Words by Lisa Vanterpool
Illustration by Ravnita Rayet
Meeting someone for the first time can be naturally difficult. Whether they’re male or female, whether it’s a first date or a business meeting, it’s hard to walk into a situation not knowing what to expect. Perhaps there aren’t any tricks to make an introduction seamless but here are a few tips that will certainly make it easier.
1. Look someone in the eye
You would be surprised at how rarely this happens these days. Whether we’re distracted by our phones, our friends or another person we’d like to meet, making eye contact is becoming more and more rare. But, looking someone in the eye shows your sincerity and confidence. It’s a one-two punch that makes you memorable. At least more memorable than the simpleton who didn’t have the courage to look them in the eye. Business, dates or networking, take the time to look them in the eye and then follow up with…
And please, none of that fake smile stuff either. Smile from your gut, smile with your eyes, smile so that joy is radiating from you. And why shouldn’t you smile? You’re meeting a human being, who’s not behind a computer screen, who isn’t a troll (that you know of) that is interested in meeting you. Also, you’re not on a bad tinder date so that’s more than enough reason to smile isn’t it?
3. Set the tone
And finally, this is where things can get tricky. Let’s talk business first. Often times we’re taught to follow the lead of the most senior person and while that allows us to get comfortable in following, imagine how much confidence you’d be showing if you were the one to reach your hand out for the first handshake? You’re not being rude, you’re being ballast, courteous and ambitious with one initiated handshake.
Now, say you’re in more of a friendly situation. Let’s say you’re meeting a friend of a friend at a bar. Sure you could go for the handshake, although to me that always feels a bit stuffy. In this instance, I’d follow the French and go for a quick peck on the cheek. If you’re feeling very French you could do both cheeks but that could quickly go awry with nose placements and the accidental headbutt.
One quick, single kiss shows that you’re personable, cultured and chic. Trust me. But if the kiss isn’t your thing then go for a gentle handshake but, by all means, please do yourself a favour and avoid the awkward wave. No love, that’s not cute or chic on anyone.