First impression occur when two or more people are meeting for the first time. It is a powerful event that happens to the most of us and dictates the future of interaction, what is to be expected.
When people meet, it is always a hard event for most people. Unless you are a professional conversationalist, people are timid and shy to initiate anything, they are not showing the same attitudes as they would with their friends. People are worried that what they do might put the other person off.
We have our friends and if they are good friends they accept us generally, but new people know nothing about us, and how we see ourselves is what we think the other people will think of us, I wore the wrong shirt, they might think my hair is weird etc.
But in reality they are thinking the same thing as us. We want to express ourselves in a way that can’t be misconstrued, but we are not willing to express ourselves for fear of rejection.
So I developed my system of interacting with new people. Ask them dumb questions. Questions are powerful tools for getting to know someone. When I say dumb I mean seemingly irreverent questions. For example:
Would you rather buy 1 $100 shoe or 10 $10 shoes?
Its a hypothetical questions that is pretty simple to answer, it generates conversation and it is exploring the person who they are, how do they value their material goods and what is important to them, quality or quantity?
It is a question that is not intrusive like “do you like expensive shoes or cheap shoes”. That adds a layer of the other person thinking, “are they testing my materialistic nature?”
It seems insincere.
People don’t want to take charge especially meeting new people, fears of coming as bossy. But people want to answer, paint a picture about themselves and for most people it can be drawn out. You can pull out amazing information about a person by asking dumb questions, if you craft your questions enough you can paint a pretty picture about the person, their habits, likes and dislikes.
And pretty soon, if you pay attention enough the conversation can feel pretty relaxed and natural. The first step might seem huge but really initiating a conversation is more simple than people think.
People are hung up about the possible contrast or conflicting personalities, but at the end of the day, we are more similar than we would like to think. Because we value individuality.