Despite our best efforts, it's impossible to control exactly how others perceive us. Social media, of course, is but the one exception—an effort that is supplemented by apps like Facetune, VSCO, Afterlight, and the like. But when it comes to real-time, face-to-face interaction, all of the photo-editing apps in the world can't salvage a bad impression.
Travis Bradberry, PhD, best-selling author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 ($20), offers some insight as to which seemingly innocuous behaviors will cull an unfavorable impression of you. Whatever you do, avoid the following three habits if you want people to perceive you positively, no matter the situation.
Dubbed the most awkward networking mistake by New York Magazine, name-dropping "makes people feel as though you're insecure and overly concerned with having them like you," writes Bradberry. "It's great to know important and interesting people, but using every conversation as an opportunity to name-drop is pretentious and silly. … People see right through it."
Staring at Your Phone
While this may be excusable around close friends or family members, turning your attention to your phone when meeting clients, new friends, or business associates sends the message that you're bored or disinterested. "When you commit to a conversation focus all of your energy on the conversation," advises Bradberry. "Nothing turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone."
Whatever you do, don't reach for petty gossip in an attempt to ignite a conversation—it will reflect poorly on your character no matter how you spin it. "People make themselves look terrible when they get carried away with gossiping," he writes. "Gossiping is guaranteed to make you look negative and spiteful every time."
What unattractive habits would you add to this list? Share your thoughts with us below!