First impressions do count – and it takes less than 30 seconds to form an opinion on someone. A study of 2,000 adults found 35 percent think initial thoughts on others matter a lot when it comes to forming social relationships.
And the average first impression is made within just 27 seconds of meeting – although a third of those polled make up their mind in under 10 seconds.
A friendly smile (51 percent), good manners (43 percent), and eye contact (35 percent) were revealed as the best ways to make your mark.
Other methods included arriving on time (29 percent), being conversational (23 percent), and dressing smartly (15 percent).
The research identified scenarios in which people are most keen to impress – with a job interview (68 percent), a date (52 percent), and meeting a partner’s parents (38 percent), named as the top three.
Relationship coach, Charlene Douglas, who has partnered with Listerine, which commissioned the research, said: “We form first impressions subconsciously almost every single day.
“What someone’s wearing, how they carry themselves, and how often they smile, can play a key part in how we form opinions of people we meet.
“The research shows that a friendly smile can go a long way – so it’s just as important to look after your oral health, as well as your attire, to ensure you have the confidence to make a lasting sensational first impression.”
The study also found people typically feel nervous (40 percent) and anxious (35 percent) when meeting others for the first time – but 23 percent feel calm.
When meeting someone of importance for the first time, 43 percent try to act welcoming and friendly.
Initial factors adults notice about others are their smile (23 percent), clothes (17 percent), and eyes (13 percent).
And vice versa, 82 percent said having a smile on their face makes them feel more confident when meeting someone.
More than three-quarters (83 percent) agreed confidence is central to making a good first impression, and 63 percent believe such opinions last a lifetime.
A good night’s sleep (44 percent), fresh breath (44 percent), and wearing new clothes (29 percent) are among the factors that help them feel more confident when meeting someone new.
And those surveyed, via OnePoll, think they make a good first impression 45 percent of the time – but 35 percent worry it’s difficult to change perceptions once they’ve been made.
More than two-thirds (68 percent) feel they have a good instinct for telling what someone is like – and 54 percent believe their initial opinions of others typically turn out to be true.
Charlene Douglas added: “Start the day right and allow yourself enough time to get to important meetings, to avoid the stress of making a good first impression, and it’s likely to come across without having to even try.”