When you meet someone new at work, you will probably react in the same way whether you are an introvert or extrovert. A shake of the hands, and few words of greeting and then move on to your job. However, that is not the case in many other work situations, such as meeting and gatherings. The extrovert will be a ‘people’ person, where the introvert will be the one that sits quietly on their own nursing their drink.
Bearing this in mind, how does an introvert make a good first impression?
Look Them In the Eye
This is exactly what an extrovert will do when they meet someone new, but an introvert will be looking anywhere other than the face. Imagine you need to know the color of their eyes and look straight at them. Give them a nice smile at the same time and you will appear to be much more confident than you are feeling inside.
Once you have made that initial contact, it will get easier to chat to them, but you should not start looking all over the place because you still feel a bit nervous. You should continue to look straight at them, although do not make it look like a stare.
Watch Your Body Language
There are some actions that will make you look doubtful and even hostile. Folding your arms or linking your hands both have this effect. Instead, you should try to relax your shoulders, arms, and hands and then your whole posture will show that you trust the other person.
When you shake their hand, do it with firmness, as a weak handshake is said to show a weak personality.
This is a much better way for someone new to get a first impression of you.
Find Things In Common
Instead of relying on the usual business chitchat, ask something that is a bit more unusual to see if you can find things you may have in common. For instance, ask about their hobbies and see if you have any shared interests. If they are keen on making things you can let them know that you know how to make your own hoodie. If they want to travel the world, you can discuss some of the places you have been too, and see if they have already visited them too. It could be they love horses or reading, but with so many interests around, it can be quite easy to find a common factor somewhere.
The more things you find that you have in common the more you will relax and the conversation will flow without you having to make too much effort.
Imitate Their Gestures
This does not mean you should do this in a way a comedian would, to make fun of them. If they are slouching, for instance, you should not stand too straight and tall. If they are speaking quickly, you do the same, just as you should slow down your speech if that is how they talk.
For an extrovert this is easy and they do these things without even thinking about it. For an introvert, they have to make a conscious effort but the results are that they can become more comfortable talking to a stranger.
An introvert is usually nervous about introducing themselves to new people, and the more important they perceive that person to be the worse the problem gets. You can interrupt the inner dialogue that makes you feel this way by standing in front of a mirror and repeating the same word over and over again. It should be something simple like nice or great, and you should say it in as many different voices and tones as you can muster.
Then when you meet someone for the first time, you start the process of repeating the word in your head. This interrupts the mindset of being nervous and helps you get through the worst few minutes of greeting a new acquaintance.
It Is Not Easy
None of these things are easy for an introvert to do and they can take a concerted effort. They need to be done if you want to be successful though and you can take heart from the fact the some of the best-known people are introverts. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are two prime examples of introverts that have achieved success, and then from history, there are the likes of Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton who were the same.