3 Surprising Hacks to Ace a First Impression

It’s nerve-wracking enough to message someone online.

But then to meet them in person?


You can always put your best foot forward online. You can think about what you want to say before you type it. You can post that one photo (out of the dozens you took) that flatters you in every way.

None of that matters once he meets you.

Once he meets you, he’ll form an impression of you that you’re powerless to change.

So how do you make sure it’s the RIGHT impression?

That’s what behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards studies.

She uses science to break down the practical skills of communicating charisma, leadership, and confidence.

And she’s discovered 3 unexpected techniques that will ensure you’ll make a memorable first impression.

First Impression Hack #1:
Don’t worry about what you say.


What you say really doesn’t matter.

What matters is your body language.

Van Edwards analyzed hundreds of hours of TED talks to find out why some talks went viral while others went unnoticed. She discovered that viewers rated the talks the same, regardless of whether they watched them with the sound ON or OFF.

She even discovered the secret to exceptional body language:

It’s all in the hands.

Your hands are the first thing people notice about you. No, they’re not noticing whether you have a manicure or not! They’re looking to see whether your hands are out in the open or hidden behind your back.

Throughout human history, the first thing anyone wanted to know about an approaching stranger was whether they were safe or not. If the stranger’s hands were hidden, they might be carrying a weapon. If the stranger’s hands were visible, it was a sign they were coming in peace.

So make sure your hands are out in the open when you meet him for the first time. Don’t shove your hands in your pockets or clasp them behind your back.

And, wherever possible, do your talking with your hands. The more expressive your hands, the more memorable he’ll find you.

First Impression Hack #2:
Smile only when you mean it.

Van Edwards did a fun study to find out who people hated more: people who talked too much, people who said nothing at all, people who were fake, or people who were show-offs.

Care to guess the answer?

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Dressing to Attract Men

Is it better to be conventionally attractive…

Or is it better to look interesting?

I’ll tell you what I’ve noticed about the effect this has for women, but first, let me tell you about guys who have tested this idea.

“Peacocking” is rooted in Mother Nature’s design for male birds.

In many bird species, the male looks significantly different to the female. His bold visual display is designed to attract female attention.

The peacock is one example. The female is brown, perfectly camouflaged to blend into the landscape, while the male is iridescent blue with a huge tail span. The male’s exceptional appearance doesn’t help it survive in the wild, but it does help attract female interest.

From these natural beginnings, “peacocking” became popular in the 1990s among a subset of men in the bar and club scene. These men found that, the crazier they looked, the easier it was to pick up women. They wore wild shirts, dyed their hair, and added piercings. Everyone noticed them. Women, far from being repulsed, were curious.

It takes a certain personality to pull off an outrageous outfit. For many people, that much attention wouldn’t feel good. You’d have to be comfortable with being stared at. You’d have to be okay with being asked why you’re wearing that crazy thing.

What a person wears is highly personal.

There’s a lot of information out there about personal style, picking the right silhouette for your body type, and so forth. For most people, the idea is to look the best you can with what you’ve got.

But there’s another school of thought that favors originality. Cutting-edge fashion is less about making the wearer attractive than it is about exploring lines, texture, contrast, and other design elements.

You don’t often see women dressed as if they’d stepped straight from the pages of Vogue in the aisles of your local grocery store, because this kind of fashion isn’t for everyday wear.

But imagine if you did see such a woman behind a grocery cart, perusing the apple display. Wouldn’t you be curious?

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4 Steps to Defuse His Emotional Triggers

It was just a comment.

All Amanda did was ask Ethan to pitch in to get chores done.

Okay, maybe she mentioned the fact that all he was doing was sitting on the sofa staring at his phone. But it was a light-hearted joke. She wasn’t being mean about it.

Ethan blew up. He stormed out and slammed the door behind him. What kind of grown man still slams doors?

Amanda was furious. And sick at the same time.

She was mad at Ethan for overreacting and terrified she’d done something horrible to end their relationship.

That’s when she reached out to me.

Spotting Triggers

Most of us come to relationships with baggage.

Not necessarily the kind of baggage that’s obvious, like a past marriage or financial problems, but rather invisible baggage.

We all have emotional wounds, sore spots, where we were teased as kids, shamed by partners, or punished by parents.

These are sensitive areas where we can’t tolerate even the most well-intentioned joke.

If you were teased about your weight as a kid, you may get defensive if someone makes a comment about your weight now—even if they’re just appreciating how fit you are.

If your parents shamed you for staring at the television for hours on end, you may get defensive about your right to relax with your favorite show—even though no one is suggesting you’re lazy.

Your brain can’t distinguish between the harmless comment you’re hearing in the present and the verbal attacks you remember from the past.

These emotional triggers can sabotage a relationship.

How Emotional Triggers Affect Your Relationship

When your partner is triggered, it’s like he changes into someone else.

He’s angry at you in a way you don’t recognize. It’s almost as if he’s not even seeing YOU; he’s seeing the person from the past who hurt him.

Your initial instinct is to defend yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong! You’ve made comments like this a thousand times before and he never got upset.

But defending yourself and shaming him for overreacting just sends him deeper into the shame spiral.

He’s already feeling attacked on an area he feels sensitive about. Now he feels that you’re trying to make HIM the guilty party, just because he stood up for himself. You’re dismissing his feelings on top of it.

You’re confused. You don’t understand what just happened. You’re both hurt and angry at each other.

There’s a better way.

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2 Dating Strategies That Get You What You Want

Which dating strategy appeals most to you?

  1. Get lots of male attention by learning exactly what to do to make men notice you and want you.
  2. Find your future husband by leading with your most authentic, vulnerable self.

Every woman needs a different strategy at different times in her life.

When she’s just starting out dating, she’s more interested in finding out what makes men tick and what men in general prefer.

As she gets older, she’s less interested in attracting a lot of men and more interested in attracting that one RIGHT man.

It turns out that you need different strategies depending on your dating goals.

So if the strategy you’re using isn’t working for you, try something different. Here are your options.

Dating Strategy #1:
The Cool Girl Every Man Wants

If what you’re looking for is confidence and a rock-solid belief in your own attractiveness, then this is a good strategy for you.

It feels great when you’re able to turn heads and get asked out any time you want.

The way this strategy works is by shaping your first impressions to reflect the kind of female most men find attractive. Fun, feminine, independent and flirty.

But men have two different “attraction circuits.”

One circuit is built into their biology. Men are primed to respond to features like shiny hair, an hourglass figure, and signs of fertility and health. So if you want to attract MOST men, this is the attraction circuit you want to focus on.

Men also have another attraction circuit. This is their own unique personalized “love map.”

Every single man has a different set of traits he finds irresistibly attractive in a woman. Often, he’s not even conscious of why he’s attracted to those traits. His guy friends look at who he chooses as a girlfriend and shake their heads; they don’t get it, either.

A man’s love map is idiosyncratic and inexplicable, but it creates an attraction that’s MUCH more powerful than his biological circuitry.

He can appreciate a beautiful woman, but he can’t resist a woman who triggers his subconscious imprinting.

That’s where Dating Strategy #2 comes in…

Dating Strategy #2:
Dare to Be Your Authentic, Vulnerable Self

Over time, my older clients often find that they’re not as interested in being the kind of woman men want anymore. They become more interested in finding someone who loves them just as they are.

That’s when your dating strategy needs to shift.

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