People use these 2 criteria to judge you, according to a Harvard psychologist

First impressions are more important than you think. Upon first meeting you, people form an idea about you within a few seconds.

Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy. Credit: Poptech.org

Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy. Credit: Poptech.org

Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy is known for her research on stereotyping, discrimination, power and nonverbal behavior. She has also been studying first impressions for more than 15 years. In her new book, she shares the first two questions people ask themselves about you when you meet for the first time:

1. Can I trust this person?

2. Can I respect this person?

The two questions give answers that can allow the person to size you up in terms of warmth and competence, respectively.

In the business world, people tend to give more importance to the competence factor that helps them decide whether you're competent enough to earn their respect or not.

Related: 5 ways to make a great first impression

But in a less formal context, what's more important is trustworthiness. "From an evolutionary perspective, it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust," Cuddy said. And only after trust is established will competence be evaluated.

So in order to develop a good relationship with someone you've just met, you need to give them something to trust and respect you for.

"A warm and trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration," Cuddy said.

Source: Business Insider

Cover credit: Millo.co