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Lesson Thirty-One — Greater Impressions

In the last chapter, we discussed the importance of first impressions.Most of those points involved nonverbal signals we intentionally or unintentionally send to others.Like it or not, people form early opinions about us based on those signals.We also discussed the importance of body language earlier in our book, including how to read others and in the signals we send out.But, the list of nonverbal signals is endless.Let’s take a quick test.

Suppose you see some middle-aged guy at a bar in the middle of the afternoon pounding down drinks one after the other.Does this look like someone that is happy?Successful?Smart?Well adjusted?A good employee?Someone you would like to get to know?Probably not.The poor gentleman does not have to say a word, but we are already forming opinions about his most personal character trait based solely on what we observe.

Suppose you see a group of young guys or girls standing around on the street corner after school in sloppy clothes chain-smoking cigarettes.If you did not know them already, would you say they are good students?Good workers?Good sons or daughters?Well, you get the point.Until someone gets to know you better, they are going

to judge you by the nonverbal clues you display, intentionally or unintentionally.  So, act accordingly.

Corner girls

Enough of the negative.What I really want to pass on to you is how much control you have over how others perceive you.If you want others to get a great first impression of you, particularly, others of the dating variety, there are a few other nonverbal things you can do which will have great results if used properly.I am only going to share two with you.To give you more would give you an unfair advantage.

People judge you not only on how you treat other people, but also on how you treat animals!Particularly, when that animal is their pet.Animal owners are animal lovers.Always remember that.If someone is telling you about their cat, do not interject that you hate cats, even if you do.In fact, you should lie.Tell them you like cats.This is completely within the rules.If you cannot lie about it, at least say something nice about cats, like, “Cats don’t sweat too much.”Saying you hate cats will turn them completely against you instantly for no other reason.

Be kind to animals.  Especially pets.  So, when your target’s overly friendly dog comes up to greet you, jumping all over you, enjoy it.  Squat down and give the slobbery pooch a good scratching all over its body.  Hug it if you get the chance to.  The owner will think you are the nicest person on the face of this great earth and will defend you to the death from that moment forward.  Of course, if the dog happens to be a huge, snarling, growling Rotweiler, skip the hugging part, but try not to act afraid.  Say something nice about the dog, like, “He sure has pretty white teeth.”

Nice doggy

Babies and small children present another amazing opportunity to make a great impression.When introduced to a small child, you have to bend down low, better yet, squat or get on your knees, shake their little hand and say something cute about them.Actually, you should say something nice and friendly directly to the child.That shows respect for the child.Never try to guess their age.You can’t win on that one.I always bend down low and say something like, “Hi, how are you little guy?[With extended hand for shake or high five]What a cute little angel.So, how old are you?Really?I thought you were at least [response plus 2 years].”Don’t talk baby talk.You’ll just look silly.

If you don’t get down to their level, it doesn’t work as well because you look like you are too good for the kid.I bend over rather than squat or kneel because I am old and I would need help getting back up.

Nice people genuinely like animals and children.  If you are one of those people, show it.  You fully deserve to have others think highly of you.  If you don’t like animals and children, try your best to fake it.  It will never be as effective as the true- to-life emotion, but it’s better than the alternative.  If you cannot fake it, at least don’t say anything nasty.