What is your First Impression?

by Sonja van den Bosch

What is your First Impression?

First impressions…we give and receive them every day, often even without even realising it. It happens in a couple of seconds, using our senses: seeing, hearing, smelling and especially FEELING. You know this gut feeling you get, this sign from inside your body, often in your solar plexus or heart area, that gives you an inclination whether something is right or wrong for you, whether you should go ahead or not, whether you like someone or not. You often can’t explain why, but it feels like your inner body is trying to tell you something. This feeling faints away very rapidly and you might even miss it, if you are not alert, as very quickly the content and words take over and our brain kicks in.

Meet & Greet Intuition

I have often wondered about my ‘meet & greet intuition’. In the first couple of seconds of meeting someone, I do get this feeling in my body, a sense of whether I’ll be able to have a meaningful relationship, connect with someone on a values level and work well together. It happens in a fleeting moment and the message is clearer when I am 100% present and tuned in.

It not only happens with meeting new people, but also with going to new places. The moment I walked into the house my family and I are now living in, we all knew that it was THE place for us. I can’t explain it, but it just felt right. Even more bizarre, but also comforting at the same time is that I immediately knew that my husband and my kids felt the same without saying a word to each other.

Funnily enough, it took me 5 years (yes, that long!) to realise that my best friend Arjen is the love of my life. Although I immediately liked Arjen (a good first impression) and knew that we would be great friends, I never expected to get married to him, move to the other side of the world and have twin boys together.

So, how does it work?

I find this topic of first impressions fascinating, so I decided to do some research into how people judge you when they first meet you. I found some great insights from Harvard Psychologist and Author of the New York times Bestseller Presence, Amy Cuddy.

Amy Cuddy says that there are 2 questions we answer quickly to assess someone:

Question 1: Can I trust this person?

Question 2: Can I respect this person?

Psychologists relate trust to WARMTH and relate respect to COMPETENCE. Ideally you want to be perceived as having both.

Interestingly, in a business context most people believe that competence is the more important factor. After all you want to prove that are smart and talented to deliver the goods. However, warmth or trustworthiness, is the more crucial element of how people evaluate you.

Amy Cuddy writes: ‘From an evolutionary perspective it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust. If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative. A warm and trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.’

My dear friend, Lisa Westerlaken from The Inner Sage, sent the following message regarding the heart energy yesterday morning:

Did you know the heart emits more frequencies than the brain…

the heart also sends the brain more messages than the brain does to the heart…

Thus the importance of heart energy.

I hope that this article has inspired you to use your heart intelligence / intuition during your next first impressions.


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Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

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