I realized I forgot an important item on my tip list for April 19, tips for making a good first impression.
The final tip: When you’re meeting someone for the first time, don’t throw a fit if something goes wrong. People give more weight to early information than to later information, so if you strike them as irritable or difficult, you’ll find it hard to overcome that impression.
You might think that by acting demanding, you show your high standards, or your sophistication, or your concern about your companions’ well-being. But, to the contrary, most people will be put off if you complain about the food at a restaurant or yell at the guy behind the ticket counter.
So if you’re late, apologize and let it go; don’t keep harping on the idiocy of other drivers. If a report has a mistake, acknowledge it and move on; don’t rage about people’s carelessness.
You’ll make a better impression with self-assurance and resiliency than you will with anger or dissatisfaction.
Years later, I still remember a meeting where a guy I had just met stepped outside the room to scream at a paralegal over the phone. He was never anything but perfectly pleasant to me, but I always avoided him after that. That might have been unfair; he might have had a good reason to be angry, and it might have been the one time he acted that way. But I never got over my first impression.