I've been meeting a lot of people this past week. A lot of people. Which is great, of course, but it makes me nervous. As an introvert, I'm terrible at coming up with small talk, and I'm terrified that I'm going to say something stupid. And that is not an unfounded fear, by the way – I have a habit of slurring or totally mispronouncing words when I'm nervous, coming out sounding somewhere between a sleepy Australian and a goat.
When you meet someone for the very first time, what do you want them to think of you? First impressions are often the most important; the first ten minutes of conversation tend to make or break a connection. Now, I will be the first to admit that this is not always true! Many of the friends I respect the most are the ones I wasn't too fond of at first. But you always want people to walk away with at least a healthy respect.
I want people to walk away from me knowing that I am straightforward, I have a good (if quirky) sense of humor, and that I live for a purpose greater than myself. I also hope not to come off too stupid with the whole Aussi goat thing. I don't expect, nor even want everyone to like me, but I would like them to remember me with a degree of respect.
Last week, I had someone pay me an unexpected compliment that I really appreciated. It was someone who I had met once about four years ago, briefly conversed, and hadn't really thought about since. I ran into them at a conference and after 'reintroducing' myself, he said, “Wait, I remember you now – you are really easy-going, and you smile a lot... I like your personality.” It was just a passing comment, and he wasn't trying to flatter me, but it gave me a genuine objective look at how one person had formed an impression of me, and it’s one I hope most people come away with.
What do you want people to remember when they first meet you? What kind of impression do you want to leave people with? Leave me a comment!
*I'm back!! This is the post I was supposed to put up last week during Focal Point, but never got around to. We're going to have a bonus post to make up for it. :)