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How The Most Emotionally Intelligent People Make Great First Impressions

Stashed in: Emotion, Listen!, Awesome, Intelligence, Body Language

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Being aware of themselves helps emotionally intelligent people stand back, look at themselves, and focus on how they'll be perceived by others. This helps them approach others with a smile, a warm welcoming look, and a firm handshake (or, if it's appropriate, a sincere hug).

People with high emotional intelligence are aware of body language—theirs and others—and use this knowledge to indicate (with their bodies) they're open to what the other person has to say. What's more, they know this can be even more important than the words they use—that the person they're meeting will be making subconscious judgments about them based on the messages their own bodies send.

Some easy cues can make a big difference. Try standing shoulder-to-shoulder, at an angle to one another, as opposed to facing each other head-on. And don't overdo the eye contact; look at each other consistently but don't stare too intensely either. A genuine, connecting look will convey interest and sincerity.

But keep in mind that these acts take just seconds to happen and relay a complex set of messages to the brain. To get them right, you can't force yourself into a set of deliberate behaviors. You need to practice them until they're automatic. So the more you put yourself into situations where you're forced to meet new people, the better you'll become.


One of our most basic needs is simply to be heard. That much you know. But without realizing it, you may spend too much space in a conversation thinking of how to reply than actually listening to the other person's words. People with high emotional intelligence make a conscious choice to try to understand where the other person is coming from—to grasp not only what someone is saying but why they're saying it. And that means listening not just to the content of somebody's speech but their tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions.

To be sure, these aren't the only things that cause highly emotionally intelligent people to make great first impressions. But these behaviors can show others—even subconsciously—that you're going the extra mile to learn and care about them from the very first instant you meet.

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