Have you ever noticed how the instant you meet someone, you automatically know if there’s potential or not?
That’s the power of first impressions.
The first impression someone has of you is remarkably enduring AND remarkably accurate.
All it takes is a tenth of a second to sum someone up.
In just 100 milliseconds, you have a good sense of whether a person is attractive, likable, trustworthy, or competent.
And in 30 seconds, you know whether you’d want to sleep with them.
It’s Not Just Your Body
Now, here’s where we get it wrong.
We get it wrong by thinking that first impressions are just about appearances.
We think that he’s looking at our body and judging us by how we look.
And if you’re like so many women, you don’t really like your body. That’s the last thing you want him to focus on. You want him to get to know your sparkling personality first, so he overlooks the imperfect parts of you.
If you’re sick and tired of the pressure to look sexy, then I have good news for you.
When a man sees you for the first time, an ancient part of his brain gets activated.
It’s a part of his brain that he shares with our cavemen ancestors.
This part of his brain does not care whether you’ve got figure flaws. It does not care what you’re wearing.
All it cares about is answering 3 crucial questions about you—questions you never realized were on his mind.
Why First Impressions Matter
Ever wondered why first impressions matter so much to us?
Think back to the days of our tribal ancestors. They lived in small tightly-knit groups. If they saw a stranger walking towards them, they needed to know immediately whether they should welcome this person or whether this person brought danger.
Our ancestors who were able to make accurate snap judgments survived, while our ancestors who were too trusting died out.
That primal instinct is alive and well in us today.
Every time we meet a new person, our ancient instincts kick in to deliver the answer to 3 vital questions:
- Is this person friend or foe?
- Is this person a winner or a loser?
- Is this person an ally or an adversary?
If our gut instincts know we’re in the presence of a friend, ally, and winner, then we’ll let down our guard and welcome them in.
But if this person doesn’t seem friendly, or they don’t seem to be on our side, then it doesn’t matter how attractive they are. We won’t want to see them again.
1. Friend or Foe?
So let’s look at the first question:
Is this person friend or foe?
You would think, wouldn’t you, that it’s obvious you’re friendly. You wouldn’t be out on a date with this guy if you weren’t!
But when you’re nervous, your body language stiffens up. You can come across as defensive without realizing it.
You hold your purse to your chest. You cross your arms. You stand as far away from him as possible. You give him a little tight smile. That’s closed body language, and it’s a turn-off.
What you want is friendly body language, which is relaxed and open. It’s a big warm smile. It’s leaning in. It’s feeling comfortable by his side.
You want to feel it, not fake it. So I’m not going to give you body language instructions. Instead, I’m going to give you the mind hack I use to cultivate a friendly mindset.
What I do is simple.
I go in with the mindset that I already like this guy.
You know that corny saying? Everyone is a friend you haven’t met yet.
There’s science behind it. Research shows that men find friendliness very attractive in women. When you’re warm and friendly, a man sees you as more feminine.
That’s bad new for those ice queens out there. A woman who’s cool and aloof is actually emphasizing her masculine side.
2. Winner or Loser?
Next, is this person a winner or a loser?
Social status matters. You may have an imperfect body, but when you carry yourself with authority and dress in a well-tailored outfit, he doesn’t care. He just sees a queen.
Unfortunately, first dates seem designed to bring out the loser in us.
By that, I mean the feeling that we’ve lost before we’ve even started. How often do you spend the lead-up to a date reliving every self-doubt and insecurity you’ve ever felt?
When you show up on a date, I want you to feel like you’re on an equal playing field. He’s not the one picking you; you’re the one picking him, too. He’s not better than you!
One of the best ways to go into your date feeling strong is to set your date up so you can win.
Instead of setting yourself the impossible goal of trying to win a guy over in 30 minutes or less—who wants that pressure?—go in with a goal you know you can achieve.
Decide that this date is going to be a win if you enjoyed yourself. Or this date is going to be a win if you find out something interesting about this guy. You set the rules.
Then, no matter whether this date goes anywhere or not, you’ll walk away feeling like a winner.
3. Ally or Adversary?
The final question is:
Is this person an ally or an adversary?
In other words, is this person working for me or against me?
What distinguishes great dates from miserable dates is the other person’s attitude towards you.
You can tell when a guy likes you and wants you to feel comfortable and relaxed.
You can also tell when a guy is trying to throw you off balance, like he’s the catch and you should be honored to be sitting here with him.
Other guys bring attitude to a date. They generalize about “all women,” forgetting they’re sitting with one. They complain about their exes. You end up feeling put on the defensive, even though you never did anything to this guy.
If you want to avoid making that same mistake yourself, there’s a simple way to do it:
Root for this guy.
Make him feel comfortable. Make it easy for him to come across as his best self.
Make it clear that you’re on the same team. You are both here right now because you’re looking for a special connection. Maybe that person isn’t each other, but you’re still on the same side.
Guys can tell when you’re interested in them and care about their wellbeing. Don’t be a jerk just because you’re not into the guy. No one wants to sit through a painful date with someone who clearly doesn’t like them.
So there you have it.
You can ace a first impression with friendly body language, the confidence of a winner, and the positive energy of being on the same side.
Those are the people we want to be around.
Those are the people we want to see again.