A lot of people write about using first impressions and using them as a marketing strategy. For example, how to make a good first impression for job interviews, meeting new people, engaging people in your website from a quick glance or other business purposes. While I think this is a fantastic way to make use of this amazing innate human ability, it’s helpful to know that first impressions aren’t always helpful when they last.
We make our mind up about people within the first few seconds of meeting them.
Even long after you have met someone, typically you still have the same opinion of them as you did when you first met them.
We are egocentric beings, meaning we don’t like to be proven wrong, even by ourselves. So when things happen that go against our initial beliefs, we chose to ignore it and only pay attention to the information that lets us know we were right in the first place.
Think about someone that you hold negative energy towards. You might not like this person or feel like you have much time for them. Now I want you to ask yourself, why? Has this person done some really nice things for you or people that you care about that you have ignored? And then the second they step out of line, that information goes straight to the memory bank to build yourself up and affirm your beliefs.
It works the other way, too. Someone that you have always liked and always thought highly of has perhaps done some things wrong by you or others. Have you ignored this information and chosen not to pay attention to it? Every time this person does something wonderful, you pay attention and take notice, but when it is a negative situation you ignore it so you can feel good about the decisions you initially made a long time ago.
The message I would love to get across in this post is for you to start knowing when you are zooming in on the good or the bad in a person and missing the whole picture. It is necessary to take a step back and soak in all of a person, not just the information that feeds your ego.
I find it empowering to understand the human brain and our instincts. With some understanding of why we feel certain things, we can make the conscious decision to take ourselves off autopilot and actually check in to why and how we are feeling. It is only then can we make whole-hearted decisions and act out of kindness, rather than cruising through unaware of the inaccurate and unhelpful information we could be holding on to.
So if you recognise that you are holding onto an inaccurate first impression, let it go, honey. You’re better than that. It’s not good for you to hold onto negative energy when you can make the conscious decision to let it go.
Can you think of someone that you might not necessarily like, and take a step back to see them as a whole, rather than focusing on what you don’t like about them? Did your impression change? If not, great. You can carry on knowing you have consciously made that decision as opposed to letting your brain take over on autopilot.
Has someone made a negative first impression with you?
Have you ever made a first impression with someone that you wish you could change?