So I put this question to our Diablog readers:
Would you pass ‘the seven-second test’?
‘It takes only seven seconds for us to judge another person when we first meet them,’ says Linda Blair, clinical psychologist and author of Straight Talking.
‘It’s not a conscious process, so we don’t even realise we’re doing it - but it goes back to our primitive roots when we couldn’t afford to make wrong decisions.’
Under pressure: We subconsciously judge people within the first seven seconds of meeting them.
But she warns: ‘Although we instantly judge others, we slip up on signals we give out, meaning we lose ground by arriving at business or social events looking dour, anxious, shy or hostile, usually without realising it.'
‘We’re happy to warm up as we go along, but we should put in some effort to hit the ground running - defining who we are and what we’re like accurately at first meeting.’
Here’s The Daily mail's expert guide to passing the seven-second test:
My comments are shown beneath each one on the list.
Take a moment before you meet other people. Check your appearance and breathe out gently to remove tension and calm any nerves caused by shyness or anxiety.
Breathing is generally a good idea unless you wish to die.
Pull yourself up to full height because it will make you look confident, and relax muscle tension that can make you appear stressed.
Don't talk to strangers whilst on your knees unless you are paying them for sex.
Don’t forget to turn your phone off or to silent, says image consultant Karen Gillam.
If he or she looks good just let your phone ring, if you have made a mistake answer it.
Smile! When you smile at someone they will usually smile back, so it’s the perfect way to strike a rapport, says Karen. But make sure your smile is real. A natural smile will fade slowly: switch it on too fast or let it drop too soon and it doesn’t feel sincere.
If you smile at strangers they are likely to run away shouting pervert
Make sure you have your bag in your left hand so that your right is free for handshakes. A University of Iowa study found a solid handshake is more important than dress or appearance when establishing an impression in an interview.
I must learn where to keep my handbag when shaking hands.
If you look grim, unhappy or anxious, people will assume that’s how you are.
I am grim unhappy and anxious, so what do I do now?
‘Be interested in the other person,’ advises Linda. ‘Studies show that when shown seemingly identical pictures of the same woman, people find one image more attractive. It’s always the photo where the woman’s pupils are dilated, which happens when we’re interested in another person.’But don’t invade their personal space:
Does this mean don't touch their boobs before you have said hallo?
‘A friendly but non-threatening distance to stand from someone is at about arm’s length,’ advises counsellor and trainer Anne Nicholls.
Keep your penis in your trousers until you have been properly introduced.
Use open gestures, rather than folding your arms or crossing your legs.
Observe the person you’re speaking to and mirror the amount of eye contact they make and their speaking volume and speed.
Try and look as if you give a toss about what they are saying.
Pay the occasional compliment — ‘I like your dress’ or whatever — but don’t be insincere or overdo it, or you’ll come across as a crawler.
You have really superb breasts. Can I play with them?
Finally, although your appearance plays second fiddle to body language, it does have an impact, explains Karen. Make sure your outfit suits the occasion, your shoes are polished and don’t dowse yourself in perfume.
I don't have an outfit that suits any occasion
Personally I find the 'expert' comments shown above mostly bollocks, and if they are not bollocks then they just don't seem to apply to my Modus Operandi.
Life is far too short to follow rules of engagement, and if someone doesn't like you, then my advice is move on.