Whether you meet someone at a party, go out on a first date or become accustomed to your new boss, first impressions are a leading aspect in getting a “feel” for what a person is all about. Sometimes, a first impression can speak more truth through the person’s actions [ or lack thereof ] than words. Yet, most of the time, first impressions aren’t always accurate. That picture you painted of this person in your mind may not have been spot on. Based off, directly first impressions and looking back on some people you’ve met, how often do you perceive the person you know now in a completely different light than the way you initially met him or her?
Let’s be real, not everyone likes to reveal their entire life story within the first encounter. We are all not open books who can easily reveal a chapter of ourselves to someone, we choose who we share this information with and if we are even ready to do so. People constantly have their guard up. A lot of the time people are extremely particular in what they share with others. A large majority of us are paranoid and cautious human beings who take baby steps into trusting people and letting people into our lives. For example, the level of discretion we tend to show when meeting someone new for the first time, the person we may have interested in. From the onlookers standpoint, it could come across as ‘stuck up’ or ‘uninterested’; completely misguided. [ and in your mind you know that those first impressions are far from the case at hand, you’re nervous and don’t want to not allow yourself to even have a chance ] We have to take into take into consideration the fact that someone just might have their guard up and needs time [ and TRUST ] in order to reveal their true awesomeness to you. First impressions are supposed to be a sight into what someone is like; not the final call to who they truly are. Not everyone is a one-dimensional being who can be categorized into ONE specific category. Someone can be both witty and serious, just as they can be sassy and sensitive. [ if you know me… well… ]
As fun and thrilling it would be to have a imperative lead role as Sherlock Holmes, we have to keep in mind that even the most dishonest people out there [ narcissists ] have fooled people into thinking that they are special from the start. People find wasys to trick you into believing anything and everything when guilty. Your initial judgment can impair your perception. The everyday person will initially judge someone before getting to know them. Based on a person’s overall manner, style and appearance, we size someone up and jump to our conclusions about the type of person we think they truly are. Just because someone dresses in a formal manner doesn’t necessarily mean they are a prude, or just because a guy wears his long hair under a cap doesn’t mean he spends his days smoking joints in his mother’s basement. [ looks can be very deceiving ]
If someone looks or acts different from what we’re normally used to, we usually tend to judge them. [ Let’s do all ourselves a favor and not rush to conclusions about a person after the initial meeting. ] First impressions are supposed to be a glimpse into what someone is like, not a final call to who they truly are. It is hard because many people assume their first impressions are right, that they can judge the good from the bad, but the exact evidence suggests that’s not the case. And there are lots of biases. There’s evidence that we tend to like; faces that are familiar to us. But typically depends on where you’re from. Your current ongoing emotional state and the people you’re around can absolutely impact the way you act. Think about the job interview you had or that time you went to a party and barely knew anyone. Your uncomfortable state of mind at that time may have made you come across a certain way, [ shy, reserved or perhaps even more awkward than you could possibly imagine yourself being. The last option seems to be the most common. ] There could be a guy who strikes you as having no romantic bone in his body and could possibly turn out to be more romantic than you might have thought, or that girl who seemed tough on the exterior may actually be a true softie. In the end, time is a valuable asset.
Often, an amalgamation of your emotional stability and a novel situation you’re placed in can make you project a less than genuine version of yourself. Just as it is important for someone to be in a good first impression situation, how you come off in return is important as well. Reminiscing back to your high school days, where your reserved self had you labelled initially as the “loner” or “anti-social” when you knew deep down, it was more a result of not fitting in and choosing to stay alone rather than associate yourself with hypocrites. [ PREACH ] Keep this in mind next time you’re on a first date with someone who seems to have gone tongue-tied. Have an open mind, be as natural as you can in the situation you are given. Instead of calling another person out as awkwardly shy, think about how your presence and this person’s current emotional state can impact his or her ability to act differently around you. Your actions are a definitive reason to people’s reactions and comfortability in the situation.
Before meeting someone for the first time, people tend to fill your head with images and speculations, without allowing you to process the person yourself. You can be told everything and anything about someone before you walk two steps forward to find out yourself. You walk into a situation knowing details that don’t pertain to you and the relationship you can, will or have with that person. You don’t give them the chance to make their own first impression, you walk in controlling the first impression. Sometimes, we must use our best judgements; people’s past, whether it’s, their mistakes, privileges or accomplishment does NOT determine the person they are. WE ARE ALL HUMAN! Sure, some people live up to everything to their name, good and bad; but that is for us to find out ourselves at times. [ even when we are warned ] Judgment, from day one can be a poor predictor of how that person has come across at that time; and unfortunately for them it can land on a first impression. We accept our quick judgments as fact. [ which can bite us in the ass, but what do we know if we don’t give them a chance ]
It goes without saying that first impressions are limiting in many ways. Sure, we can get either a positive or negative vibe about a person, but more often than not, it really limits our ability to get to know someone beyond a superficial level [ judgment is so great isn’t it?! ] A short time frame limits our ability to get to know someone at his or her core. People aren’t all that easy to figure out; there are layers behind a person’s story and sometimes, in order to peel those layers back, time is an essential factor to do so. If they are willing to allow the connection, of course. After all, people are complex creatures who often surprise us in more ways than expected. Don’t limit yourself.
We seem to find judging others based on a single glance irresistible, but usually to our surprise the judgments we reach are usually wrong. So, ladies and gents, don’t jump on the first impression bandwagon and think you’ve got someone figured out already because chances are, you don’t. Be patient, and don’t let a first impression be the guiding point to someone’s overall demeanor. Everyone deserves more than just an initial judgment call.