First Impressions

by Peyton J. Dracco 30 days ago in advice

It is in the eyes

First Impressions
Photo by Kalyn Kostov from Pexels

On my company's website, yes, the company that I run with Kolt and Xander, I write about persuasion and other communication techniques that I believe can improve people's lives. This company is aptly named Ellis Curry & Dracco LLC, or E.C.D. Consulting as we endearingly refer to it in the office, and its goal is to help people develop personally - to grow to achieve their full human potential. A bold claim, you may think, and whilst I agree that this development deal is a massive undertaking, my team is ready to give it our best.

I may get into the habit of sharing that advice here if I think it appropriate and in accordance with what I want to do with this platform; I'll have to ponder on it a bit more. For now, I offer you one of those articles about first impressions and one tool to ensure you make a good one. Do let me know that you like it by hitting that little heart icon, or don't if you think it is undeserving of your time, but karma is apparently a thing you don't want to take silly chances with.

Photo by Mark Arron Smith from Pexels

You might have heard, and many times before, that it is important to look at others in the eye, especially when having conversations with them. This advice is more prevalent in North America and the Western world than it is in other parts where eye contact with people of different social or religious statuses is often forbidden.

Before I continue, I want to point to the importance of these cultural observances. There are only a few transgressions more detrimental to good first impressions than disrespecting someone's worldview. Some cultural norms have been, and often still are, the cause of dangerous conflict.

The suggestion to maintain eye contact with our interlocutors is so widespread and respected that it has spawned myths about honesty and deception; you might have received the instruction to "look at someone in the eye, and tell them the truth" before. Such a demand tends to come from someone sceptical of your message - someone requiring proof that what you tell them is the truth. The problem with this request is that it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of human physiology and psychology, as whilst a firm gaze is a characteristic of a confident speaker, people need to move their eyes to access or create information. And yes, another myth comes from our need to move our eyes to think correctly, and I will cover this on a later article. Still, the perceived correlation between eye contact and honesty is indicative of our disposition to like confidence and self-esteem in others.

You are more likely to believe a lie told with utter conviction and in the right style than an insecure truth.

But, more importantly, the fact that we are suckers for a confident gaze and smile means that proper eye contact is a great tool to establish a good first impression.


Do your best to study someone's eyes when you first meet them. Pay close attention to their eye colour and shape while taking time to explore the rest of their face subtly; this will make the other person feel as if they have your undivided attention, which in turn, will make you more likeable to them. Furthermore, aside from creating a sense of connection with your partner in conversation, it will allow you a quick but helpful look at how they react to your presence, by giving you a glance into their nonverbal feedback like pupil dilation and subtle facial expressions.

Such is the power of a good gaze; it is known to move not only mountains but undo buttons and lower the strongest of defences.

Peyton J. Dracco
Peyton J. Dracco
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Peyton J. Dracco

Worked for a private defense contractor lending my services to national security and intelligence agencies. Now I work with international criminals to find corruption and prevent fraud.

Here I write about my journey...

See all posts by Peyton J. Dracco