All About First Impressions

We're built to size each other up quickly. Even if we're presented with lots of evidence to the contrary, we're attached to our initial impressions of people—which is why you should be aware of the impression you make on others. Luckily there are simple guidelines for wowing new acquaintances.

Recent Posts on First Impressions

How to Say What You Truly Mean

Saying what you mean is more than a matter of finding the right words. It’s the intonation, or tone of voice, that adds punch to our language. If you’re a victim of “uptalk,” without knowing it, you may be leaving people with a wrong, and confusing, impression.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

The First 100 Days: Be A Stranger (As Long As You Can)!

By Tim Leberecht on February 28, 2015 in The Romance of Work
When you start a new job, your story has already started before you walk through the office door for the first time. The beginning of your tenure is a great opportunity to capitalize on being an outsider and to make new mistakes.

What Color Should You Wear on a First Date?

Maximize your attractiveness in that online dating profile pic or on that first date

Caught Off-Guard by Breast Cancer: First Impressions

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on February 09, 2015 in Turning Straw Into Gold
Except for what I’ve been told by people who’ve written to me about their experiences with cancer, this was a new medical arena for me. I’ve learned that it’s a world onto its own in many ways. Nothing was familiar to me. It’s been a disorienting experience.

Is Addiction a Disease? Part 2

By Joseph A Shrand M.D. on February 02, 2015 in Manage Your Stress
Even addicts are doing the best they can.

Why Our Negative First Impressions Are So Powerful

Introverts view extroverts as arrogant, overconfident, brash, and pushy, while extroverts see introverts as quiet, nerdy, insecure, and socially inept.

The Four “Dark Personality” Traits

Psychopaths, narcissists, and sadists, oh my! Personality psychologist Del Paulhus has bucked the positive psychology trend, with a series of rigorous studies delving into the "Dark Side" of human personality. He has shown that four dark traits have distinct but often unexpected consequences in the workplace and in relationships.

"Why Don't I Love My Body?"

By Carrie Barron M.D. on December 09, 2014 in The Creativity Cure
Many people struggle with body image and the ability to feel comfortable in their own skin. In this blog, my client Brianna discusses her personal struggle as well as the idea of inner and outer beauty. She found her way.

The Surprising Power of a Beautiful Face

By Gregory Ciotti on December 07, 2014 in Habits, Not Hacks
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... but what exactly do they behold?

The Incredible Shrinking Task

Is your life dream or a mission-critical task in front of you, and you just can't understand why you can't start or finish it? Take a step back and try these effective techniques (taken from 20 years of project management) for springing yourself into action.

First Impressions: A Roadmap or a Roadblock?

By Russ Gerber on November 06, 2014 in Our Health
Labels and expectations are pinned on us at every turn. Are we adopting them?

The Optics of Politics: Appearances are not always reality

Do Attractive Candidates Really Get More Votes? The Optics of Politics. When appearances are not always reality.

Four Ways to Start Your Work Week at the top of Your Game

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on October 19, 2014 in Off the Couch
Going back to work can stir up any number of feelings. So how do you cope with being excited, nervous, pleased, worried, fearful, stressed, or any combination emotions? How can you make the transition in the most positive way possible?

Analytical Thinking — Logic Errors 101

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on October 07, 2014 in Memory Medic
What we read or hear is commonly tainted by thinking errors. Here's how to minimize such errors in your communication.

Sex, Sexuality and the Psychopath/Sociopath: An Introduction

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on October 07, 2014 in Insight Is 20/20
Psychopaths have sex, but the way they do it serves a higher purpose. The local bar is often a place where psychopaths find it easiest to ensnare their next prey.

Emailing Future Ph.D. Advisors

By Laura E. Buffardi Ph.D. on October 01, 2014 in Grad School Guru
How and why to contact professors before you apply

3 More Things You Didn't Realize About How Your Brain Works

By Peg Streep on August 19, 2014 in Tech Support
Do you realize that your physical surroundings can shape both your thoughts and your actions, without your being any the wiser? Or that women react differently to potential competition if the rival is wearing is red? A revelatory look at the role unconscious and unperceived "snap judgments" play in human life.

How to Spot a Flirt

What differentiates flirting from friendly banter? Research reveals how accurately people interpret flirting and provides some clues to help decipher the often tricky code of interpersonal conversation.

Why Profile Photos Are Liars

By David DiSalvo on July 21, 2014 in Neuronarrative
Psychology researchers want us to know something about our profile photo-centrism – it’s a lie, and it’s leading us to draw conclusions that likely have zero basis in reality.

Can Your Unique Features Make You More Appealing Over Time?

You don't always have to look and act like everyone else to find and keep love. Sometimes, unique qualities can be attractive too. Find out when and how...

5 Tips for Avoiding Conflict in Your Relationship

By Amie M. Gordon PhD on June 30, 2014 in Between You and Me
My husband and I got into a fight over a pillowcase. It was one of those times where it was clearly his fault, and I was sure he would apologize. He didn't. Instead he seemed surprised that I wasn't apologizing to him. How could we have such different views of the same conflict? Which one of us was right? It turns out that we were both right, in our own ways.

4 Benefits of Hugs, for Mind and Body

Hugging feels good, but it is also good for us. It may even free us from cultural conditioning and feelings of fear and shame. Hug yourself and others to happiness, health, and freedom. This blog was inspired by my experiences during the World Congress for Psychotherapy 2014 in Shanghai, China.

What You Can Learn From a Handshake

A clue to how outgoing a person is...courtesy of a handshake.

The Power of Priming

How do those in marketing and advertising use the power of priming to subtly persuade and convince us? Can you prime people with smells and music to buy more?

5 Ways to Make a Great First Impression

Whether it’s in social relationships or at work, we’re often put on the spot to make a great impression. Unfortunately, the higher the stakes, the more challenging you find this task. By following 5 relatively simple principles, you can not only look impressive to others, but feel good about yourself in the process.

Wild Connection, Wild Sex, and Yes, Size Matters

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 02, 2014 in Animal Emotions
A new book by Duke University's Jennifer Verdolin offers penetrating accounts of mating behavior from that initial attraction to courtship to orgasms and shows where we stand when compared to numerous nonhuman animals. It is very entertaining, eye opening, explicit, and well done. Dr. Verdolin notes, "Researching and writing this book has been a wild ride." Amen.

Five Things NOT to Do to Babies

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on April 27, 2014 in Moral Landscapes
When I had a puppy, he hated to be ignored or left alone. At those times he would chew up the furniture. Babies hate these things too, but they can’t damage the furniture to let us know. Instead, their development gets undermined and we and society have to live with the anxious and depressed results.

Understanding Peer Pressure: Walking in Their Shoes

Fitting in, finding acceptance, and establishing identity are activities often played out through the child’s “body self”—feelings, attitudes, and behaviors about how kids look. While this is a topic where angels (much less parents) dare not tread, parents can provide invaluable support as their children confront these challenges.

Want to Know if Your New Man Is Sincere?

By Anita E. Kelly Ph.D. on April 22, 2014 in Insight
It's tough to know where you stand with an arrogant man. He obstructs the truth to protect his inflated image. At least you don't have to wonder if he is honest—his shallow sense of entitlement tells you that he is not. A humble man, however, is sincere and easy-going. He is like a crystal-clear pond that is also black because the bottom is so very far from the surface.