Everything from the coffee you drink to how tidy your desk is tells a story about you. Use these clever tricks to make sure it's the story you want people to hear.
Recent research suggests it takes precisely a tenth of a second for someone to make a judgement about you — rightly or wrongly — and it's often more to do with what you don't say than what you do. Just by looking at your apartment decor, the pen you use in a meeting, the food you order for lunch or your favourite tipple, people make assumptions about your personality. The good news is, knowing how and when people are going to gather these unspoken clues about you can give you the upper hand when it comes to making a positive, lasting impression in a host of crunch life situations. Use this cheat sheet to ensure your habits and mannerisms are showing you in the best possible light.
You Want to Impress The Hot Hipster At Starbucks
Do. Order an espresso with a splash of milk. This is slightly cool, but with a degree of integrity. You'll look more decisively cool, rather than someone who simply follows the flock.
Don’t. Pick the newest, trendiest coffee on the menu that you can barely pronounce just to show off. This will just look too try-hard, and like you've simply jumped on the latest bandwagon.
You Want to Score Brownie Points With Your New Boss
Do. Show you’ve got a healthy work/life balance. A literal way to do this is to keep one photograph of your friends on one side of your desk and a picture of you and your team on another.
Don’t. Over-accessories with pink fluffy pens and a diamante mouse. If you are battling the glass ceiling and want to be taken seriously, then a Barbie pen is not the best thing.
You Want to Wow Important Business Clients
Do. Break out the posh biscuits. When biscuits come out in meetings, people immediately make an assessment of your company. Forget the plain ones and offer them the extra spesh foil- wrapped chocolate ones instead - they'll feel they are being treated with respect.
Don’t. Pimp your font. It doesn't matter how bored you are of Times New Roman, draft a client proposal in anything else and you risk coming off as flashy, egocentric and lacking in integrity.
You Want to Bewitch Your Boyfriend's Parents When They Visit
Do. Ditch the scented candles and stock up on seasonal fresh flowers. Gets the coffee or bread maker going in the kitchen to waft homely aromas throughout your pad, and hide any OTT party pies.
Don’t. Forget to do a bathroom sweep. The bathroom cabinet is where old-fashioned in-laws will see what kind of person you really are. Hide suspect creams, your pill, and anything else vaguely incriminating.
You Want to Connect With Your Smart-Guy Office Crush At Lunch
Do. Order organic where possible. These Old shows you've got moral values and that you care about something other than yourself. But keep it simple: try a lime-cooked tuna with an organic salad.
Don’t. Go over the top and quiz the waiter about the origin of everything on the menu. Eating with a conscience is cool, but not if you start lecturing everyone around you. This will make you seem egocentric and will make everyone else at the table feel bad.
You Want to Leave Your Hot Date Drooling Over Dinner
Do. Get stuck into your food. There is something about what you eat and the way you eat that will register with your date. Subliminally, men like to be with someone who can devour a plate of food, as it implies you're equally as passionate physically.
Don’t. Overdo it. Let him know you're enjoying your food, but stop short of making moaning noises and dangling the asparagus seductively in the air. It's a date, not a Girls Gone Wild audition.
You Want to Shine Like A Star On Your Birthday
Do. Host your own party. Pour drinks, mingle and introduce people to each other, says Judi. Then be prepared to share the spotlight by letting your nearest and dearest toast you with speeches.
Don’t. Be a princess. The worst thing you can do is not open your presents in front of your guests. Ibis spreads the message that your friends are just underlings who have brought presents to your altar, and signals you are a brat.
You Want to Blend In With The Cool Crowd At Post-Work Drinks
Do. Order bubbly. This is a sharing drink and it's fun, fizzy and shows you're up for a good time. And by skipping the French stuff and ordering Italian, you'll score extra cool points. It's a little bit special, but not too expensive.
Don’t. Push yourself into the group by being too dominant and ordering a round of pricey cocktails, If people feel they are being pushed, they back off. If they feel they picked you as a friend, rather than the other way around, they'll feel more comfortable.