It is rather amusinghow we often seem to have hypocrisy rooted deep in our day-to- day lives.
More often than not,we end up acting hypocritically on many fronts – the most fundamental beingforming a first impression about people. Everyone is familiar with the saying First Impression is the Last Impression. Many pay their respect to it up until another famous saying rings bells– Never Judgea book by its cover.This is just one of the many instances wherein our thoughtsseem to be in a battle of their own, so do our instinctsand beliefs.It is a very predictable activityfor us to form a first impression as an act of tutelage to our well-being whenwe first meetsomeone.
Subtle cuesof body languagetend to havea butterfly effect on the interlocutor’s mind. It takesabout 90 secondsfor the interlocutor to form his or her first impression about you. The initial 90 seconds might make it in the longterm or break it. True, relying too much on first impressions might bring up a risk of ending up in a critical spot, should the second thoughtfor the personchange. We mightclaim not to judge a book by the cover; however,we seem to forget completely about people – the human books.
Let us look at the case of a working professional named Frank. Considera situation wherein Frankis waiting in the queueat the copy machine for some copywork. He is a very outgoingperson, with open, approachable body language and is at ease with himself. Dueto the queue, Mr. Frank starts interacting with an acquaintance of his. He isvery friendly and likable – an extrovert. He indeed made a striking firstimpression in this case. Now let his personality undergo a paradigm shift;assume Frank to be of a rather conservative nature – hands crossed, postureslouched, avoiding eye contact, seldom smilesand to top it all, a slow drooping walk – an introvert nature.
People will find it a taddifficult to approach him due to the first impression they have apparentlygotten. Though complete body languageanalysis is an entire field of study,one need not be au fait with allthe nitty gritty, since the basic human instincts take the responsibility offorming first impressions. A careful lookat the extrovert Frank tends to portray himas insincere sincehe wasted his timechatting instead of going to another placefor the copy work. The introvertedFrank, similarly, appearsto be a workaholic, as he willjust get the work donewith little to noconversations in between, thus increasing his pace of achieving targets. Thoughintellectually both the versions of Mr. Frankare same, the one shot at first impression set outby them might make a profound difference while considering prosperity at work based on their innate nature.
Theworkhorse Frank will receive praise for his industrious work, whereas his colleagues willpraise the extrovert version since he mingles enoughwith them. Over the long term, however, both will have gained equal respect and accolades for theirperformance. This is how a matter of sheer first impression can make a difference for thesame intellectual mind.
Accordingly, the first impression does seem crucialinitially as it reduces the furthereffort to build the image of the person. First impressions are, no doubt,the most lasting.In spite of this,the wise words– Appearances can indeed be deceptive – voices the concernsof making the mistake.
Only through enoughexperience can our instincts provideus with a viable first impression of the personup to some accuracy. In to, the single shot taken thoughtfully at first impressions actually is imperative for long-term cooperation.