First impressions count and it is important to make a good one. However, what makes you like some people and not like others?
In the dating world your first impression is the key to success. Therefore, it is important to know how people are judging you!
Amy Cuddy is a Harvard Business School Professor who has studied first impressions for the past 15 years. From her research Amy has found that people will judge you on two things.
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person?
People will judge you on whether you are a warm person or a competent person. Ideally people prefer both!
Now it depends on the context to what is more important. In a work context competence is more important than warmth; whereas in a social settings warmth is more important.
In the dating context warmth is essential and something people are able to sense straight away. I recommend you look at how you are coming across – is it warm or is it cold? Whether it is a chance encounter, a five minute speed date or a first date, work on developing warmth.
You may have been hurt in the past, so you have put up walls to prevent it happening again. Or you have been rejected so you reject people before they can reject you. The walls, barriers and judgemental way of looking at people will make you appear cold and shut off and it will create a bad first impression. The thing about walls is they keep out the good as well as the bad.
Now let’s look at trust, it is important and it comes from our caveman days when it was the key to survival. In the caveman days you needed to know someone wouldn’t kill you or steal your belongings. This is still a subconscious driver – is the person a threat, can I count on them, is it a good idea to let this person into my life.
Trust is definitely not underrated!
Amy Cuddy says “A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”
When it comes to competence people want to know that you are capable. It is not about being willing to be something it is about being capable of doing something. So people will look and see if you are confident, if you are happy in your own skin, that you are in control of your life. This is why confident people do so well when it comes to dating.
Confidence is not something you are born with it is a skill and by practicing you WILL improve in this area. It is a learnt action and not an innate skill. Practice everywhere you go; at work, at home, at the café, at the pub. Start off simply with the small things like knowing what you want to eat and drink. Then practice with the bigger things in life. Do this daily and you will find it easier and easier. You will then find yourself showing up this way in every area of your life knowing what you want and doing it. Developing confidence and being authentically you is the key. When you are authentic, others want to be like you! It is not copying someone else it just being happy and comfortable in your skin and being yourself.
The key thing to know is that you can be the most competent person in the world but it you aren’t warm and trustworthy you will made a poor first impression.