Humans that we are, it’s easy to make minor slip-ups that compromise the image we wish to project to those around us. When you’re cognizant of the little things, however, you increase the odds of coming off as your best self. With that in mind, we’ll talk about four common image mistakes men make.
Four Common Image Missteps
As we’ve written about previously, image is about the ABC’s – appearance, behavior, and communication. The four mistakes we describe below will deal directly with appearance, behavior, or communication. More often than not, there will be overlap among these concepts too.
Ah’s & Um’s
Speech is one of the more straightforward ways that humans communicate, so it’s important to be mindful of what you say and how you say it. How you say something deals with tone of voice, your accent, and how clearly you speak.
One thing we are all guilty of – image consultants are lumped in here too – is relying on filler “words” like “ah,” “um.” These non-words indicate, rightfully or not, a lack of thoughtfulness or low self-confidence. They hardly inspire confidence from your audience’s end. Do your best to eliminate these non-words from your vocabulary, as difficult a task as that may be.
Other filler words to avoid are:
- “Like”: Using the word “like,” after, like, every, like, word in a sentence, is something that seems to endure among Millenials and Gen Z. It’s a great way to lose your audience and make yourself sound vapid. Train yourself to use the word “like” only when it, ahem, like, makes sense.
- “You know?”: Lots of folks use this at the end of their statements to elicit agreement and ensure that the other person is listening. The only problem is that the other person doesn’t necessarily know. The question serves the person asking it (by making him more comfortable) than it does the person responding.
- “Right?” This is just “you know?” by another name and you should avoid it for the same reasons.
If there’s one behavior that immediately signals that you’re an anxious person, it’s chewing your nails. In the age of COVID, we don’t need any more excuses to keep our hands out of our mouths, but it’s still worth mentioning here.
Nail-biting is a really challenging habit to break, right up there with smoking cessation. It’s worth it, though – the site of chewed nails is off-putting, as is the act itself. It’s one thing to talk with your hands, but quite another to let your hands say things about you.
Part of maximizing the impact of your appearance is to wear clothing that’s in good repair. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a $5000, perfectly-fitted custom suit – if your shoes are scuffed or have other aesthetic problems like severely worn heels or holes in the soles, you’ll come off as sloppy on the details.
We published a guide to a very quick shoe shine previously. For anything more involved than that, Google “cobbler near me” and enlist her or her services.
Fit is king, period. A well-fitted $2 t-shirt will make its wearer look better than a poorly-fitted $550 shirt you might pick up at Neiman Marcus. Wearing clothes that fit well will make you carry yourself more confidently, and those with whom you interact will notice this and likely treat you better than they may have otherwise.
This is, without question, the strongest reason to visit a custom tailor like Henry A. Davidsen. In terms of fit, there’s simply no substitute for clothing that has been made expressly for you.