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You can always rely on your dazzling wit and intelligence when trying to make a good first impression. But when the stakes are a bit higher, like when meeting your significant other's family or interviewing for your dream job, having a few psychological tricks up your sleeve can't hurt.
Aside from the obvious—smiling, being friendly, giving compliments, etc.—there are psychologically proven ways to cull a favorable impression in a snap. Case in point: the work of the late Theodore Newcomb, a renowned social psychologist, professor, and author. Newcomb found that by emphasizing the values you share with your interviewer, future mother-in-law, or potential new friend, the more they'll like you. This is known as the similarity-attraction effect, as Business Insider points out.
Aside from lending legitimacy to the proverb Birds of a feather flock together, his findings underscore the importance of doing your homework before a big job interview or meet-and-greet. As another study from the University of Virginia uncovered, even emphasizing your shared dislikes can be enough to win over your potential new boss or lifelong friend. So get to know the object of your interest as much as possible ahead of time, and emphasize your shared interests when meeting in person.
What are your tricks for making the best impression possible? Share your experiences below.