Your first impression counts for a heck of a lot. When you're meeting someone for the first time, focus on the four "social gifts" you bring to the table to make your impression a good one.
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.
As the book First Impressions explains, we evaluate the people we meet based on how they fit into our lives. To determine that, we look for four social gifts: appreciation, connection, evaluation, and enlightenment.
We want people around us who can appreciate what we do, share our love of a mutual interest, give us input on how to improve, or help us understand ourselves better. If someone you meet can bring one or more of those things, then you're more likely to want them in your life. The Art of Manliness explains that if you want to offer these to other people, you have to cultivate that mindset in yourself:
It's nearly impossible to fake in-demand qualities like warmth, knowledge, and honesty; some very charismatic people are able to do so, but usually the people they fooled will later say, "I could tell from the start there was something not right about him, but I ignored the feeling." It's also very difficult to feign interest in people, if you haven't developed a genuine curiosity about others. Fake confidence, too, can be seen a mile away. Your personality creates a palpable aura around you; even if you don't realise it, people can sense it as soon as you walk into a room.
If you walk into a room expecting other people to serve your needs, you're not going to offer much in the way of social gifts. Likewise, if you're constantly tearing everything down, other people don't have much reason to bring you further into their life. By focusing on how you contribute to the group, and being genuinely eager to bring something to the table, you can become someone who naturally makes a good first impression.
Why Your First Impression Matters [The Art of Manliness]