How to Nail the Perfect First Impression

Posted by Sean Azari on

A first impression in any kind of setting is said to take about seven seconds. The first moments of meeting someone are critical to this first impression. What you say hardly even matters in these few seconds, it’s the nonverbal stuff that sticks out. Everything from your demeanor, clothing, appearance, and posture matters so much more than the first couple words out of your mouth.


 Your mouth, along with your eyes, catches the most attention. This is why having a nice, white smile is increasingly more important to make that great first impression everybody worries about. A professor of psychology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco, Paul Ekman, said that “We (respond to) a smile from 30 meters away. A smile lets us know that we're likely to get a positive reception, and it's hard not to reciprocate."


A First Impression Happens in 1/10 of a Second:


If you thought seven seconds was a short window to make an impression, most psychology journals suggest that judgements made from the first 1/10 of a second carry on throughout the rest of the initial engagement. Our brain makes quick computations about everything it can in that fraction of a second.


A quick checklist that flies through one’s mind is: “Are they a threat? Are they smiling? Do I like them? Do I want to have a conversation with them?” In most business and personal introductions, a nice genuine smile is standard and catches the most attention. To most, in those critical first seconds, a good smile speaks louder than any words that would come out of your mouth.


Smile with Confidence: 


The confidence from having a great smile carries through your entire demeanor when meeting someone new. Even if one’s mind only has a tenth of a second to make an analysis of you, it can still pick up on subtle cues that correlate with confidence. A survey showed that 58% of men use a woman’s smile as a metric when judging their first impression. This means more than half of these impressions were dictated by a smile alone. A smile that is discolored or stained may actually have greater psychological effects on you than you might think, especially in your subconscious confidence.


 If you are self-conscious about your smile, you might not put the same kind of confidence behind everything you say out of fear that you will bring attention to your teeth. You might give off the wrong message about the quality of things you have to say, even if the quality of your message isn’t much different. Confidence is a quality that essentially dictates whether someone has a positive or negative image of you in their memory.


Take Charge of Your Personal Appearance:


            Living in such a high information society, making a good first impression is a standard to just be memorable. It’s the great first impression carried with a white smile and the confidence to back it that can make that first interaction a job opening, friendship, or romantic encounter in the near future. Tooth whitening is something that can change the world’s perception of you in a very short period of time and pays for itself hundreds of times over in your future interactions.






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