Alexander Todorov is the name of the Princeton Psychology professor who conducted one of the most in-depth studies of first impressions. In particular, prof. Todorov was interested in micro-exposure to faces and how it impacts people’s perception of a person. The subject was so vast that he went to publish a book on the topic, called “Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions”.
On this blog post, we won’t be able to address his whole body of research, though we believe the three following takeaways could change your life forever:
1- Raise your eyebrows and smile when you meet a person.
Smiling is a given. Everybody loves a good smile and it will be well received. But did you know that raising your eyebrows can make people trust you more? This is because this movement is a natural reflex that occurs when you greet someone you know. By consciously doing this to strangers, they will feel more comfortable and at-ease with you.
2- You can’t control the shape of your face, but you can control its cleanliness
Of course we would talk about skincare, but in a sense, this study gives us validation. Prof. Todorov found that exposure to a face for even less than a tenth of a second has an impact on first impressions. This suggests that the “quality” of your skin is an important factor in making first impression. If you look tired, old, or have a skin condition, this will pass on to the other person and will be forever marked in his impression of you. Using a moisturiser for men, and/or a face wash could do wonders in this department.
3- Tilt your head sideways slightly
This is another sign of confidence when greeting somebody. Once again, it is a subconscious response to greeting somebody you know well and using it with people you haven’t met before can have great results in building rapport.
And there you have it. 3 simple tips to improve your charisma. If you are an introvert, don’t forget that most of these skills can be learned and the only way to improve is to train by exposing yourself to situations you are uncomfortable with.