10 Things You Should Never Do To Impress Someone

Why Not Being Yourself Can Cost You in the Long Run

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.
  • Receiving negative reviews especially if we’re in a service-based profession.
  • Financial loss as a result of broken relationships.
  • Mental and emotional stress.
  • Health challenges.

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.
  2. Holding a grudge against someone and boasting about it. Whenever we hold a grudge, we are the ones who are most affected in a negative way. Saying things about others behind their backs does not reflect well on us.
  3. Lying to make yourself appear better than you really are. Lying is never a solution to any problem or situation we find ourselves in. We always have to be willing to be truthful about who we are or what is going on for us.
  4. Failing to dress appropriately for the situation. While external appearance is not always an indicator of a person’s true nature, there are times when we have to dress for the situation. For example, it is not advisable to go for a job interview or a networking meeting dressed in shorts and a tee-shirt. That will not give other people a positive impression about us.
  5. Not being willing to share your true thoughts or opinions about something. We all have different opinions or perspectives about things in life. That does not mean we are always right or we are always wrong. It’s okay to have different opinions and we should be willing to stand for what we believe in.
  6. Playing down your intelligence just to fit in. If we always have to play smaller than we want to, it means we are not spending time with people who will challenge and help us grow. If we continue to play small, thinking we are being humble, it won’t inspire us or others to be the best version of themselves.
  7. Being jealous of someone else’s success. If we aren’t willing to be happy for other people’s success, it’s a reflection of our values and beliefs about others. It’s hard to have the success we want if we can’t be happy for other people’s success.
  8. Not being loyal to family and friends. If we aren’t loyal to those that are closest to us, it’s unlikely we’ll be loyal to someone we’ve just met. How loyal we are says a lot about who we are and what we value in life.
  9. Hiding your emotions. As our emotions are different energy vibrations, other people can intuitively pick up on our energy. Even though we may say something to be impressive, we won’t come across as being congruent because our energy levels will not be in alignment with our words.
  10. Talking more about yourself than you are willing to listen. It’s very rare that we’re impressed with someone who talks about themselves most of the time during a conversation. We have to learn to listen more and ask appropriate questions.

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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