“When in new social situations, always be the first to introduce yourself and get everyone’s names.”

“When in new social situations, always be the first to introduce yourself and get everyone’s names.”

Man Handshake - Psychology Today

They say that first impressions are key. People form their impression of you based on that, and then often do not re-evaluate unless they are given a considerable amount of time to get to know you. This is why it’s important to leave a good first impression.

One way to do that is to be the first to introduce yourself. Many people have a tendency to wait until they are spoken to, or until someone else introduces them. When two parties follow that philosophy, NO ONE is the first to speak and a possible connection is lost. Don’t wait for people to ask who you are. Take the initiative and introduce yourself!

When you approach a group of people at a social gathering, introducing yourself, and then asking for everyone’s name almost automatically includes you in the group. It’s the quickest way to build immediate rapport. And it sure beats sitting/standing awkwardly waiting for someone to notice you and ask who you are.

If there’s a handshake involved, make it a confident, friendly one. If you’re a hugger, be sure to come off friendly, and genuine. If you wave, wave happily. However you introduce yourself, leave a good first impression. Before you step in, or during the introduction, take a brief moment to remember why they would be fortunate to know you. Think about what you can contribute to the group. Think briefly about the people you are with, and what introduction could be best. Some people are friendly, automatic huggers. Others are friendly, but prefer to hug only those they are somewhat comfortable with. Taking a brief moment to look at some of these factors can not only boost your confidence, but makes for a more favorable first impression.

So the next time you’re in a social situation, be the first to introduce yourself, and ask everyone for their names (and try to remember them). This way, you put yourself in the driver’s seat of making a first impression (rather than having someone else do it for you), and you encourage others to introduce themselves as well.

Smile. Make eye contact. Be friendly. Be confident. Be yourself. Have fun! Why NOT take charge of making a good first impression?


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