The holidays are here—and it’s time to socialize. Chances are, you’ll meet many new people within the next year, and brushing up on impressive character traits is important for improvised visits and first impressions. It can take under 100 milliseconds to gage someone’s personality, so impressing a newcomer should be a “before-during-and-after” deal. Before getting off on the right foot, check out these surefire tricks to impress everyone you meet. You may be surprised at their effectiveness.
Tip 1: Smile
That’s right: Age-old tell-tale signs of happiness abiding, smiling is one of your best tools in your social toolbox. People can gauge someone’s “trustworthiness” within seconds of seeing someone’s face. Your facial structure—and smile—can sway their opinions. Smiling faces, on average, are perceived as trustworthy. Similarly, angry, disgusted or distraught faces may appear un-trustworthy.
Tip 2: Make it about Them
People love talking about themselves. Once you’ve explained your job and social connection—remember to ask them what they do. Ask them about work, and ask them how their week is going.
Often, asking such questions boosts perceived interest without making you vulnerable. Again, people enjoy discussing themselves. If they think you’re interested in them—they’ll likely consider you a “viable” judge of character. After all: You’re interested in them, so you must have good taste, right?
Tip 3: Use the Power of Clothing
Clothes were designed for comfort, protection and fashion. When engaging a new social group, utilizing a great outfit for all three purposes can heavily influence others. When you’re comfortable, you appear relaxed. When you’re looking great, you’ll have increased perceived confidence. Often, approachable people look like they’re meant to be where they are. Chances are, if you’re dressed to impress, you’ll impress quite well.
Tip 4: Complements are Key
As stated above, people love hearing about themselves. Remember to subtly complement those you’re becoming acquainted to. For instance: When discussing hobbies, jobs or lifestyle choices, remember to complement their decisions, such as, “Really? You can do that? I sure couldn’t. How did you get involved with such-and-such?” While pairing complements with questions, you’ll immediately link into further discussion while tilting the conversation’s importance to them—which is another surefire way to win new friends.
Tip 5: Read
It may not be directly associated with social engineering, cocktail parties or acquaintance gathering, but reading can directly increase one’s cognitive, social and discussion skills.
You don’t need to read “literature” or “high-brow” pieces, either. Often, simple Internet articles or magazines will do. When your brain processes written words, it automatically boosts your conversational skills while bolstering sentence structure, syntax, inflection and tone. In short: Reading will make you a better conversationalist, regardless of the material you’ve been chewing on.
When meeting new individuals, remain genuinely interested in them. Chances are, you have more in common than you know. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and every friend begins as a stranger. Often, a positive outlook is a key component to social expression. Impressing people isn’t necessarily about accumulated skills—though a high interest in hobbies is often helpful. Mostly, it’s about “getting your foot in the door.” If you’re gearing up for meeting new folks, regard consistency, truthfulness and honesty as your go-to social essentials.
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