“The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.” – Joan Baez
According to Nicholas Boothman, author of “How to Make People Like You,” what you do in the first few minutes of every personal encounter determines how people will respond to you later on. First impressions do count, Boothman believes, more than most people realize.
And it’s not just the very first impression. It’s the first impression you give each and every time you greet someone.
Each and every time you encounter a friend, family member, or business associate, do the following:
1. Be aware of how you feel. Make yourself feel positive and allow that feeling to be reflected in the way you hold yourself.
2. Make eye contact: Always look the other person directly in the eye, even if only for a moment.
3. Beam. Be the first to smile. Let your smile, as well as your body, show that you’re happy to see him/her.
4. Make your “Hi!” or “Hello!” sound friendly.
5. Take the lead: Extend your hand first.
6. Shake his/her hand strongly. Shake it like you mean it. (See Message #303.)
7. Lean toward him/her: An almost imperceptible forward tilt will very subtly indicate your interest in and openness to the other person.
Extra ETR tip: However much you can, know what you want out of every new relationship or new encounter before you begin it. This will allow you to channel that positive first impression into something meaningful and beneficial.[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]