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          What Impression Do You Make?

          February 20, 2006

          Are you aware of other people’s perceptions of you? Do you know what they may be saying when you walk away? Ask yourself these questions to see if your behavior might be leaving an impression that you don’t want: 

          • Do you say “please,” and “thank you,” with heartfelt sincerity?
          • When you’re in social situations, do you introduce yourself to others, or do you wait for them to introduce themselves to you?
          • Do you think it’s important to make the first step in being kind to someone, or does someone have to be kind to you first?
          • How are you at making small talk? Does it pain you to make flattering comments to your acquaintances? Would you rather skip the niceties and cut to the chase?
          • Is being right more important to you than developing personal bonds with the people in your life? Even if you’re wrong about something, do you defend your position to the death?
          • When you walk down the street, do you force people to yield, or do you step aside and allow pedestrians to pass?
          • When you walk around town, do people smile and call you by name? Or do they shrink and appear to retreat in your presence?
          • Have you ever hung up on someone? How recently and how often?
          • When you’re in your car and someone attempts to enter your lane, do you smile and signal them to proceed? Or do you give them the one-finger salute?
          • When you need something from somebody do you issue a command, or ask politely?
          • Do you talk disparagingly about people when they are not around? When they are around?
          • Are you prone to making threats? Do you threaten low-level service employees with calling their manager? If someone does you a disservice, do you lord the possibility of consequences over his or her head?
          • Is making friends easy to do, or do you struggle to keep the only one you have?
          • Do you show affection easily, or do you keep even your loved ones at arm’s length?
          • Do you think you look better than others? Do you make snide remarks about people who you feel are less attractive than you are?
          • Do you cut people off when they’re talking, and ignore any input they may have?
          • Are you constantly making sarcastic and negative remarks? When you enter a room, do you instantly bring down the jovial mood? Do you always see things in a pessimistic light?
          • Would people describe you as rude, disrespectful and nasty?
          • Do people cower in your presence? Do people fear making you angry?
          • Do you look forward to confrontation? Do you egg people on just to start some drama? Is it always all about you?
          • Is screaming the only form of communication with your loved ones? How much fun are you to live with?

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