Moving to a new community is an exciting adventure. You get to meet new people and have new experiences. However, that excitement can also stir up some anxiety over making a good impression on the people you meet.
By focusing on some simple tips, you’ll find it easy it to make new friends and cultivate a wonderful reputation in your new community.
First Impression Tips
Smile and make eye contact
One of the best ways to make a great first impression on people you meet is also the simplest: smile and make eye contact. Whether you are passing them on the street, waving to them from the mailbox, running into them at the grocery store, or meeting them in a more formal setting such as a club or event, you can show them you are friendly and present with these two actions. Think about how off-putting it is when someone barely smiles and gives the impression that their attention is elsewhere. It’s easy to avoid this by offering a warm smile, making eye contact, and giving the person your full attention during your exchange.
Practice good body language
Body language is another important element that signals to people whether we are friendly or closed off. When you see someone with their arms crossed, we naturally read that as uninterested. It’s a defensive posture that sends out a message that you don’t want to be bothered. However, standing with your arms at your sides, shoulders back, and your legs uncrossed shows that you are open and approachable.
An easy way to break the ice with someone new is to give them a compliment. Everyone loves to hear something nice said about them. It instantly creates a feeling of appreciation and shows that you are paying attention. Something simple like a compliment on their garden, the shoes they’re wearing or their adorable dog is a small but significant thing that will help them warm to you.
Take the initiative
Instead of waiting for people or opportunities to come to you, seek them out. Join a club, go to local events, and volunteer to show you want to be an active part of the community. You can even take it a step further and donate your time to help organize an event or host one at your home (such as a book club). Find out where help is needed and take the initiative to get involved.
Be kind and courteous
There is no substitute for genuine kindness. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to make a great impression on someone but the best way to do that is to put the other person first. Think about how you can help them and extend kindness wherever possible. It goes a long way.