There are no second chances for first impressions

Making a good first impression plays a key role, whether one is looking to get a job, make a business contact, form friendships or find romance. It is a part of our nature to form snap judgements about someone upon first meeting them – this judgement influences our future interactions with them. A good judgement will prompt a favourable interchange going forward and vice versa. We get to make only one first impression so we need to make it count.

What are snap judgements based on?

There are a number of key factors that come into play when forming judgements on others including facial shape and general emotional state. Once these first judgements are formed, it is difficult to overturn them, even when confronted with compelling evidence to do so.

A Lenstore study sheds some interesting light on the important factors that matter when we form a perception of others. Appearance is a significant characteristic no matter if it is in a work environment (25 per cent), social context (24 per cent), or a romantic relationship (32 per cent).

Further results from the study shed light on what physical appearance attributes, in particular, contributed to the most attractive qualities. On the list of most attractive qualities including good posture, smart clothes and good eye contact, 27 per cent of respondents found those who smile a lot. Smiling a lot also ranked as a top factor when it came to perceiving trustworthiness (15 per cent), creativity (11 per cent) and confidence (23 per cent). 

Such positive associations with smiling a lot may be one of the reasons why more and more adults with natural teeth missing are turning to dental implants Windsor to help them display a more pleasing smile. 

The British Dental Association supports the value of a healthy smile, espousing its day-to-day benefits that include boosting confidence and influencing the quality of life through relationships and work life.

Best ways to encourage a positive first impression

In addition to lots of smiles and good eye contact, there are plenty of other ways to secure a positive first impression.

Context matters when making a first impression. One’s style of clothing and type of body language will need to adapt to the occasion. A job interview, for example, will necessitate more formal wear than a date with a love interest.

Sitting up straight, shoulders back, feet flat on the floor, uncrossed arms and open palms are common body language signs that indicate a positive, confident attitude when interviewing for a job.

Positive body language cues are just as important in social contexts. It is important to remember to keep one’s head up, refrain from fidgeting, and nod to indicate listening, attentiveness and engagement.

Granted, getting to know someone – their true personality and capabilities – takes time. But when it comes to meeting strangers, all one has to form a judgement of whether to avoid them or get to know them better is their physical features, clothing, body language and speech. This means that even though it shouldn’t really, physical appearance does count when it comes to forming first impressions.