Whether you meet someone at a party, go out on a first date or become accustomed to your new boss, first impressions are a guiding point 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 who and if we are ready. People 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 to 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 ] 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 is to have a imperative lead role as Sherlock might be, we have to keep in mind that even the most dishonest people out there [ narcissists ] have initially fooled people into thinking they are charmers. We also all can’t be Mother Teresa; the everyday person will initially judge someone before getting to know him or her. [ you see someone, you judge them; we are humans. Its what we do. ]
Based on a person’s overall boldness, style and physical appearance, we size someone up and make our own conclusions about the type of person he or she truly is. Just because a woman dresses in a formal manner doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a prude, or just because a man wore his long hair under a cap doesn’t mean he spends his days smoking joints in his mother’s basement. If someone is different from what we’re normally used to, we judge him or her to an even greater extent. Let’s do ourselves a favor and not rush to conclusions about a person after the initial meeting. Your present emotion state and the people you are around can impact the way you act and how you think. Your judgment can impair your perception.
Think about the initial job interview you had or that time you went to a party and barely knew anyone. Your uncomfortable state may have made you come across a certain way; shy, reserved or perhaps even more awkward than you could possibly imagine yourself being. More often than not, a combination of your emotional state and a novel situation you’re placed in can make you project a less than genuine version of yourself. [ not that you are trying to be fake, you are just put in an uncomfortable position ]
Rewind to your high school days [ new job, new environment or new human interaction ], where your reserved self had you dubbed initially as the ‘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. [ Keep this in mind next time you’re on a first date with someone who seems to have gone tongue-tied. ]
Instead of calling someone 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. [ the first impression is a pressure act for anyone involved ] A short time frame limits our ability to get to know someone at his or her core. 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.
People aren’t all that easy to figure out; there are layers behind a person and sometimes, in order to peel those layers back, time is an essential factor to do so. After all, people are complex creatures who often surprise us in more ways than expected. That guy who struck you as having no romantic bone in his body could possibly be more romantic than you might think, or that girl who seemed tough on the exterior may actually be a true softie. [ as hard is it might be; try not to judge a book by its cover; you may be surprised what you find ]
In the end, time is a valuable asset. 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. Even when you’re turned off to begin with.