With the hustle and bustle of life, making a lasting and positive first impression goes a long way. You never know what may come of meeting someone. It can lead to a job, a friendship, or even a romantic relationship. That’s why you should always be mindful as to how you’re presenting yourself to others and the world. Here’s how to show off your best self.
Make eye contact
It feels good to be seen. Let everyone you meet know that you’re paying attention and that you’re interested in what they have to say. Physically acknowledge them through eye contact. Most people don’t know how to make solid eye contact, and it’s an incredible habit that will make you memorable to others. (See also: 13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview)
Put your phone away and really listen to people when they speak to you. Be there 100 percent. And don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Take in what someone else is saying, let it sink in, and respond. Listening is an underrated skill. It’s such an effortless way to make someone else feel valued. I’ve often found that being a good listener has helped me learn and grow in ways I never imagined. And yes, people remember me because I so vividly remember our conversations.
Ask concise, insightful questions
I’m known for my curiosity and questioning nature. I find people fascinating, and I like to learn as much about them as I can. My ability to quickly assimilate information and make conversation that’s far beyond cocktail party smalltalk has dramatically improved my life and career. I’ve made lifelong friends through chance meetings based on creating meaningful conversations with people I have just met, and you can, too.
Don’t ask the questions everyone asks. Don’t be invasive, but make your questions interesting. And show you’re paying attention to their answers by asking follow-up questions. (See also: 6 Terrible Money Moves to Avoid on the First Date)
The more open you are about your life and experiences, the more comfort you will engender in others. That comfort leads to the kind of openness and honesty that our society needs now more than ever. By putting out positive energy and being open, goodness comes back to us many times over. Vow to make meeting you the best part of someone’s day.
Be sure to follow up
Did you have a great conversation with someone? Did you meet someone interesting and you want to learn more about them? Did you promise to follow up with someone or did they ask you to follow up with them?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, make sure to follow through. Send that email. Connect on social media. Make the phone call. If you promise to do something and do it, you show your integrity and genuine interest. People won’t forget that.