• Keeping Friends

Ten tips for making a good impression

Published: February 4, 2015 | By | 8 Replies Continue Reading
A reader wants to make a good impression on her old high school friends.


Dear Irene,

I’m going to a big party in two weeks and will see a lot of girls from high school. How do I make a good impression?

Signed, Cindy


Hi Cindy,

I don’t know how many years it’s been since you’ve seen these friends but here are some general tips:

  1. Even though you’re nervous, try to be yourself. Remember that others will also be a bit nervous, too, even if it doesn’t seem that way.
  2. Arrive earlier rather than later. It’s easier to be in at the beginning of a meeting or conversation than to join in afterwards.
  3. Plan a strategy in case you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Do you have an old picture from high school you could bring with you or a memory or two to recount to help break the ice? Is there one person with whom you’re more comfortable to start talking?
  4. Dress in a way that allows you feel comfortable.
  5. Don’t talk too much but don’t talk too little. Try to strike a balance between listening and speaking.
  6. Don’t focus on making a good impression, per se. While you don’t want to brag, don’t put yourself down.
  7. Don’t talk about subjects that can make other people feel uncomfortable: e.g. money, sex, politics, religion
  8. Talk about good memories not bad ones.
  9. Try to find some common ties between you now: Do you live in the same place? Work at similar jobs? Both have children or not?
  10. Don’t attend the event with great expectations but allow for pleasant surprises: Just because you were friends in high school doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. Go with the idea of having fun catching up with people who knew you when!

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

Do you have any other suggestions for Cindy?

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Comments (8)

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  1. jagadeesh says:

    some one telling bad about my fris they going to avoid me so how can i recover them

  2. Chris Cheong says:

    Good friends are hard to find. If you find one treasure it.

  3. Lauren says:

    All great advice! Enjoy the reunion, Cindy!

  4. Laura says:

    I would add to this list, add some of your classmates on social media ahead of time to get a jump start. You could even start a group to talk about the event ahead of time.

    • Irene says:

      Great idea!

    • Cindy says:

      I have tried to connect with a lot of people on Facebook — that’s the only “social media” I use, at any rate. I went to an event in the summer that didn’t turn out as I expected as well — my old friend is in a different social sphere than me and, while I am happy for her, there is now a certain snobbishness that she has acquired that has come between us.

  5. Amy F says:

    Great list.
    Number 1 is number 1 for a reason. Nothing is more appealing than someone who is real and comfortable in her own skin. Even if I don’t feel emotionally attracted to a particular person, I will respect her for that authenticity.
    Perhaps the goal for a reunion shouldn’t be a good impression but having a comfortable, enjoyable experience.

    • Cindy says:

      While I can respect your advice, my goal is my goal and it is to make a good impression so that the rest will follow. 🙂

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