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You may have heard this many times or maybe implied somewhere to judge someone you meet at first.
He/she may appear to be ugly or it may be possible we arrived there at the wrong time. He/she may seem to be dumb and with no intelligence or it may be possible that we may have asked them a wrong question or they may not have such knowledge about the particular field.
He/she may appear to be full of idiotic ideas but it may be possible that he/she may be cracking serious jokes.
When we see someone for the first time, we try to make a first impression of someone. It might prove to be true sometimes but sometimes it is not actually what we were thinking. This can lead to making a bad image of a good person in our mind.
We can't judge someone at the first sight and we can't make an impression in our mind for someone at the first meeting.
I have recently moved to India from New Zealand. We were staying in a rented Villa and I had not quite made friends yet. One sunny morning as I stood in the portico, seeing off my husband to work, I heard the voice of a lady yelling at some workers who were working in the hot sun. I turned to see that rude, impertinent person; A short and stout lady with a yellow dotted umbrella. “ I said to myself shaking my head, “ I will never be able to make friends with such people”. This was my “First impression” about her.
As I settled down in that gated community which had around 80 houses, I started to meet people and made a few friends. I have been away only for a few years, but India had changed drastically in those few years. Festivals and celebrations got bigger and louder. Big villas, expensive cars, fancy clothes, big parties, and colorful decorations. Another “first impression” in my mind about India has been changed.
In my enthusiasm to be part of the new environment, I went to a “kitty-party” in the neighborhood, the very first I had ever been to. The women around me wore loud colors, heavy jewelry, and patches of make-up. I felt a little out of place, in my simple attire without any make-up or jewelry. As I was trying to familiarize myself with new faces and names, the lady with “the yellow dotted umbrella” approached me.
I cringed a little but managed to smile and introduce myself. To my utter surprise, she was dressed in a simple sari, no make-up, in fact, we two stood out in contrast from the rest of the party. I am not someone who judges a person by the way they dress, so I told myself defensively, it was the way she yelled at the workers that put me off, so I will not change my mind about her.
The party continued with gaudily dressed women laughing, playing, and having the food that was being served like there would not be such food tomorrow. The lady with “the yellow dotted umbrella” and I started to talk a little bit and I slowly started to see a warm and genuine person inside her. My “first impressions” about her started to dissipate.
In the year that followed, my children, husband, and I made our own first impressions about life in new modern age India and to our city, work-life, colleges, movies, our neighbors, and many more things. Some matter a lot and some and some are insignificant. Life went on like a roller-coaster ride. One little thing I know is that in one of those ups and downs of the roller coaster, my life was to change forever. And this little thing I knew in the process was my first impression about the lady with the yellow dotted umbrella and that has been changed forever too!!
That day started like any other, but by mid-day, my husband left us to rest in peace. Needless to say, I was a total mess, completely shattered and quite incapable of handling what was to follow and what should be done now. Life was changed completely as he left us alone in this big world. I don’t know how, but the lady with the yellow dotted umbrella stepped up to take charge till my family arrived from different parts of India and overseas. From that day onwards she has remained a great friend, someone I can depend on.
The point of the story?
Yes, you got it right !!
The first impression is not the last impression. It should never be. The first impression is the mental image we form of someone when we first encounter them.
These impressions are based on several factors like age, physical appearance, race, communication style, accent, voice etc.
Our future interactions, how we treat them depend greatly on these first impressions that we form.
It seems that our first impression is formed within 50 milliseconds of seeing someone’s face.
According to a Psychology Professor at the University of Toronto, Nicholas Rule, “Every time you see someone, even if it is someone you really know, you’re making first impressions again.”
“The first impression is the last impression”, holds strength, especially in the corporate world. I have been a member of several interview panels and I can confidently say that most interviewees or the candidates miss the opportunities because they fail to make that first positive impression.
If you are preparing to meet someone important and want to make a lasting impression, you should go with “the first impression is the last impression”.
After all, you get only one first chance ever. So make the best of it. But if you are forming an impression about someone, remember in the mind always that “the first impression is not always the last impression”.
Avoid making judgments.
Don’t judge a book by its cover!!!
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