IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION. THAT’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD, WHICH MEANS ENSURING YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE A SLOB, SMELL LIKE A DUMPSTER, AND SOUND LIKE A JACKASS. READ ON TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE SURE THE FIRST IMPRESSION YOU MAKE IS A LASTING, POSITIVE ONE.
1. LOOK THE PART
A big part of making a good impression comes from feeling relaxed and confident in your own skin, but you don’t want to be too comfortable. Even if you typically shower every third day and haven’t had your hair combed since they checked for lice in elementary school, maybe take the time to spruce up your image. That doesn’t mean becoming a completely different person and wearing a tuxedo when you’re more of a T-shirt and sneakers kind of guy, but make sure you put on clean clothes and take care of basic hygiene.
2. TAKE A HINT
When carrying on a conversation, stick with innocuous topics but make sure they aren’t so banal as to shut down the dialogue. “The weather is nice” is boring enough to draw a response of “Excuse me, but I believe I’m late for a root canal.” On the other hand, “You wouldn’t believe what I just did in that bathroom!” is not a great icebreaker. Try to comment on what’s going on around you, ask about recent trips, their children or other topics devoid of land mines. Emily Post suggests never discussing politics or religion at parties, and the same goes for first chats with someone you’ve never met. If you’re in doubt about what to discuss, perhaps share some of the other skills you’ve learned from this book. Nothing gets a conversation going faster than “Hey, did you know I can hotwire your car?”
3. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE
In the end, the secret to making a good impression is to be yourself. Overanalyzing every question someone asks you and trying to contort yourself into the person you think he or she wants you to be will most likely lead you to act like a weird robot whom nobody wants to spend time with. Relax, have fun, and remember— they’re probably just as nervous about meeting you as you are meeting them.
This post was derived from “The Official Handybook for Men” by James Ellis. For more handy tips, you can purchase the book from our online store.