First Impressions Last Until They Don’t - Grasshopper
I don't know who first said that first impressions are lasting, but they often go out the window when you give someone a second chance.
In the past, I freely admit to having been a "book by the cover" person. That is such a non-enriching mindset. I wore it as a badge of honor that I could spot a person's flaw within seconds of encountering them. This fixating on the flaw gave me a first impression that focused on imperfection. The more I dwelled on it, the more lasting the impression became.
This is a great strategy to have if you are weeding things out, but it is a roadblock when you're looking to include.
Look to your own experience. Have you ever had a first impression that turned out to be bogus? There are too many to count.
First impressions are, for the most part, first reactions - conditioned responses that have nothing to do with who's in front of us, and more to do with what's behind us. Let me explain.
We have tons of conditioning that happened well before we knew what the word conditioning meant. Upbringing is another word for conditioning. Included in that rearing are the biases and prejudices of persons who provided our care and helped shape our world view.
When we meet someone new that doesn't match up with our world view, we have an immediate, conditioned impression that prevents us from being positively impressed. We haven't afforded another an opportunity to make their case. It was open and shut before they opened their mouth.
This is a judgement that I'm speaking of, not a gut reaction. Here's how to tell the difference: A judgement has lots of conversation in your head attached to it; a gut reaction is just a feeling.
When you are busy judging, you won't be able to get a feel for the other person and you will stick with your judgements and often miss the opportunity to connect.
Second chances begin when you notice the first reaction in your head. Notice your instant reaction and just let it go by. When you don't get caught up in the loop of your judgements, you open up to who's really there rather than interacting with your preconceived notion.
If you want to make more connections, start by letting go of your first impressions.
All the best,
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