We have all been in a situation where you are out with a friend, and decide to meet up with their “other” friends you haven’t met before. You get to the bar with your sole lifeline/ social comfort blanket and are immediately introduced to about 45 people with 15 seconds, skipping over the people who aren’t readily available to shake hands and completely ignoring that one girl’s boyfriend in the back who already has two bud lights in hand.
Many people go through the list of new people, say hi quickly, and then retreat back to their social blankey. This is a critical moment for you and the rest of your night. Making a good first impression and meeting everyone in the group, even the hard to reach, is pivotal in avoiding the awkward “by the way I’m…” when you end up next to each other when you’re grabbing drinks 40 minutes after you should have already met.
First impressions are hard to get right one on one, and when you make a lot of them in rapid succession, people tend to belittle the importance of each one individually. A key moment in a situation like this is the introductory handshake. While many feel urged to run through everyone as quickly as possible or even opt for the pitiful and lazy wave to everyone at once, slowing down, just a little, to shake each person’s hand with intention and look them in the eyes, not only will you earn more respect from each person in the group,it will provide a better opportunity to remember each of the 9 people’s names you are meeting (pro tip to follow below).
The benefit of introducing yourself this way is it makes your conversations with these new friends more comfortable later. You have already shown each person they are worth more than one second of your time the moment you meet which, more often than not, is reciprocated multiple times over when you get to chat with them later, even with Dan, the boyfriend in the back slugging bud lights. You go from being the new person no one knows to their new favorite guy.
Pro Tip: Name memorization exercise to try the next time you are out: When remembering names, identify a unique feature on a person’s face, and then associating it with their name (bonus points if you can think of descriptors using aliteration). Examples include: “Sharon has shiny red hair.” “John’s nose juts out.” “Karen has a cool mole on her cheek.” We highly suggest you keep your associations to yourself as they may not be that flattering to the person of whom they are about. Give it a try the next time you’re out and let us know what you think, or if you have a different way of remembering names, why not share in the comments below?