10/06/2012
How to make a good first impression

Just now I made a Google search for "how to make a good first impression". It's another one of those mood swings.

The first link was a little too business-y, and I wasn't thinking of that. It's easy to make a good first impression in a job interview. You just sound interested in a job and then sell yourself. (Not that I know. I've only been to four job interviews, and three of them ended nowhere, although I've always attributed it to me not being the right person for the job, rather than me being an overly eager wacko.) No, I'm looking for the things you do when you meet someone for the first time and want to become friends with them, as in really good friends with them.

So I clicked on the second link. This sounds dinky enough. Also, "life strategies", it says on top. How to make a good first impression, by some life coach. This should be interesting and annoying at the same time.

Step one: Don't talk too much. It's natural to wonder if the whole conversation is going well for you, but find a way to make the other person feel good.

Well, that's something I never do. Franz and Clarisse know this very well. Franz, especially. But is it natural to feel awkward if you're the one asking the questions? There's a lot of common ground in this case: two girls from Taft, talking to a guy who was in Taft for three years, and all three take the same long bus ride home, although I take a longer bus ride and an additional jeepney. And yet I don't remember asking a lot of questions. It's me giving a lecture about how shitty we men can be.

Step two: let your guard down. What's the point in trying to look like you're in control when you're evidently not showing yourself off? Nobody's learning anything and nothing is taken away.

And to think they always ask us to put our best face on. This goes against every notion I have about making a good first impression, which boils down to two things: bring up the good and bury the bad. I should not be hyperactive. People hate hyperactive people. It makes things fun but I leave the encounter feeling like I've screwed it up for everyone. But it just comes out. And when it does come out, I promise to myself that it won't happen again, and then I do it again.

I remember meeting Sam for the first time. For the only time, really. The biter eyeball. I had this fondness for Sam, what with her being the youngest and me being the self-installed leader. I'm sure people thought I was being a pervert. Sam told me so herself. You're making a good impression for everyone. You might be successful towards the one person you're talking to, but not for others, and they'll proceed to undo all the goodwill you've just attained.

Well, I was this close to hosting her debut. I don't know about those card-carrying biters.

Step three: always use a person's name.

Well, yeah, I did that. I do that. I believe in this, but I try not to, because when I do it sounds like I'm totally faking it. I'm trying to imagine the time when I finally meet Issa, which is hopefully closer than the last seven years are. "Issa." "Issa." "Gisela." Nah. Creepy.

Step four: be humble.

I want to skip this, because the accompanying copy on the article revolves around the job interview, and I'm actively trying to avoid that. But was I ever humble in my first encounters? I don't think so. Yes, sometimes I play up the things I'm proud of, but more often than not I'm intimidated by the other person. I often quietly proceed to take myself down a notch (a Finn Hudson step right there) and think that I'm not worthy of talking to the other person.

This never happened with Sam, though. I don't remember what happened in our only meet-up, but it did not go terribly. Well, maybe expect for us trying to act like we were happy to have Edaine around.

Step five: be interested in what the other person is saying, or at the very least, look interested.

Just look interested? No. That is unacceptable. A good conversation is when questions are thrown and answers are given. And then you come up with observations of your own. Macau, apparently, is a pretty staid place. I think it was Kat who told me this. There's not much to see around, she told me, as we walked to the cinema to watch some vampire film. (I know, that movie date isn't a case of making a first impression, but stick with me.) I remembered that fact during another conversation, so I floated this fact, where I got told that it wasn't relevant anyway since she'll be working - but, yeah, that example wasn't a case of making a first impression, either. Shit. Why am I talking about her again?

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