When someone first meets you, they make snap judgments about your personality and your character. Those snap judgments can be profoundly influential on how this person judges you, even though they’re based on little more than an instant, subconscious reaction. Here are just a few things people will decide about you upon meeting you for the first time.
1) How Trustworthy You Are
In one-tenth of a second, the person will decide whether you’re trustworthy or not. In fact, that judgment happens so quickly that we decide on it even before we’ve had the chance to fully process the other person’s face.
Researchers found that high inner eyebrows and prominent cheekbones are generally considered more trustworthy. That judgment is formed in the amygdala in milliseconds after meeting someone new.
2) How High-Status You Are
People will make snap judgments about your status or your wealth in the moments after meeting you. They will make those judgments based on the clothing that you wear, the style of your hair, and other physical features.
If you’re wearing new, name-brand clothing, the other person is more likely to think that you’re well off. If you’re wearing older clothing or off-brand clothing, they’re likely to assume that you are poor.
3) How Intelligent You Are
When someone first meets you, they will decide immediately how intelligent you are based on nothing more than certain behaviors or physical characteristics.
People are more likely to assume you’re intelligent if you look them in the eye while talking to them, if you’re wearing glasses, and if you’re speaking expressively. Those may or may not be accurate indicators of intelligence, but it’s what our brain looks for.
4) How Dominant You Are
If you’re a man, the person you meet will judge how dominant of a personality you have. Some attributes that are perceived to be dominant are a bald head, height, and the strength of a person’s handshake.
If you want people to perceive you as more dominant but don’t want to shave your head or worry you may be too short, there are a few things you can do. The most important are to stand up straight and tall, keep your chest out, and make sure you have a firm handshake (not a death grip, but not a dead fish).
5) How Promiscuous You Are
If you’re a woman, people will make some instant judgments about you that may be less than flattering or fair. This is especially true for women who have visible tattoos. Even though they’re more common today than ever before, these tattoos still carry some negative connotations.
Many people perceive women with tattoos as more promiscuous, assume they’re heavier drinkers, and generally find them less attractive than women without any ink. Although these attitudes are changing as more women get tattoos, they are still common among many older people.
6) Your Sexual Orientation
In the same amount of time it takes a person to judge trustworthiness, people will judge a man’s sexual orientation. While there’s almost no way to know if these guesses are accurate, most people will immediately make assumptions about whether men are gay or straight.
7) How Adventurous You Are
Based on the way you walk, people will make judgments about how adventurous you are. If you tend to walk more loosely, you’ll be judged as more adventurous. If you’re more clipped or tight, people will assume you’re neurotic.
8) How Successful You Are
Men who wear nice, tailored suits are viewed as much more successful than men in ill-fitting clothing (even if they’re otherwise nice suits).
If you want to appear successful, make sure you’re wearing clothes that actually fit you.