The ability to make a great first impression is a valuable
life skill that can help you to have all you want in life –
in business and socially.
As you improve your people skills you can expect greater
happiness, more success and an abundance of opportunities
for personal growth. That is, once you have identified and
eliminated the most common barriers to great conversation.
Let´s identify the five common mistakes people make when
meeting new people.
1. Trying too hard to be liked
Although we all want to be liked, ironically, the worst way
to win approval is to desperately need it. When you are too
needy it repels people. They sense that you do not value
yourself and as a result they are more likely to treat you
Thankfully there is a solution. The more you love and
approve of yourself the more others will tend to like you.
People reflect back what you feel about yourself so make a
point of building your self-esteem and notice the positive
change in how pleased people are to meet you.
2. Pretending to be something you are not
In our efforts to impress new people it can be tempting to
suddenly reinvent ourselves so as to make a good first
impression. This tactic rarely works because it is very
difficult to project a false persona unless you are a very
Very often all that happens is that you feel tense and
under pressure to play the role you have invented while the
other person is unable to trust you. Invariably you fail to
make a good first impression and even risk making a fool of
It is far better to be natural and to express your true
personality. When you do so with confidence others will be
much more likely to accept and like you for who you really
Think about it.
It is much easier to like and respect someone who is
genuine and honest about who they are. In fact being
authentic is one of the most attractive qualities you can
3. Prejudging the other person
We all do it at times. We take one look at someone and
decide before even talking to him what kind of person he is.
Call it mind reading if you like but making such
assumptions and pre judements can severely affect how much
fun you have meeting new people.
This attitude can stop you from approaching people, cause
you to miss out on making new friends and make it difficult
for new people to get your undivided attention when getting
to know you.
A more practical approach is to allow each person the
opportunity to speak before you decide what the person is
all about. And make sure to switch off your assumptions for
a moment to really listen to what is being said.
4. Talking too much and not listening
Sometimes because of nerves it can be tempting to keep
talking to ensure there are no awkward silences. The
trouble with this habit is that eventually you stop
listening when the other person is speaking because you use
that times to think of what to say next.
Let the other person share the load. Give her an
opportunity to lead the conversation, listen closely to
what is said and then develop the conversation based on
what she has contributed.
When you do this, meeting new people is a lot less
stressful — making conversation becomes a team effort
rather than a struggle to keep talking.
5. Letting the other person control the conversation
When you meet someone for the first time it is reasonable
to expect some breaks in the conversation until you
discover topics of common interest.
Remaining passive during these pauses means waiting for the
other person to either drive the conversation forward or
end it. If you adopt this attitude you are giving up
control of the conversation.
Take back control. You can do this in two ways: either ask
questions to move the dialogue along or be adventurous and
introduce new topics of conversation. You will be more
relaxed when you notice how much control you really have.
And if all else fails bear in mind it is also your choice
whether to continue or wrap up the conversation.
Start acting on these five key distinctions today and
notice how much easier and more enjoyable it can be meeting
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