How To Make People Like You On First Contact

We call the first few seconds of contact the "greeting."

Greetings are broken into six parts: Open-Eye-Beam-Hi!-Lean-Handshake. These six actions constitute a welcoming program to carry out in a first encounter.


The first part of the greeting is to open your attitude and your body. For this to work successfully, you must have already decided on a positive attitude that's right for you. This is the time to really feel and be aware of it.

Check to see that your body language is open. If you have the right attitude, this should take care of itself. Keep your heart aimed directly at the person you're meeting. Don't cover your heart with your hands or arms and, when possible, unbutton your jacket or coat.


The second part of the greeting involves your eyes. Be first with eye contact. Look this new person directly in the eye. Let your eyes reflect your positive attitude. To state the obvious: eye contact is real contact!

Get used to really looking at other people's eyes. When you're watching TV one evening, note the eye color of as many people as possible and say the name of the color to yourself. The next day, do the same with every person you meet, looking him or her straight in the eye.


This part is closely related to eye contact. Beam! Be the first to smile. Let your smile reflect your attitude.

Now you've gained the other person's attention through your open body language, your eye contact and your beaming smile.

What that person is picking up subconsciously is an impression not of some grinning, gawking fool (though you may briefly fear you look like one!) but of someone who is completely sincere.

Hi! Whether it's "Hi!" or "Hello!" or even "Yo!" say it with pleasing tonality and attach your own name to it ("Hi! I'm Sam"). As with the smile and the eye contact, be the first to identify yourself. It is at this point, and within only a few seconds, that you are in a position to gather tons of free information about the person you're meeting-information you can put to good use later in your conversation. Take the lead. Extend your hand to the other person, and if it's convenient find a way to say his or her name two or three times to help fix it in memory. Not "Glenda, Glenda, Glenda, nice to meet you" but "Glenda. Great to meet you, Glenda!"


This action can be an almost imperceptible forward tilt to very subtly indicate your interest and openness as you begin to "synchronize" the person you've just met.


Handshakes run the gamut from the strong, sturdy bone crusher to the wet noodle. Both are memorable-once shaken, twice shy, in some cases.

Certain expectations accompany a handshake. It should be firm and respectful, as it you were ringing a hand bell for room service. Deviate from these expectations and the other person will scramble to make sense of what's happening. There is a feeling that something is wrong-like hot water coming out of the cold tap. The brain hates confusion, and when faced with it the first instinct is to withdraw.

The "hands-free" handshake is a handshake without the hand, and it is a powerful tool. Just do everything you would do during a normal handshake but without using your hand. Point your heart at the other person and say hello. Light up your eyes , smile and give off energy.

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