4 Ways To Make A Good First (And Lasting) Impression
What’s just as important as making a great first impression, is making a great lasting impression. This article tells you the four most important ways to help you make a great first and lasting impression in order to maximize your dating success.
1. Improve Your Appearance
Working to improve one’s appearance is always the first step people take toward preparing to date, and for a good reason. This is due to the simple fact that it shows you care about your appearance and the way you portray yourself to the world. Furthermore, when you feel good about yourself, you behave in a more positive manner. Just the simple acts of getting sunshine and exercise can make a positive change to brain chemistry. Other ways to improve your appearance include maintaining a healthy diet and limiting alcohol consumption.
2. Be In The Right Mindset
Human Attraction and Repulsion
Author Steven Dayan writes, “We are primitively hard-wired to be able to sense and detect danger, likability, and aggressiveness in others after tens of thousands years.” This explains why you may feel instantly at ease with a date as soon as the first “Hello” is exchanged, or contrarily, why you may feel a strange discomfort before he even opens his mouth. In other words, when you sense positive qualities, such as kindness, human attraction is built (whether romantic or platonic) and when you sense negative qualities, such as hostility, a repulsion to that person forms.
Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions drive your outer disposition, therefore having the ability to attract or repulse someone. Whether you realize it or not, you are portraying certain qualities through non-verbal action all of the time. Biological Anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher states, “90 percent of communication is non-verbal, that body posture, gestures and tone of voice are all signals that others pick up naturally and rapidly.”
Gestures, body language, and voice aside, we are all walking balls of energy. People can be viewed atomically as human chemicals, each person chemically reacting to one another. This is why attraction to (and repulsion) of certain individuals exist. And, this is why we are able to sense certain qualities or feel certain emotions in other people.
Improving Your Disposition
The placebo affect may be the answer for individuals wanting to improve their disposition, and therefore their first impression on people. The mind has the ability to change the chemistry and other physical functioning of the body. Dayan says, “There are simple actions people can take to alter the impression they project to others and in return how that impression changes the responses they receive. Project one signal, receive a certain response. Project a different, more “attractive” signal, get a more positive reaction.”
The way you view yourself can not only make you feel better, but consequently it can set off physiological and biochemical events that result in projecting that positive impression. Do you dislike the fact that you are shy and timid? Just the simple act of viewing yourself as being outgoing will allow you to feel more extroverted and therefore behave more extroverted.
Furthermore, when people are open, comfortable with themselves, and feel mutual trust, it allows human connection and romantic chemistry to take place more easily. This is because when a person is comfortable in their own skin, they are better able to express their true self to the world, which makes it easier to get to know them, even if perspectives on important matters differ.
3. Strive To Lead An Interesting Life
If you strive to become an interesting person, interesting dialogue should come naturally. My all-time favorite example of someone who strives to constantly be engaged in new and interesting endeavors is Tim Ferriss. You may know him as the author of the 4-Hour Workweek, the 4-Hour Body, and the 4-Hour Chef. He is a master of rapid skill acquisition and believes in being a “jack of all trades” and “master of many” rather than specializing in just one field. Think Da Vinci or Ben Franklin. As he puts it, “You are the one person that has to live with you 24/7. If you are not interesting even to yourself, something has to change.”
People have been shaped into thinking that we should be specialized in one very specific field. This has limited exploration and diversification. Ferriss says the jack of all trades maximizes his number of peak experiences in life and learns to enjoy the pursuit of excellence unrelated to material gain, all while finding the few things he is truly uniquely suited to dominate.
Mark Manson, one of my favorite bloggers, agrees with self-diversification. He explains it in a way where improving and maintaining your self-esteem is the focal point. He says, ”When you have money, it’s always smart to diversify your investments. That way if one of them goes south, you don’t lose everything. It’s also smart to diversify your identity, to invest your self-esteem and what you care about into a variety of different areas — business, social life, relationships, philanthropy, athletics — so that when one goes south, you’re not completely screwed over and emotionally wrecked.”
So, get out there and experience this wonderful world. Learn how to master cooking three amazing meals. Learn how to write flash-fiction. Learn how to speak Italian. Travel to Brazil and learn how to dance Samba. Whatever you are inclined to do, make time to do it. Not only will you feel more passion and thrill for life, it will make you a more interesting person.
4. Be A Good Conversationalist
I say conversationalist rather than listener because while listening is very important, it’s just as important to ask questions and contribute to what your date is saying. This shows you are (a) listening, understanding and (b) are capable of contributing to a conversation.
My favorite article on this topic is written by Neil Strauss and is called Learn The Rules Of The Game: Rule Five. He urges men to stop asking the same boring questions (ie: “What do you do for work?”) and to spend the first ten minutes of the conversation ‘telling stories and displaying your personality, until you’ve demonstrated enough positive qualities that she starts asking YOU the questions.” Storytelling is a great way to give insight into your life and showcase the type of activities you’re interested in.
A Final Note
As a huge advocator of continual self-improvement, I believe it’s important to push yourself. That may involve putting yourself in uncomfortable positions, and that’s okay. I believe that is the only way to truly grow as a person.
Last but not least, I urge you to simply have fun with the dating experience. Remember to relax and enjoy the opportunity to simply get to know another person, no matter the outcome.