In daily living, as in romance, several actions can make a big difference in how we are perceived. Each of us wants to put our best foot forward, but if we are not careful, we may give off a negative vibe. In order to make a positive impression (and reap the rewards of having done so), it is helpful to be aware of some common “Turn Ons” and “Turn Offs.”
- Making Excuses
No one ever wants to hear excuses. A friend may offer sympathy, but a boss will likely be disappointed. What do most people like to hear? “I will take care of this… you can stop thinking about it.”
- Blaming Others
This is simply bad form, even if your point is valid. Humility is both attractive and impressive. Accept responsibility for your own actions, and work quietly to rectify the consequences of any poor choices made by others.
- Using Vulgarity
You’d never know it by observing popular culture, but few people are impressed by vulgarity. It reflects a limited vocabulary, a lack of intelligence, and can be disrespectful. Language choices are largely a habit, and this is a habit that can be broken with focused effort.
More often than not, gossip comes off as insecurity. Being known for a willingness to talk about others behind their backs can hurt you both personally and professionally.
- Chewing Audibly
This may sound silly, but it can be a huge turn off. The sounds/sights of chewing can sink an interview or first date, so be sure to keep your mouth closed.
- Checking Your Phone Mid-Conversation
We have become accustomed to people looking at their phones, but tolerating rudeness doesn’t mean we like it. If you’ve had someone check a phone while you were speaking, you know it feels disinterested and dismissive. Wait until the conversation is over to check your messages.
- Having a Tidy Appearance
Dressing appropriately doesn’t mean you have to be wearing designer clothing. It is the little things that give off the right impression: polished shoes, nails that are trimmed and clean, hair that is brushed, modest clothing, etc.
- Remembering Names
This is easier said than done, but it always makes a good impression. If you struggle to remember names, try using the name of someone you’ve just met at least three times before leaving the conversation. At a business function, note a detail or two on the back of a business card to help you match a name to a face.
- Sending an RSVP
Somehow a large percentage of the population has come to believe that RSVPing is optional – it is not! Failing to respond to an invitation in a timely fashion is rude, and leaves the host/hostess in the awkward position of having to call you. In contrast, sending a timely response is good manners, regardless of whether you give a “yes” or a “no.”
- Writing Thank You Notes
Whether it is a handwritten note (always best), or even an email/text, an expression of gratitude is always well received. It shows thoughtfulness, and makes the recipient feel valued.
- Arriving On Time
Showing up when you are expected earns points every time. It is wise to develop the habit of arriving a bit early so you can appear at the appointed moment. Time is one of the most valuable commodities we have, so being on time communicates that you appreciate the time others are offering.
- Maintaining Eye Contact
An oldie, but a goodie… and important to reiterate in this digital age. Human beings are relational, and few things say “I am listening to you” more than looking someone in the eye. This can be difficult if it doesn’t come naturally, but it is always worth the effort.
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It’s nice to realize that we do have the power to make and maintain a good impression. This is my list… what would you add?