These 4 Mistakes Keep You From Making a Good First Impression

Science knows exactly what you’re doing wrong.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

What if there was a way to ensure that you could make the best impression every time? According to a recent piece in The British Psychological Society Research Digest, there is. Citing a paper published in the journal Social and Personality Psychology Compass, Alex Fradera writes that we can increase our chances of making a good first impression by avoiding these four common mistakes.

1. Humblebragging
There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, but it’s best to leave humblebrags at the door. If you’re not familiar with the term, humblebragging refers to boasting about yourself or your accomplishments under the guise of humility, like complaining to your new co-worker about how much your recent promotion is cutting into your free time.

2. Backhanded Compliments
We all know someone prone to dishing out these insults in disguise, whether they’re meant as insults or not. Fradera uses the example of telling a junior coworker that “you are very smart for an intern.” You may have the best intentions, but that phrasing isn’t going to get you respect from your new team member. It’s best to give sincere compliments or not give them at all.

3. Hubris
Checking your ego is essential to creating positive first impressions. Citing the research in Social and Personality Psychology Compass, Fradera notes that no one enjoys working with a narcissist. Being confident can improve your work performance, but it’s important not to let it cross the line into arrogance.

4. Hypocrisy
Following your own rules and meeting your own expectations at the office goes a long way in making a good impression. In other words, practice what you preach. So before you call your coworker out for a certain behavior or attitude, think about whether you’re guilty of making the same mistake.

As Fradera writes, we tend to use these self-sabotaging tactics in a misguided attempt at building ourselves up when we meet new people. The problem is that we’re unaware of exactly how destructive these strategies are. The moral of the story? Be genuine and be kind. Your reputation may depend on it.

Read more about making a good impression here.

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