Turn ONs and Turn OFFs

Turn Ons and Turn Offs.In order to make a positive impression (and reap the rewards of having done so), it is helpful to be aware of

In daily living, as in romance, several actions can make a big difference in how we are perceived. Each of us wants to put our best foot forward, but if we are not careful, we may give off a negative vibe. In order to make a positive impression (and reap the rewards of having done so), it is helpful to be aware of some common “Turn Ons” and “Turn Offs.”

Turn Offs…

  • Making Excuses

No one ever wants to hear excuses. A friend may offer sympathy, but a boss will likely be disappointed. What do most people like to hear? “I will take care of this… you can stop thinking about it.”

  • Blaming Others

This is simply bad form, even if your point is valid. Humility is both attractive and impressive. Accept responsibility for your own actions, and work quietly to rectify the consequences of any poor choices made by others.

  • Using Vulgarity

You’d never know it by observing popular culture, but few people are impressed by vulgarity. It reflects a limited vocabulary, a lack of intelligence, and can be disrespectful. Language choices are largely a habit, and this is a habit that can be broken with focused effort.

  • Gossiping

More often than not, gossip comes off as insecurity. Being known for a willingness to talk about others behind their backs can hurt you both personally and professionally.

  • Chewing Audibly

This may sound silly, but it can be a huge turn off. The sounds/sights of chewing can sink an interview or first date, so be sure to keep your mouth closed.

  • Checking Your Phone Mid-Conversation

We have become accustomed to people looking at their phones, but tolerating rudeness doesn’t mean we like it. If you’ve had someone check a phone while you were speaking, you know it feels disinterested and dismissive. Wait until the conversation is over to check your messages.

Turn Ons…

  • Having a Tidy Appearance

Dressing appropriately doesn’t mean you have to be wearing designer clothing. It is the little things that give off the right impression: polished shoes, nails that are trimmed and clean, hair that is brushed, modest clothing, etc.

  • Remembering Names

This is easier said than done, but it always makes a good impression. If you struggle to remember names, try using the name of someone you’ve just met at least three times before leaving the conversation. At a business function, note a detail or two on the back of a business card to help you match a name to a face.

  • Sending an RSVP

Somehow a large percentage of the population has come to believe that RSVPing is optional – it is not! Failing to respond to an invitation in a timely fashion is rude, and leaves the host/hostess in the awkward position of having to call you. In contrast, sending a timely response is good manners, regardless of whether you give a “yes” or a “no.”

  • Writing Thank You Notes

Whether it is a handwritten note (always best), or even an email/text, an expression of gratitude is always well received. It shows thoughtfulness, and makes the recipient feel valued.

  • Arriving On Time

Showing up when you are expected earns points every time. It is wise to develop the habit of arriving a bit early so you can appear at the appointed moment. Time is one of the most valuable commodities we have, so being on time communicates that you appreciate the time others are offering.

  • Maintaining Eye Contact

An oldie, but a goodie… and important to reiterate in this digital age. Human beings are relational, and few things say “I am listening to you” more than looking someone in the eye. This can be difficult if it doesn’t come naturally, but it is always worth the effort.

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It’s nice to realize that we do have the power to make and maintain a good impression. This is my list… what would you add?

20 thoughts on “Turn ONs and Turn OFFs”

    1. I feel the same way, Janine. I grabbed my honey young as well. I have many flaws, but I’ve been learning by watching and listening to the comments of other people. Maybe this list will be helpful to young people just starting out!

  1. Two things you touched on rang true for me, firstly I had someone at a business network meeting, the whole time we were “talking” she was checking her phone.
    The second, I am terrible with names, I have been all my life, so that can be a bit daunting for me at meetings. If I am going to a meeting, I have to write it down, and repeat it over and over on the way there. Great points Seana.
    Jill Robson recently posted…Top 4 tips to re-organize your kitchenMy Profile

    1. Writing names down and repeating them is a great idea, Jill. Just making the effort is a way to honor the other people, even though it can be difficult. And the phone? Ugh!

  2. I totally agree with you! I had an old roommate who came from money – she was big on “social etiquette” and would always try to “school me” on how to conduct myself at events she invited me to. For instance, she once scolded me for saying “please” and “thank you” to a butler, because it shows I’m middle class or some drivel! lol.. Anyway, all that is to say, she fell into almost every turn off category in your list… including audible chewing, which always surprised me, since I’d get scolded for using the wrong fork, while half the restaurant could hear and see her chewing, haha.. – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
    Gingi recently posted…Bee Pollen and Red Clover Dessert Seasoning Spice MixMy Profile

    1. Well, that is a very interesting little story. Never heard anyone criticized for saying “thank you.” Just goes to show that the people who think they are doing it all “right” are seldom the ones who are!

    1. I so agree, Christy, about the incredible pace at which society has changed. I believe the younger generation is not growing up realizing how rude it is to check a phone mid-conversation. I wonder/fear for the impact this mentality will have on society in the future. I guess I’m hoping to be a voice reminding people that face to face, focused conversation is a wonderful thing:)

    1. I’m like you, Sarah. I can’t relax until the thank you notes are written. I used to get notes AND stamps in my stocking each year, a tradition I carry on!

    1. The chewing one is my husband’s biggest complaint, which is funny because almost nothing bothers him. But audible chewing – drives him crazy:)

  3. This might sound like a joke but in today’s world I believe this should actually be a class in high school! Along with how to manually balance your check book and what good manner are! So much is lost these days and I would love to see some of it come back! One thing I would add is interrupting. I am guilty of it but I hate it when people do it to me so I have been trying really hard to just listen and not feel the urge to talk so much!
    Autumn Leopold recently posted…3 Ways Comparison Shopping Saves You Money + Free PrintableMy Profile

    1. That’s a great addition, Autumn! Interrupting, even if we have something worthwhile to say, is a crummy habit (I’m often guilty!) A lot of the refinement and manners that used to be standard life lessons have faded away. And yet, social graces are always appreciated and valued, so I think it’s good to mention them now and then.

    1. I had a boss tell me this in so many words very early on in my career. Since then, I’ve found it is a phrase that everyone likes to hear. Of course, you’ve got to follow up and do the work, but it says “I won’t let you down.”

    1. Not recognizing faces definitely makes things harder! I heard this at a networking event once, and it does help me. Something about engaging multiple senses (sound and sight) in a combined way multiple times makes a bigger impression on our brains. There is no magic bullet on this one, but every little bit helps, right?

  4. Audible chewing is my pet peeve!! Along with that is the screeching noise on the plate when eating – like why can’t they just eat without banging their utensils on their plates.. Geez. I’m fairly good with names though because I’m a trainer and it’s tough to have a class and call someone to answer my question, lol.
    Rea recently posted…Dare Me Friday!My Profile

    1. Good for you with the names.. I have to work at it! It’s funny how many people have responded to the loud chewing – I guess it bothers more people than I thought!

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