“Prejudice is an acquired trait. You are not born Prejudice, you are taught it” said Charles Swindoll. It is a part of human psychology and we are tamed this way. We have a subconscious influence of opinions and stereotypes on our thought process hence overlooking facts.
We have this powerful intention to categorise people or objects as soon as we look at them. This is developing first impressions. If we are to meet someone, we already have a preconceived assumption about them.
That is why first impressions are so important, to bring reality over perception. One will only know the right thing if he/she is aware that they were wrong in the first place and vice versa.
This incessant conflict and competition around the world forces our first impression to rely solely on conspicuous attributes such as appearance, posture, body language, self presentation, clothing etc.
There are contradictory views about first impressions. Let us look at opposing situations.
· Attending an interview: It is one’s responsibility to give away a positive first impression. Whether it is to be well dressed or have a formal attitude towards the situation. One cannot expect the hiring managers to know your personality and then assess your capabilities.
· Relationships: Whether to be a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend you need to know each other properly to understand your connection. It’d be wrong to arrive upon a conclusion considering the first impression one had. Again it isn’t any lawful or scientific loss. You may miss out on something that is worth giving a try.
A major mistake one makes to build a good rapport between the people they want is they tend to only talk about subjects that the other party likes, to continue the conversation and try to avoid disputes based on indifference.
They rarely ask questions or give reasoning to maintain a low-key profile to appease them. This is toxic behaviour, both for you and for the other party, because you are in this constant self-set loop of impressing them and they are in this false notion that they are friends with the real you.
Having said all this, the first impression isn’t misleading but a superficial reality. And for people who want to hire you, this superficial reality is what they’d see. Of course, it is later that they’ll get to know what kind of a person you are professionally and personally, but in the race with your contemporary competitive minds first impression matters.
Your skills, capabilities and academics take the top spot in deciding your credibility, but the first impression sets the tone of your situation.
First impression is definitely not the last impression but it could be a game changer. For instance, you had gone shopping and were in search of lemons. You found three vendors selling lemons. What would you do? You’d buy from the vendor whose produce looked fresh and healthy. This is how a first impression works on a vague note.
With regard to daily life circumstances, one cannot avoid having first impressions and Prejudice because it is an intricate part of human psychology, but it shall be progressive if we keep those first impressions as mere opinions and not turn them into judgement. Never cease in being the real you.
Thank you. Informative and helpful!! Certainly an important lesson in the modern world were we are more likely to meet, work and share our living space with people who may not look like us.