Making a lasting first impression

Making a lasting first impression

Making a lasting first impression

The following is a transcript of Jennifer VogelRelationships for twentysomethings” reporter for Examiner.com interviewing Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. about techniques, tips and strategies to help people make lasting first impressions when dating.

You can read Jennifer’s article here: https://www.examiner.com/x-32435-Houston-Twentysomething-Relationships-Examiner~y2009m12d9-Make-a-lasting-first-impression-in-person-by-text-and-online

Jennifer: If you’re meeting someone in your 20s, so, you know, this is a lot of the digital age, what would you say would be the best advice you could give someone if they’re going to meet someone face to face to leave a lasting impression?

Patrick Wanis: The first key to all persuasion and influence is to understand the other person. The other equally significant key is “If you want to impress someone, be impressed by them.” In most dating situations, guys are the biggest culprits of self-obsessing. Guys will sit there and talk all about themselves, thinking that they’re going to impress and win over the girl by saying how great they are, in every area in their life, whether it’s their material possessions, their career, their looks, their achievements. But what the girl really wants to hear is that he is interested in her; that he will listen to her and that he’ll pay attention to her and that he’s actually hearing what she says and is interested in what she says, not just cutting her off so he can then get in his next sentence.

Jennifer: Oh, that makes perfect sense. And the second question is about online dating; how do you make a great first impression as you are meeting someone online like either through a social network or a dating website like a Match.com? What’s the best way to make a good impression?

Patrick Wanis:   I think the best way to make a good impression is to inject personality, a sense of humor and sincerity in whatever you’re doing. That means be sincere in what you’re saying.

So you want to have a sense of humor; be light. You want to be sincere in what you say. You want to have some sort of personality. Give a little bit away about your self but ask some questions so that you’re engaging the other person. So if you say, for example, “You know, my favorite pastime is blah, blah, blah. What’s yours?” Now, you’re engaging someone. So you’re opening up a little bit but you’re asking, “Hey, I want to know more about you as well.” But online is very different to in-person because online, you do have to say more about yourself in the initial conversation because people tend to have a fear of “Who is this person on the other side that I can’t see, that I can’t hear and that I can’t feel?”

The other significant thing is, even if you’re writing something very short online, make sure you use the three key modalities of communication: “to see, to hear and to feel.” The three key modalities refer to the way we express ourselves. So some people say, “Wow, I get what you’re saying.” Someone else says, “Oh, I hear you.” And someone else says, “Yes, that feels right.” And what they’ve done is they’ve expressed themselves three different ways: visually, auditorily and kinesthetically.

Now I know this might be too complicated for your article but just to keep in mind to …

Jennifer: No, that’s great.

Patrick Wanis:   I’ve written specific detailed articles about this topic and about 80 percent of the public is visual but when we tend to write, we do tend to write auditorily so we’ll say, “Oh, yes, let me tell you what I want to say.” However, we can also add some other things such as, “Hey, this looks really good,” “Yes, that feels great,” or, “That makes sense.” By doing that you are engaging another way of connecting at a better and deeper level with a person. So yes, do the same thing online when you are responding to someone that has written to you.

Jennifer: Excellent advice. Also a lot of people will get a phone number. They might make an impression online and then they get a phone number and so many people use text messages nowadays instead of actually making a phone call. And obviously a text message is 160 characters, so what would you say to someone who wants to make a great first impression by that first text message they send?

Patrick Wanis:   Make it light, make it funny but don’t make it flippant. That means you want to let the person know that you have a sense of humor. Again, be funny, be sincere and express personality. The reason that it’s more difficult to do this via text is because as you said, you’ve only got 160 characters but make sure you’re going to say something light and funny. Make sure you’re going to draw the person out, by again, asking a simple question.

Jennifer: Alright. This has been a great interview. Thanks.

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