How To Make The Best First Impression, No Matter Who You’re Meeting

Whether you’re on a first date, meeting the parents, or at a dreaded job interview, you only get one chance to make a good (and lasting) first impression. It’s hard to change someone’s initial opinions of you, and sometimes you never even get the chance. Since you never know what the day has in store for you or who you could meet along the way (like your future husband), you should be bringing your best self everywhere you go, not just out on special occasions.  To do this, follow these 10 simple rules. You should already know most of these are important, but let’s talk about why:

  1. Look and feel your best.. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy makeup or designer clothes, but it does mean you need to bathe regularly, brush your teeth, and look put-together You could be the smartest, funniest, nicest girl in the room with the best bod, but if you have B.O., bad breath, or show up with a wrinkled or stained shirt, that’s the only thing anyone will notice.
  2. Mind your manners. This should go without saying, but basic etiquette is always a must. Your best friend may forgive you for not saying please and thank you, but a stranger will always remember you as the girl who had no home training.
  3. Make yourself memorable. Unless you’re in Hollywood, you should ignore the old “all publicity is good publicity” adage and make sure you’re remembered in a positive light. Play up the best parts of your personality and let them shine. If you’re funny, make some jokes – just be aware of your audience so you don’t offend someone.
  4. Kiss some ass. Who doesn’t appreciate a good compliment? You should be able to find at least ONE nice thing to say about someone – just make sure it’s genuine. Giving an unsolicited and sincere compliment shows you’re observant and paying attention to the person you’re talking to.
  5. Be five minutes early. Too many people take time (and other people’s time) for granted. Being late to meet someone is a huge sign of disrespect, so try your best to always arrive at least five minutes before you’re expected. Even if it’s your 100th meeting, making someone wait for you will always leave a bad taste in their mouth. When you’re unavoidably late, save the excuses and just apologize.
  6. Speak up, and speak clearly. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a conversation with someone and having no idea what they’re saying. Unless you have an obvious excuse, like English isn’t your first language or you have a serious stutter, enunciate your words and speak proper English, leaving the slang at home.
  7. Have a strong handshake. A strong handshake is a sign of confidence, and that doesn’t just apply to guys. Shake that hand like you own it!
  8. Keep your body language in check. Look at someone in the eyes when they’re talking to you (without staring too intently)  and have a relaxed stance with your arms uncrossed to express that you’re comfortable and open to conversation. Staring at the floor and mumbling answers to every question won’t send the right marriage.
  9. Flash a smile or two. But before you do, make sure there’s no food in your teeth. This doesn’t mean walking around like one of those smug jerks who smiles for no reason, but you can take off your bitchy resting face for a five minute introduction.
  10. Put your phone away. There is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone who is busy looking at their phone. That’s awesome that you have three new matches on tinder, but check them out later when you get home, and pay attention to the person standing in front of you, not on your screen.
Rachael is an award winning stand-up comedienne, freelance writer, and BravoTV superfan. Her Real Housewives tagline is “The only thing bigger than my boobs are my personalities.” In her spare time, she keeps busy catering to the needs of a very spoiled Siberian Husky, (Paris Hilton), cleaning the skeletons out of her closet (to make room for more shoes), and swiping left to everyone on Tinder. Follow her on twitter @therealplandd.