Monday, November 07, 2016

The Wrong Impression

The Wrong Impression

There's nothing unusual about forming impressions, especially with regards to people we meet.

I suppose it's best not to be too judgemental of others, but we are. It's just the nature of the beast.

Sometimes, however, we are struck by one impression only to find out later that our impression was totally wrong. For example, you might meet someone and think that person is fabulous in every way — honest, caring, and full of positive vibes — only to discover some time later that you couldn't have been more wrong. The person whom you admired so much may have turned out to be a backstabbing, gossip-mongering asshole. The opposite might also be true. Someone, who on first impression seems a bad apple, might turn out to be a great guy or gal after all.

The thing is that first impressions can be wrong.

Therein lies the problem. Impressions are just quick glimpses. Usually, they have no factual basis, because impressions are feelings, emotional responses.

Oh sure, you'll say, "But I trust my gut. Nine times out of ten, I'm right about someone I meet right from the get-go."

So that one time out of ten might get a truckload of undeserved disdain. Sucks. A bad first impression has a lingering effect. It is not something so easily repaired, since we tend to trust our first impressions far too much, especially if that first impression is negative. You see, we hate to be wrong, and some people simply refuse to be wrong, even when they are wrong. Impressions are sticky, like the sugary remnants of candy floss on your fingers.

I am not one to make quick first impressions. It may be my Catholic upbringing, but I tend to put people in a kind of Limbo for a while. My initial feelings always provide for the benefit of the doubt, that is, I think everyone is cool until he or she proves otherwise. I don't immediately elevate someone to the status of sainthood, but I also don't condemn anyone as a person not to be liked or trusted. People always show their true colours in time. I let that time pass.




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