Ever met someone new and straight away, they do something that just puts you off?
We all know first impressions are important. They can start a friendship or end one before it even has a chance to begin.
So knowing what to do when you meet someone for the first time is key. But it’s just as important to know what not to do.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of ten behaviors that can turn people off the moment they meet you.
Some of them might surprise you, others will have you saying “Oh, yeah, I hate when people do that.”
So let’s get into it and take a look at these no-nos for meeting new people!
1. Being Glued to Your Phone
We’re all guilty of checking our phones more often than we probably should, but there’s a time and a place for it.
When you’re meeting someone for the first time, they want to feel that they have your undivided attention.
If you’re constantly looking at your phone, texting, or scrolling through social media, it sends a message that you’re not interested in them or what they have to say.
So next time you meet someone new, resist the urge to check your screen.
Your Instagram feed can wait, but a potential new friend might not!
2. Interrupting or Talking Over People
Everyone likes to be heard and feel that their opinions matter.
When you interrupt or talk over someone, especially when meeting them for the first time, it can come off as rude and disrespectful.
It gives the impression that you think what you have to say is more important than their thoughts.
This can quickly turn people off and damage the potential of forming a good relationship.
So remember, a conversation is a two-way street. Make sure to listen just as much as you speak, and show respect for the other person’s views and opinions.
3. Not Making Eye Contact
I remember meeting someone at a networking event once who hardly made any eye contact with me.
Instead, their gaze was constantly shifting around the room, as if they were scouting for someone more interesting to talk to.
It made me feel insignificant and unappreciated, like I was just a pit stop on their way to better conversations.
Eye contact is a powerful way of showing you’re engaged and interested in what the other person is saying.
It helps build trust and connection.
If you’re not making enough of it, you may come across as aloof or uninterested, which can definitely be a turn-off for many people.
Remember, your eyes can say a lot more than your words sometimes!
4. Being Too Negative
Did you know our brains are actually wired to respond more intensely to negative events than positive ones?
This is known as the negativity bias.
So, if you’re always complaining or focusing on the bad side of things when meeting someone for the first time, chances are they will remember you as a negative person.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should be unrealistically positive all the time.
It’s okay to share your struggles and challenges, but try to balance it out by also sharing positive experiences, interests, or hobbies you enjoy.
People are generally drawn to positive energy and are more likely to want to spend time with those who uplift them rather than bring them down.
5. Showing No Empathy
We humans are social creatures. We crave connection, understanding, and empathy from others.
When we meet someone who shows a lack of empathy, it can feel like a cold splash of water.
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you’re sharing something personal or important to you and the person you’re speaking with responds with indifference or even plain disregard.
It stings, doesn’t it?
Showing empathy doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything the other person says or does.
It simply means acknowledging their feelings and experiences.
It’s about treating others the way we would like to be treated ourselves.
Empathy is one of the most powerful ways to connect with others and make a positive first impression.
6. Being Overly Self-Centered
I once had a conversation with someone I’d just met at a social gathering.
However, it quickly became clear that this ‘conversation’ was more of a monologue.
She was so wrapped up in talking about herself – her achievements, travels, and views – that she hardly asked anything about me. I felt more like an audience than a participant in the conversation.
Being overly self-centered when meeting someone new can instantly put them off. It’s important to show interest in the other person and not just focus on yourself.
Ask them questions, show genuine interest in their life and experiences.
Remember, a conversation should be like a tennis match, not a solo performance!
7. Being Fake
No one likes a phony.
People can usually sniff out insincerity a mile away, and it’s an instant turn-off.
We’ve all met that person who puts on a façade, pretending to be someone they’re not, just to impress others. It feels uncomfortable and dishonest.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, be genuine. Be yourself. Yes, we all have flaws and insecurities, but that’s what makes us human.
Pretending to be perfect or exaggerating your accomplishments won’t win you any real friends. Authenticity, on the other hand, will.
So ditch the act, embrace your true self, and let your genuine personality shine through. People are attracted to authenticity because it’s raw, it’s real, and it’s refreshingly rare.
8. Invasion of Personal Space
Did you know that each of us has an invisible bubble around us, known as our “personal space”?
Most people feel uncomfortable when others come within 1.5 feet of us.
It’s seen as an invasion of our personal space and can instantly put people off.
When you meet someone for the first time, it’s essential to respect their personal space.
Don’t stand too close or make unnecessary physical contact.
Instead, maintain a comfortable distance that allows for a friendly and respectful interaction.
Remember, respecting boundaries is an important part of making a good first impression!
9. Not Remembering Names
I recall meeting someone at a party who, within minutes of our introduction, had already forgotten my name.
It made me feel as though I didn’t matter to them, or that I wasn’t worth remembering.
Remembering and using people’s names when you meet them for the first time may seem like a small thing, but it can have a big impact.
It shows that you value them and are interested in them.
If you’re not great at remembering names, try repeating the person’s name after they introduce themselves or associating their name with something memorable.
It might take some practice, but it’s definitely worth it!
10. Being Judgmental
We all have our quirks and flaws.
So when you meet someone for the first time and start picking them apart, criticizing their choices or belittling their opinions, it can be really off-putting.
You’re not their judge or jury. You’re just two people getting to know each other.
Try to approach new encounters with an open mind.
Leave your judgments at the door and try to understand the person for who they are, not who you think they should be.
Remember, everyone is fighting their own battles. Be kind, be understanding, and give people the space to be themselves.
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