Although I hate to admit it, the desire to impress others is always there. There is an invisible pressure that lurks somewhere deep inside my gut every time I meet someone new. I have nightmares of belching at the wrong time or shaking hands awkwardly or worse, saying the newly acquainted person’s name wrong. But I have learned to calm myself because if I don’t get to impress someone, it is certainly not the end of the world. Even after getting acquainted, we still have a million other opportunities when we could impress people with our impeccable character and the way we handle ourselves. No one wants to live in mediocrity, so let’s see how to up our ante and impress people with our suave demeanour, gentle manners, and a confident swagger.
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This is easy. No one wants to get acquainted with someone who doesn’t respect others. Tyler Durden of Fight Club may have commanded respect and power even though he was unbecoming of a decent human being, but such antics will land you in jail in real life. In real life, respect everybody, be it your co-worker, elders, kids, your Uber driver, anybody. It can get hard to respect someone when they have differing opinions, but that shouldn’t stop you from being civil. If you try, you can always find some trait to respect people.
If you can look into the eyes of the person you talk to, hold it steady for the most part of the conversation and you would come across as trustworthy. That’s a good adjective to be used when people describe you, right? If you don’t look at me in the eye when I talk to you, I’d assume that you are hiding something from me or you are going to grab my bag and scoot when I am not alert. Eye contact becomes even more important when you are talking to a lady.
Be open minded, ask questions
You will meet all kinds of people when you get out of the confines of your home. You will meet people who do not have the same values as you and people who do not subscribe to the same views as you. But you should not pre-judge. The odds of people being interested in you despite all the differences between the two of you is always there. Respect the fact that their different outlook towards life was due to unique circumstances in which they grew up in. Ask questions about their life, and be genuinely interested in getting to know people.
Respect personal boundaries
I am a touchy person; I love shaking hands and hugging. If I am comfortable with you in the first meeting in an informal setting, I will give a parting hug when we say our goodbyes. But some people detest such behaviour. So how do I go about my business when I meet such people? I look for cues. How much space do they keep when we are conversing? How comfortable were they when they shook hands? How physically close they were when they met their other acquaintances? Observe and act accordingly.
If you say you will do something, do it
As simple as it may seem, not everybody follows through on what they say. Often, if someone promises to be somewhere at seven in the evening, rarely do they be there on time. Do not ever make a promise that you cannot keep. You should simply refuse rather than recant on your decision at the last minute. Be as reliable as clockwork, and you will command respect. It is certainly not going to be easy to follow through on everything, but it is well worth the effort.
Know what happens around the world
There is nothing more impressive than being able to fluently talk about, for example, the happenings in Somalia or the H1B visa issue. No, knowing the Big Boss winner might not get you anywhere in the ‘impressing people’ barometer. Try reading as much as possible in your spare time. Even better, make time for reading the newspaper every single day. It will open you up to unique opportunities and will act as an interesting conversation starter when you meet new people.
With all that said, the most important thing that you can do is treat each person that you meet as a celebrity. Remember their names, mention it twice or thrice during the conversation. Smile when you talk to people. Make people comfortable when you talk to them. Even if you follow half of the tips given above, people would be impressed with you.