This is something we cannot easily control. And it is even more difficult to control what others will think of us. This article talks about 3 techniques to help you when meeting a person for the first time.
See your opinion as wrong
When you meet a person, you always form an opinion about them just from the first look. You do not even wait to listen to them. Most of the time, this happens automatically. Ideally, you would be able to control this natural tendency and not make premature judgments.
However, this is a lot of work. It is never easy to change a subconscious habit. To explain that, you can think of smoking. You may be able to quit smoking because, in a way, you do it consciously. But this is not the case for subconscious judgments. Things are more delicate there.
So if you want to control those judgments, you can start with an effort to change them. Fortunately, there is an easy way to do that. This is to consider your initial opinion wrong. By default, your first impressions can never be right because they never cover the full picture; there are so much you do not know about a single person. Just think and see.
So you go ahead and make a judgment about new people as you have always done. However, now, because you understand this opinion is incorrect, you are open to change it. This is the first step to controlling your own first impressions about people.
Mirroring can help
If controlling your own impressions is difficult, then affecting other’s first judgments of you can be even more challenging. Fortunately, there are different techniques that you can use to make others like you.
One of the most important methods to create better impressions is called “mirroring”. It refers to copying the body language of the other person. This includes the way they move, the facial expressions they make, the words they use, or even the clothes they wear.
If you consciously notice how the other person behaves and talks, you can then imitate or copy certain aspects of their behavior. This will immediately make them like you. And the funny part is they may not even know why they like you. What is more, you can use that technique in various situations, even if it is not about meeting new people.
Use a person’s name
Another technique you can use when you first meet a person is to use their name. To be specific, in their book about body language, Allan and Barbara recommend that you use a person’s name twice in the first 15 seconds.
This may sound weird but it seems to work. We live in a world where services get more and more automatized and impersonal. People appreciate a humane touch and they are even looking for it sometimes. Using their name can be a first step to fill this gap in our interactions.
At the same time, repeating their name also display you are a good listener. When you make the other person understand that you listen to what they say, they will like you. Of course, balance is key and you do not want to use their name in every phrase.
- If you consider your initial opinion toward a person wrong, then there are more chances you will be able to see the other person the way they are and not the way you think they are. It is one of the first steps to remove your biases.
- Mirroring somebody’s body language can make them like you
- A great way to break the ice and make the other periods feel familiarity is to use a person’s name twice in the first 15 seconds after meeting them.