We live in a fast and quick age where everybody wants to get and know everything quickly. And we have gotten to the point where we want to know people completely immediately, thanks to apps like Tinder (don’t ask me how I know this) and Facebook that call everyone your friend. Anyways, this brings me to the point of first impressions. You know that phrase “first impressions matter”? Does it though? I think not all the time. Now before you come for me with all the backlash, I hope to prove my point so just keep reading.
Some time ago, one of my friends had asked me, “what was your first impression of me?”. And honestly, I tried so hard to remember what it was, but I couldn’t. I had forgotten the first impression not because the person was not important to me. It was because the impression had become irrelevant based on the other things I now thought about this friend. For some others, they would remember this impression in a twinkle of an eye (as my friend did) and maybe relate it to some visible characters.
Here is the deal.
First impressions are like judging a book by its cover. You look at someone for the first time and conclude certain things about the person. What we forget is that there are some books with unattractive covers but amazing stories. Don’t get me wrong, our covers as individuals are important. There is a whole blog post on this topic here. However, this judged person may have had a bad day, had a terrible headache or better still just been a reserved person and for these reasons, had not been as receptive as you had expected them to be.
People deal with different things at different times of their lives and not everyone is strong enough to smile when they are down, even the most-lively people have moments when they are quiet. So, the first time you are meeting someone may just be one of those down seasons for them, it will not be fair to use this “first impression” to judge them.
So, I am going to give you 3 reasons why I like to add more impressions to my first impression about a person.
Sometimes, they just do not matter
Imagine this scenario. You go on a first date with someone new and you are feeling all type of vibes coming from this date. In your mind, you have hit jackpot and you are expecting a second, third and fourth date. But you do not even get a call the next day though you had perfected the art of first impression and your game was strong. You had given out a first impression and had gotten one in return. And in your head, the two of you are a match made from heaven. But apparently this is not the case. So, what do you do with your first impression about this person? In actual sense, most times, first impressions do not matter. It takes more than one meeting to be impressed by somebody.
They fail from time to time based on the circumstance of meeting
No matter how good you are at guessing a person’s character, your intuition will fail you at one point. Sometimes you will see a muscular guy and think that he will be a wife beater, when in actual sense, he is very sweet. A lady who has just gotten bad news may appear to you as rude when you try to have a conversation with her. Except first impressions about people are built on what happened to them before their encounter with you, then it will not be a 100% right. A person’s behaviour is likely to get affected by the challenges or excitement the person is going through before you meet.
The only time they matter is when prepared
What I mean is that we make a bomb first impression when we set out to do that. A man that wants a good wife from church will behave as holy as he should to get a “holy sister”. It doesn’t matter how long he needs to pretend. He has mastered the right impression to exude and he will do it effortlessly. Same thing with getting a job. We behave so well mannered and calm in a job interview because you want to leave a good impression. We do not want to be seen as lousy as you can be in your house. First impression is an art that can be mastered if you want to perfect it. And very easily, people have the best first impression about you. But for how long can you pretend to be what you are not?
So, the next time you are basing your conclusion about a person on the first impression you got, remember that the person may have just been embarrassed or not been in the best moods. There are great people out there that are not so open the first time they meet someone. You just may have met one of them. And while first impressions may be correct sometimes, when they are wrong, they can put you in a tight corner.
My point is first impressions should not be the sole basis of your perception of someone. If there is the chance to, get a second and third impression. This however doesn’t mean our first impressions should be bad. It means that we are human and sometimes we are not our best self.