Recovering from a Bad First Impression
10:53:10 2024-02-08 261

1- Accept it and decide whether to take action. Everyone makes mistakes, and you don’t have to please everyone you meet. If the impression you made didn’t seem like a big deal, it may be best to let it go and move on. If you made a bad impression on someone at a gathering or someone on the street, then maybe the best response is giving no response at all.

  • Ask your friends or the other people who were there what they thought of the interaction. If they didn’t think anything of it, you probably have nothing to worry about.
  • The next time you interact with that person, take a deep breath, smile, and be yourself. Any misunderstandings will smooth over with time.


2- Admit your mistake and apologize if necessary. If you decide to apologize, give a short explanation for why you might have been off your game when you met them.

  • You might say “I’m sorry for the joke I told, and I didn't mean to offend you” or “I’m sorry if I came on too strong, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable.”
  • Try not to over-apologize for a dicey first meeting—this might put the other person in the uncomfortable position of having to reassure you.


3- Focus on the future and be consistent over time. Overcoming a bad first impression takes time and consistent positive interactions. Being kind, positive, and fun over time can allow the other person to reinterpret that first interaction as just a blip in the past.

  • To focus on the future, think about how you can do things differently next time you meet someone new.
  • Take time to practice self-care and plan things that can help you feel more positive about yourself.
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