Why Is The First Impression So Important And How Can We Improve It?

Are first impressions important? Can we improve the first impression we make? Discover the keys to knowing how to impact in a positive way in front of others.

Why is the first impression so important and how can we improve it?

Think about your most loved people, do you remember if you first impression Was it correct? No one can help but form a first impression of the people around them. For this precise reason, many of us wonder what the secret is to making a good impression on others.

The first impression is crucial because it forms the initial judgment and perception that others have of us, often influencing their attitudes, behaviors, and interactions with us thereafter. This phenomenon occurs within seconds of meeting someone and is based on a combination of visual, verbal, and nonverbal cues. Here, we explore why the first impression is so important and offer strategies for improving it.

Why do we have first impressions?

When we first look at a person’s face our brain forms some quick judgments about their character. In fact, Jennifer K. South Palomares, a researcher at the University of York, informs us that first impressions They are more instantaneous than we imagine.

“Facial impressions are relevant since they occur very briefly (in just 33 ms) and have consequences, for example, predicting the results of government elections and influencing romantic preferences.”

That is, according to this study, it is evident that with a single look at the face for approximately 33 to 100 milliseconds, people already have enough information to form a first impression about a person.

There is almost universal agreement among researchers as to why people we make a first impression of others. Generally, we as individuals like people who seem like they will give us a social benefit. This is how most people are attracted to people who have something to offer in every way (academically, economically and socially).

In this way, people tend to look at those people who have social gifts such as appreciation, connection, empathy, among others. That is, we look for those subjects who can make their senses understood and open their minds to new perspectives and information. In short, those who can enrich their lives.

On the other hand, most tend to avoid those that generate a first impression bad. This means leaving behind people who seem bored, insecure, and needy. This is why mental health is so important not only for you, but for those around you. Contributing to improving your life and that of others is a fact that will not only benefit you, but also your entire circle.

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Importance of the First Impression

1. Instant Judgment

  • Humans are hardwired to make snap judgments based on limited information. The first impression serves as a mental shortcut for categorizing and evaluating others, helping us make quick decisions in social and professional settings.

2. Lasting Impact

  • Research suggests that first impressions are remarkably resilient and can be challenging to change once formed. Positive first impressions tend to be more enduring than negative ones, shaping subsequent interactions and relationships.

3. Influence on Perception

  • The first impression sets the tone for how others perceive and interpret our words and actions. Positive first impressions create a favorable bias that colors subsequent interactions, while negative first impressions may lead to skepticism or distrust.

4. Professional Opportunities

  • In professional contexts, the first impression can significantly impact career prospects, job interviews, and networking opportunities. Employers often form opinions about candidates based on their initial interactions, influencing hiring decisions and career advancement.

How are first impressions created?

Researcher Leslie Zebrowitz, a social psychologist at Brandeis University, has identified four facial features in which We base our first impressions

How first impressions are created

  1. The presence of childish traits: Most human beings have an innate sympathy for babies. Those people who have larger eyes and foreheads as well as rounded heads are more likely to be treated more kindly.
  2. Familiarity: We tend to judge our surroundings based on their appearance. That is why if you find someone who looks like a person you know, you will tend to think that they have a similar character.
  3. ‘Fitness’ levels: According to research by Dr. Zebrowitz, there is a belief that healthy people are more attractive and intelligent, which is why we prefer as friends those individuals who have a healthy appearance. Furthermore, we judge their aptitudes based on the facial symmetry and proportionality of their faces.
  4. Emotional similarity: A large part of the population has a very good ability to read the facial expressions of others. For this reason, many can determine if a person is more smiling than others by the most marked features on their face.

Although these four signs are physical characteristics that cannot be manipulated, the reality is that people who have a positive attitude towards life and good self-esteem usually make a good impression For this reason it is very important to take care of ourselves inside and out and go to a psychologist if there is a problem inside us. As you can see, making a good first impression depends a lot on it. Even so, here we will show you the keys to improving these impressions and why they end up being so important.

Is the first impression so important?

We’ve all heard the popular culture saying that first impressions are important Now, through studies and research, we know that this claim is true.

When you meet a new person, your brain becomes forms an impression that dictates how he thinks you are and whether he would like to get to know you better. These signals end up reaching the most primary emotional centers of your brain. In the end it is there where you get the feeling of whether you will constitute a threat or a benefit to the person in question.

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This same information about the first impression It implies that people decide if they want to be in a relationship with you before you’ve even introduced yourself. Furthermore, making a good impression is not only generated in an instant but will last a long time until they are replaced by the reality of your person. This event is called the ‘primacy effect’ and it consists of individuals tending to give more truth to the things they initially learn about someone than to the data they collect later.

In this way, it really seems that the first impression is what counts for most people. In fact, even the people you meet will end up looking for behaviors in you that confirm their conclusion and will avoid information that contradicts them. your first impressions So much so that even this very event can determine whether or not you can get a job through the selection process. That is why acquiring confidence and self-esteem is one of the best methods to improve your life in every way.

Are first impressions accurate?

Although it may seem unfair that someone generates a first impression from you so quickly, many studies have shown that this information collected by the brain has a point of truth.

So much so that according to some researchers they have theorized that even our genetics may have evolved to transmit personality traits through the face. On the other hand, it may also be that certain expressions remain quite engraved on our face. Furthermore, our moods and attitude are also transmitted through our body language. So the way we walk, gesture and how we behave in general says a lot about who we are and how we are.

That is, even though the first impressions They seem like a very superficial attitude, the reality is that these come from internal traits of ourselves.

Strategies for Improving the First Impression

1. Dress Appropriately

  • Dress in attire that is appropriate for the occasion and reflects your personal style and professionalism. Pay attention to grooming and presentation, as appearance often shapes initial perceptions.

2. Maintain Positive Body Language

  • Use open and confident body language, such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, and standing or sitting upright. Avoid behaviors that convey nervousness or defensiveness, such as fidgeting or crossing arms.

3. Be Authentic and Genuine

  • Be yourself and strive to convey authenticity and sincerity in your interactions. Avoid trying to impress others by being overly boastful or insincere, as authenticity is often perceived positively.

4. Listen Actively

  • Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the other person and responding thoughtfully to their comments. Show genuine interest in their perspective and experiences, and avoid interrupting or dominating the conversation.
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5. Show Empathy and Warmth

  • Display empathy, warmth, and kindness in your interactions, as these qualities are universally appealing and foster connection. Express genuine concern for others’ well-being and make an effort to understand their emotions and experiences.

6. Prepare and Practice

  • Prepare for social and professional encounters by anticipating common questions, topics, or scenarios. Practice introducing yourself, delivering a brief elevator pitch, and engaging in small talk to build confidence and fluency.

7. Follow Up

  • After the initial interaction, follow up with a brief message or gesture to reinforce the positive impression and express gratitude for the opportunity to connect. This demonstrates professionalism, courtesy, and genuine interest in maintaining the relationship.

How to make a good first impression

The best formula to be able to improve a first impression that is given externally is precisely to beautify our inner part. For this precise reason it is so important to take care of yourself on the inside, through the help of professional psychologists if necessary, and on the outside. Also, here we show you some suggestions to know how to make a good impression in any situation.

How to make a good impression

  1. Dress better than the occasion requires: Although the most effective thing is to feel comfortable with the clothing we wear, many studies indicate that wearing more elegant or flattering clothing makes us let’s make a better impression in the others.
  2. Make eye contact: Establishing eye contact with others is proof of your self-confidence. Additionally, this is an effective way to show interest in others.
  3. Smile: The smile is the most effective weapon to create a good first impression In this way, humans identify smiles at great distances since our unconscious seeks the approval of others through them.
  4. Think positive: Even if we don’t say negative thoughts out loud, the reality is that our way of acting reveals our feelings. That is why it is very important to have a positive attitude to face life.
  5. Adapt to the other’s attitude: People look for people who are similar to us. For this reason, one way of knowing how to act on the first date or in the first moments of meeting someone it is trying to imitate (without being shameless) their movements.
  6. Have confidence in yourself: The most crucial way to be liked by others is to be yourself and trust that you can be an interesting person to others. This is how you should try to avoid wanting to convey something that you are not.
  7. Express the attributes that stand out most about you: Like the first impressions are important highlighting the best in yourself is not bad but is something completely recommended to try to make others like you.

First impressions reveal a crucial fact that we must keep in mind at all times: The important thing is to feel good inside and out. Enjoying a good attitude towards ourselves and taking care of ourselves mentally and physically not only has positive effects towards the first impression that we give but also for ourselves. Health should, for all these reasons, be one of the most cared for areas of our lives.

The first impression is a powerful determinant of how others perceive and respond to us, shaping our social and professional interactions in significant ways. By understanding the importance of the first impression and implementing strategies to improve it, we can cultivate positive relationships, build trust and credibility, and create opportunities for personal and professional growth.