10 Surprising Things That Are Making You Give Off A Bad First Impression

Whether you want to admit it or not, making a good first impression is important to you. It’s not just about being vain – there is actual science behind first impressions being a big deal. Studies have found that first impressions are so powerful that they’re more important to people than facts. Other studies have found that first impressions are incredibly difficult to change, which makes it even more stressful. This is why you don’t want to make a bad first impression on someone important – and unfortunately, there are probably some things you’re doing that are making you give off a bad view of yourself to others.

If you watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, you know that the person who gets the “first impression rose” is usually a contestant who makes it almost almost to the end. It’s no scientific study,  but that’s proof that the good vibes you create at the first impression can allow for people to give you the benefit of the doubt and feel instantly connected to you!


Ben gave Olivia the first impression rose. (It didn’t turn out too well for her, but she made it pretty far.)

Sometimes you can say, “I don’t know why- they just don’t like me” or “People like me when they get to know me.”   This is the wrong mindset. While making other people like you is out of your control, you can do some things that give you instant rapport with a person. It is possible to gain someone’s respect instantly. Personally, I used to not put a ton of effort or thought into the way I looked each day, but now that I’ve realized how important first impressions are, I’ve started caring more. While I know that what’s inside is what really matters, I had to get real– showing up in a way that instantly made people think I had my sh*t together was only going to make my life easier!

You might not realize it, but you could be doing some things that are ruining your first impression. You want to set yourself up for success, so here are some things to avoid doing:

Being Rude To Waitstaff

Sometimes we can be super nice to the people we're trying to impress but rude to everyone else. Such a mistake. If you snap at your parents, act dismissively to your waiter, or yell out to the person walking past that you need service, you're definitely going to be making the opposite of a good impression, even if you're being nice to the person you want to impress. Being nice to everyone is important - for good first impressions and just in general!

Source: iStock


One-upping is a common habit that people fall into when meeting new people. You might even do it without realizing it! If someone says, "I've had a really busy week" and you're a one-upper, you reply with, "There's no way it was as busy as mine- it was insane!" Anything the other person says has to be topped by you. It could be a way for you to subconsciously impress the other person, but it usually has the opposite effect. It's totally fine to talk about shared experiences, but make sure you're not trying to "beat" the other person, and you're just sharing your story.

Source: iStock

Dirty Fingernails

Maybe you never notice the state of other people's fingernails, but there are people out there who do. They will clock that you have dirt under your nails or chipped nail polish. Every introduction starts with a handshake, so naturally, hands are an important part of the first impression. Keeping your nails looking clean and manicured is going to show you take care of yourself! (If you can't afford a $20 manicure every month- I feel you. Just make sure they look nice.)

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This is hard, but when you're first meeting someone, avoid going on a negative rant or making a disparaging comment about something. They'll associate you with those negative feelings. People are drawn to other people who make them feel good (even if they don't realize that that's the reason!). Of course this doesn't mean you can't complain at all, but try to avoid it if possible.

Source: iStock

Dirty Shoes

A lot of people are obsessed with shoes, but it's for good reason! Shoes can make or break a first impression. Even if your whole outfit is on point but your shoes are sloppy, certain people will take notice. If you're not that into shoes, make sure you invest in a few nice pairs when you want to get off on the right foot (pun intended) with somebody important.

Source: iStock

Forgetting The Other Person's Name

Saying that "you're not good with names" isn't a good enough excuse. It's vital that you listen when someone says their name to you, repeat it, and then use it a few times during the conversation. (People love the sound of their own name.) Use a pneumatic device if you have to, but REMEMBER THEIR NAME! It's going to really impress that important person.

Source: iStock

Looking Around And Disinterested

You might not realize you're doing it, but acting disinterested by looking around the party while the other person is talking to you can really make the wrong first impression. It makes them feel small and unimportant. Instead, act like you're talking to a future best friend. Give them attention and be engaged!

Source: iStock

Being On Your Phone

You probably know that being on your phone when meeting someone new is inappropriate, but you are probably still doing it! Even quickly checking your text messages or resorting to it because you feel bored or uncomfortable is a definite mistake. Show that you can be without technology for the time that you're meeting this other person.

Source: iStock

Wearing Something Old or Destroyed

When you're meeting someone new and trying to impress them, make sure you're wearing something that you feel comfortable in and also something that isn't too laid back. You don't need to be straight off the pages of Vogue, but you shouldn't meet someone wearing old sweats and flip-flops. People judge you based on your clothes, no matter how nice they are.

Source: iStock

Standing Too Closely

Personal space is important! When you're nervous, you might have a tendency to "close in" on the other person. For most people, this makes them feel uncomfortable. Making a good first impression is all about helping the other person feel at ease.

Source: iStock

What do you think makes a great first impression? Let me know in the comments below!

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7 Tips On How To Make A Good First Impression

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