There is a popular saying, “We don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” While this is true, it can also cause people to not be their true selves.

It’s natural for us to want to be liked by others, so we often behave in ways we think is acceptable. The problem with this is we will always default back to our everyday habits over time.

Sometimes that will be acceptable by certain people, but there is also a risk that others may not be impressed when we return back to our “normal” way of behaving.

Trying to impress someone by not being our true, authentic selves can cost us in many different ways including:

  • Broken professional or personal relationships.

We have to always be aware of how we come across to others especially in the different situations we find ourselves in.

The costs of trying to impress others

During my previous corporate career, I witnessed people trying to be impressive during job interviews. While there are certain interview “dos and don’ts,” most times it’s obvious when someone is not being their true self and is trying to come across as someone they’re not.

I remember once hiring someone for an administration role that required dealing with different delivery drivers. During the interview, she said many things right and mentioned some of her weaknesses. For the core competencies that were required for the role, she was convinced she had the right skills and attitude.

At that time, I really needed someone in the role quickly so that it would free up some of my time, so I decided to give her a chance. I employed her as a casual employee, which ended being a good decision. Within a couple of days, even with training provided, she really struggled with the most basic tasks. During her interactions with others, she lacked confidence and failed to follow through on things she said she would do.

During that first week, I checked in many times with her to see how she was doing and whether she needed any additional support to do what needed to be done. On each occasion, she said she was okay and would ask for help if she needed to, which did not happen.

After speaking to a few key people in that department, I had to make the decision that she would not be the right person for the role going forward. The mistake I had made was hiring her too quickly without doing my due diligence because I needed someone straight away.

That decision ended up costing me more time and effort so when I re-advertised for the role, I made sure I did not make the same mistake again. The person I eventually hired again ended being a good fit for the team and did an excellent job while she was in the role.

The lesson I learned from that experience was not to always jump to conclusions or assume a person is a certain way. Asking better questions will always reveal the true nature of a person.

10 Things You Should Never Do to Impress Another Person

  1. Criticising someone to make yourself look good. Putting someone down in order to feel better about ourselves is never a good thing.

Having a healthy level of self-confidence and self-esteem are the keys to success in life. If we’re comfortable with who we are, we won’t have to pretend to be someone we’re not. The more we can be our true selves, the better connections and relationships we’ll have with people.

Action Step: Next time you’re meeting someone for the first time or reconnecting with someone you’d met previously, pay particular attention to how you approach the meeting. If you don’t think you can be yourself, ask yourself why. Evaluate whether anything suggested above may be playing out for you.

Question: What is something else we should never do to impress someone?

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Neel Raman

Neel Raman

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