When a mutual friend makes an introduction between two strangers, it should mean something. An introduction means that the mutual friend vouches for the integrity of the person to whom you are being introduced. This mutual friend also believes that the two have something in common and will get along. Therefore, use good judgment when making introductions to your family, friends and professional colleagues. There is nothing more upsetting as to find out that the two people you introduced are now at odds with each other and further, are angry with you because of having met the other person in the first place. You can see the responsibility with introductions!

When making introductions, use these pointers as guidelines:

  • Do not introduce those who you do not like or respect.
  • Do not introduce those who you hardly know.
  • Do not introduce those with whom you are trying to end a relationship, whether personal or professional.

But once you have established that two people should meet, introductions can be fun. Here are basic rules to introductions:

When introducing yourself:

  • Remember to smile.
  • If you are seated, stand to greet the other person.
  • Always shake hands. Failure to do so is considered rude. Grip hands firmly, meeting at the crux between the thumb and index finger, then shake twice from the elbow.
  • “How do you do? I’m Molly Jones.”
  • Then say something about yourself. “I’m Gretchen’s cousin from Chicago.”
  • Please note: You should never say, ‘Pleased to meet you,” because you don’t know the person yet. Although “How do you do,” is not a pop greeting, it is the standard and will hold up if your manners are ever scrutinized.

When introducing others:

  • The person of lower rank gets introduced to the person of higher rank.
  • Children get introduced to adults. – “Mrs. Williams, I’d like to introduce my youngest sister, Kim. Kim is home from college. Kim, this is Mrs. Williams, my piano teacher.”
  • Friends get introduced to parents. – “Mom, Dad, I’d like to introduce Jeremy. Jeremy and I are going to research our reports together. Jeremy, this is my mom and dad, Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez.

When you are in a group:

If you are in a group and you’re making many introductions, include a bit of information about each person. This will encourage further conversation amongst the strangers.