The importance of first introduction cannot be overstated – San’Hwa
Along with dampening the discomfort and anxiety brought on by getting approached; LHTB
and entering the space before vigilance is developed against you; Space Occupation,
another point that is most emphasised during the beginning of a relationship is the first introduction.
In any social gathering where you are involved for the first time,
there will be times when you will go unnoticed or even worse ignored,
despite actively and confidently engaging in conversations.
If you cannot show that you are
- a confident individual with a strong presence
- a warm and considerate person
- an attractive and cool person, both as a friend and a romantic interest
when you first introduce yourself to others, then everything you do afterwards is half decent at best.
If one appeared easy and weak at first, they will feel unpleasant at the patronising response they receive.
If one appeared conceited and rude, they will have to fight emotionally with those who bluntly criticise them.
To prevent these situations SoGye, the field of interpersonal psychology within SanMyu, formally teaches how to introduce oneself; San’Hwa.
San’Hwa is a movement used at the beginning and at the end of SanMyu’s martial arts forms, as an action of unleashing one’s own strength naturally and effortlessly.
It is also a word used in various concepts in interpersonalogy, therapy and managearal study.
Why first impressions are difficult to change
Regardless of age spread, cultural groups or situation of encounter,
when people meet each other for the first time,
it does not take a long time to make a judgement on
who appears strong, who appears easy and weak,
who appears likable, who appears repelling,
who will join the upper, leader group and who will join the lower, non-leader group.
Such mutual guessing occurs
within 2~3 seconds of coming face to face with someone.
This is the ‘first impression‘ that many psychology books speak about.
Apart from whether such guesswork is
in fact accurate and precise with who they actually turn out to be later,
that short introduction and the subjective impressions made from it
influences the subsequent flow of the relationship,
and that impression will almost certainly be relied upon
until some turning point occurs.
In most cases, we make quick judgements and intuitive decisions
unless making a mistake will result in a fatal mistake,
because we are making countless number of choices day to day
and we cannot derive a logical judgement every single time using verified data.
Hence, we possess an instinct of giving rationality to such intuitive decisions.
The more one doubts and verifies all the decisions they’ve made without rational analysis, the more their life will turn into an anxious obsession, like those who need to fill in a checklist everytime they go out. There will never be a progress.
This is the fundamental reason why it is difficult to overcome the first impressions.
Combination of confidence and friendliness
In San’Hwa (first introduction), there are five rules to consider:
- position of the feet
- position of the arms
- position of the torso and the head
- synchronisation of the gaze and the head
- contact of the gaze (eye contact)
Normally when we think of first impression,
we think simplistically that a straight posture and bright expression might do the trick.
However, there are some conplex elements at play.
That is why even in the training of cabin crew and air stewardess,
greeting the passengers is practiced at lengths
and it is normal to go through rigorous training.
Greeting someone is not just a social cue or a matter of politeness,
but a message of who you are condensed into your movement and a single eye contact.
The air stewardess do not receive lengthy training regimes
just to thank the passengers and appear friendly.
If the greetings appear as just friendliness of young women,
it is easy to give rise to excessive requests or rude attitudes from passengers.
If the kindness expressed by the crew
is taken merely as a right to make use of the service staff
it will be impossible to fully assume the responsibility of managing the cabin.
That is why much time is devoted to also incorporate
the professional image within the friendliness of speech.
The body language of first impression
When you greet someone, the overall impression you can give are broadly the four:
- romantic and attractive image
- friendly and warm image
- charismatic and serious image (when you greet someone below you)
- sincere and cooperative image (when you greet someone above you)
While there is an appropraite method to each of these situations, there is a common principle that applies whenever you combine both confidence and friendliness to your first impression.
It is the principle of Mixed Stance, which means to balance the straight posture and the slanted posture. With this balance you need to be both confident and natural.
While it is easy to mistake a good greeting as standing up straight, facing straight forward and locking your eyes to the other’s eyes and making a slight nod with a smile, it is not so in reality.
When you observe experienced politicians greet each others,
you will see that within a strong and formal movement, there are small gaps of smoothness and short periods lacking eye contact.
While the straightness communicates strength and confidence,
the slanted gaps make them feel comfortable,
and appropriately combining these two elements
is what makes a sleek first impression.
First impressions matter in all social situations
from securing a hot date all the way to building a charismatic image of a politician.
Take a video camera or a phone and hand it to someone you know
to film you pretending to meet someone for the first time and telling them your name.
You will realise many things, because regardless of how you feel about yourself, that is what everyone else knows as you.