3. make an immediate good first impression with your face
While that sounds obvious enough, according to Donna Van Natten, the Body Language Dr., people can judge us in just a 10th of a second. And in two or more seconds, people's judgments of us tend to become more negative. In an in-depth interview to discuss her new book, Image Scrimmage, I asked her how we can avoid this. She said it comes down to two things: teeth and eyes. Here's Van Natten's explanation:
As visual beings, we seek to lock eyes with others for an immediate pupil, eye, and facial read, including exposed teeth, smiles, skin color, and physical stature. We know that smiles are universal and clear indicators of "it's OK, I'm safe." People need to work on their smiles. Some may have unhealthy teeth, and that's frustrating and impacts smiles and, too often, self-esteem. We judge the condition of our teeth for health, beauty, and economic status. We like to see teeth. So, smile! We also quickly seek eye contract and that's a struggle for some people. But, in our country, we are an eye-contact culture for a sign of trust. People aren't hopeless, but they are definitely making impressions and hopeful that we'll mirror each other (monkey see, monkey do). Try smiling at a stranger they usually smile back or at least nod. In both cases, there's eye contact and a quick connection. We need this as humans.