A single word can change everything. The psychologist Solomon Asch found that people formed very different opinions of this person depending on which of the following lists they read:
intelligent, skillful, industrious, warm, determined, practical, cautious
intelligent, skillful, industrious, cold, determined, practical cautious.
Other research shows that warm and cold, both the words and the physical sensations, can color our how we see things. Whether someone is warm or cold, metaphorically, is one of the first things we decide about someone, almost immediately upon meeting them.
So if you want to make a good impression, wear warm colors, serve hot coffee or tea, rub your hands together to make sure they’re not freezing when you shake someone else’s, and don’t forget to smile.
If you’re interest in the study I’m talking about above, visit here.
If you’re interested in how your physical environment affects you, check out Dr. John Bargh, and if you’re interested in how we judge people by warmth and competence, read Envy Up, Scorn Down by Susan Fiske.