I feel there is so much pressure on a first impression. If you think of a couple in a long term relationship the question they are likely to get asked most is ‘How did you meet?’ We’re all about the instant connections, the love at first sight deal. I think this is the same for every first impression, we look for people of similar style or interests to us and if we don’t get along right away we just write people off.
In my head I can guess a person’s entire life within a minute of meeting them, but in reality I likely have it all wrong. However, as someone who is a constant embarrassment to myself I have learnt to be more aware of other people who find it hard making conversation or being confident in awkward situations. Yes, I’ve met folks that initially I didn’t really connect with, I think that’s something we can all relate to, but this is how some of my closest friendships have started. Even when my first impressions have been bad, or I’ve thought theirs was bad of me, it hasn’t always been a complete write off. Provided you just say or do something silly and you’re not rude or obnoxious (which a lady should never be!) it’s likely people will understand it’s probably just nerves or social anxiety. I guess some people, like me, just take longer to form friendships and be comfortable around people than others but when I do they’re so much stronger so it’s worth that time.
In terms of the first impressions I give, I always think of what I was wearing, or what I looked like at the time, something which is often the source of embarrassment for me. Its lovely cringing over the memory of lipstick stains on my teeth, or the tooth paste all over my top or lastly and my most favourite, the big green lettuce leaf stuck in my front teeth (sexy). I’m also quite quiet when I first meet people, I find I’m predominantly silent but then I’ll somehow manage to say something so unbelievable stupid or embarrassing that I’m too scared to speak again. This often means that I get blacklisted as a crazy lady which could have been avoided if I just relaxed and was myself in the first place. It isn’t always the case, but it’s mostly when I can’t find something to instantly relate to or begin a conversation about. Or just trying to explain what’s in my teeth!
I definitely need to stop caring so much about what people think and start being more confident and that way, maybe the first impressions I give will improve. There’s nothing more appealing than someone who is happy in themselves. I heard an amazing piece of advice recently which is that every time you meet someone new you should tell yourself ‘no one has a reason not to love me’. It sounds silly but it’s true. This is the attitude I need to try to adopt. I think the only way to get over the fear is to just get out there and talk to more people, even while I’m shopping or just out to lunch I should make random conversations and get over that initial awkwardness of just opening my mouth. Like I said I’ve embarrassed myself enough to know the worst, so I really have nothing to lose and maybe gain some fun friends.