First impressions

Monday 24th August 2020 10:29 EDT

What happens when we meet someone for the first time? No, not always love at first sight! But there is something called - the first impression of a person that remains in our mind. Someone so dashing, or sober and silent, or someone very vocal, chirpy and happy. Or any other kind of the first impression that gets imprinted on our mind about that person plays a big role in how we perceive that individual in future. But a big question is - how much is this first impression relevant? And, whether we should judge anyone based on such first impression?

Ruhi met Chris first time in a tube when her college friend Celina introduced him as her cousin. Chris was in black shorts, polo t-shirt and Nike sneakers, with Bose headphones resting around his neck. A perfect impression of an easy-going, cool dude but hardly giving any indication that Chris was a senior auditor in a prominent consulting firm. She easily marked him as a pub-going, party type guy who would travel a lot and hang out with friends. But as was the case, Chris was generally a serious type of person, mostly busy with his laptop and hardly catching up with friends. It was only on the insistence of Celina and other cousins that Chris had joined them for a group tour to a beach. As the occasion demanded, he bought a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, particularly for that trip. Isn't it a completely wrong first impression of Chris? 

There might be many occasions when we give a totally different impression to people, contrary to what we actually are. It may happen because of the context in which we are meeting someone for the first time, or because of the situation when they have had a glimpse of our appearance or behaviour. When one sees someone in anger, a different assessment is made about that person. Similarly, if we happen to see someone in the best of the time, a likeable impression sticks in our mind. Such first impressions are sometimes misleading, but they play a big role in future interaction between us.

The first impression lasts longer, rather forever on our mind. Therefore, people are always conscious of their first impression. While appearing in a job interview, one tries to create the best possible impression. Going on the first date with a person, one is conscious of his/her first impression. It hardly matters what opinion one will carry about us if we are not interested in developing any further relationship. But if we want some future interaction to happen with a person, our first impression has to be managed well. 

So, the question is what kind of the first impression should we strive to create? The simple answer is: whatever we really are, should be reflected in our first impression. That means behaving naturally, wearing a kind of clothes we would normally wear on any particular occasion, speaking the same language that we habitually use, behaving in the way that we can maintain throughout - is the best way. Such honest, true to our personality type of the first impression is easy to maintain and it seems natural and fitting to our personality. It may not impress anyone immediately but it also doesn't create a sharp change in their opinion about us. Therefore, the real impression as the first impression is always a desirable and honest thing to expect. (Expressed opinions are personal.)

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