There are bad habits, and there are bad habits. If you’re guilty of any of the four most major offenders below, you might want to step up your game. It isn’t an easy task of course, since these things are usually so ingrained that you don’t even realize you’re doing them.
The problem is that first impressions can mean a great deal, and you can literally ruin your reputation in minutes if you aren’t careful. Plus they can be kind of annoying. Thankfully we’ll also provide a few tips on how to avoid displaying these bad habits in general.
Nice to Meet You… or Not
When meeting people for the first time, especially in a business setting – be sure to introduce yourself and do it correctly. Don’t avoid eye contact, but don’t over-do it either. Your goal is to come across as confident, not as a possible psycho killer. Make sure you have a killer handshake instead!
Get Your Hands Outta Your Pockets
Speaking of making a good first impression, keep those hands of yours out of your pockets. Of course it’s comfortable to stand that way but it sends the message that you’re unapproachable. It also makes you appear less dominant, and therefore less confident.
To get around this, try to make sure you have something handy (get it?) for your hands to grab onto.
Biting Your Nails
There is nothing wrong with keeping your nails short, but there is a huge difference between a nail that has been cut properly and one that you’ve nibbled to the nub. People do notice that, you know.
To put a stop to this nasty habit – because it is nasty, try a bitter-tasting nail polish or look into getting manicures on the regular. Don’t knock it til you try it!
Do you find yourself using the following crutch words more often than you’d like to admit? Uhm… basically! Sorta… you know! Actually… Well, you’re not alone. We all do it, but for some people it can actually become a tic that they aren’t always aware of, especially in uncomfortable situations.
The way you can try to fix this is to slow down your speech or try recording yourself while rehearsing a conversation. This can help you become more aware of how often you use those crutch words.
Old habits die hard, but don’t give up hope. Just try to be consistent and keep the bigger picture in mind. You’ll rid yourself of those bad habits in no time if you apply enough willpower.