5 Fatal Mistakes That Spoil a First Impression

It takes just seven seconds for a person to form a first impression. In that short space of time, a person can do or say something whose negative consequences might not be possible to correct for seven years.

Bright Side has prepared a list of unforgivable mistakes that most people make when they get acquainted with new people.

1. You tell lies

Lying is bad, and all secrets eventually become known. We all learn this fundamental truth in childhood. But all of us have told the occasional lie. During a job interview, for instance, many of us boast of nonexistent achievements, or maybe we have embellished facts during a date. And we did so to our own detriment!

When you talk honestly about things that don't frame you in the most positive light, and when you admit your mistakes and deny gaps in your knowledge, you're opening yourself up. The person you're talking to will begin to take you for an honest and reliable individual. This can create a strong sense of trust.

Remember: relationships begun on the basis of honesty are always stronger than those founded on deception.

2. You try too hard

Even if your future depends on this meeting, even if you're at an interview for your dream job, even if it's the first meeting with your partner's parents, don't try too hard.

If you appear too intelligent or cool, the person you're talking to might interpret your behavior as insincere boasting.

The result might be that they're reluctant to continue talking to you. Open up gradually to people until you feel they're ready to accept you as you are.

3. You're too open

Sometimes a person seems likable from the moment you first see them, and you want to be as open and honest with them as you can in response. You feel like telling them your life story and sharing your most private thoughts and feelings. But doing this when you first get to know someone is definitely not a good idea.

Firstly, you don't know what that new person's life is really like or anything about their dreams, cares, and principles. If you talk too much about your personal life without learning anything about theirs, you can find things get awkward.

Secondly, if you reveal something that should really be kept a secret, you'll come across as lacking in maturity and seriousness.

4. You're scared of pauses

Pauses in conversation with someone you've only just met are entirely normal. Of course, silence can seem awkward, but long conversations about nothing are even more awkward. As are inappropriate jokes.

You'll agree that it can be very tiring to engage with someone who seems to expect that you'll pay close attention to their endless talking. So if the conversation has naturally reached a low ebb, wait a little, and then either change the subject or leave.

Try not to rush things either. A restrained conversation is enough for a first meeting. You shouldn't immediately make requests or suggestions. If a person says goodbye, don't insist that things continue.

5. You're too nosy

Always show that you're genuinely interested in what a new acquaintance has to say. Ask them questions, take an interest in their opinions, and be ready to patiently listen to their answers.

But above all, be tactful! However interesting and lively the conversation, don't turn it into an interrogation. Don't ask too many questions. And don't forget that most people don't like talking about politics, religion, money, or their personal lives with those they don't know very well.

The words we say and things we do can have a strong effect on the opinions people form about us. One and the same person can create completely different impressions on others. Our appearance is not, in fact, the only thing that has an influence here.

Preview photo credit johan-jk/depositphotos
Illustrator: Lenya Brick for Bright Side
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