What do people judge you on when they first meet you? Does attractiveness play a role? Maybe. But the two real qualities people judge you on is your trustworthiness and respect.
Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions alongside with Psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick for more than 15 years. Though which is more important, that the person is trustworthy or respectable, moreover, which comes first? One may think competence and highly respected (being smart) would come first, but from an evolutionary point, Cuddy says, "it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust." Therefore, trusting a person that embodies warmth and trust comes first. Everyone finds it hard to trust people, some more than others due to life history. Having strength in someone or something can control you. Placing confidence in a person is only done after they know that person is reliable. Then you can decide if they are respectable. If they hold Presence, which is the name of Cuddy's new book.
Do you have a friend that gets everything, who is extremely talented? Everyone does. If this person is family or a best friend, you'll be proud of their accomplishments and not threatened. However, if this talented, smart, and successful individual is not someone you trust, you very much feel threatened. You may think they are snobby or disrespectful flashing their intelligence around. As Cuddy says, "A warm, 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."
Overall, to embody these two values and strengthen them, one needs confidence. Confidence helps you approach the cute guy or girl, confidence helps you get the promotion, confidence helps you find what you believe in. First impressions can be a lot of pressure. So next time you meet someone new, maybe think about how you can make them trust you before you show off.
📝 Erica Amatori Twitter & Insta: @ericaamatori