Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Impression and Perception

Many opinions in life are formed based only on first impression. Right from a product you buy to a person you meet. Almost everything that meets your eye, you tend to form an opinion on it. How accurate are the opinions formed based on first impressions? Personal experience has taught me that first impressions don't give you a fair idea. But then, be it interviews for a job or a stranger you meet on the road, people are written off just based on the first impression you get about them.

I personally have been guilty of forming wrong perceptions about people based on first impression. I assumed them to be arrogant but they turned out to be down to earth. I perceived certain people to be introvert and they turned out to be extrovert. A calm person at work turned out to be a monster at home and vice versa. Also, I always had this perception that higher the designation that much more indifferent that person would be while dealing with people at a lower designation. Most of the times this may be true, however, I figured out that it may not always be true. There is a gentleman with whom I deal with who is at a very higher designation. You can say that we are at two extremities when it comes to designation. The first day that I spoke with him I thought he was putting up a mask so that I could feel comfortable. I was also under the impression that from the very next day he will start showing his true colors. He is a very knowledgeable person too; a strong enough reason for him to have an inflated ego. This gentleman proved me wrong with his down to earth attitude and friendly nature. Knowledgeable people tend to hold on to all the knowledge they have for the fear of losing out on the edge they have over others. However, here is one person who believes in imparting it to anyone who is curious to learn.

I am sure everyone has some experience which they could relate to in terms of first impressions. You could have been at the receiving end or it could have been you who may have perceived something wrong. You may have said to yourself, how could that person think about me on those lines? And at times you may have kicked yourself for thinking bad about someone based on what you saw or heard about that person.

I do not say that you stop forming opinion about people based on first impressions. There may be instances in life where you will not be getting another opportunity to interact with the person you are forming an opinion about. In such scenarios, you have to take decisions on what you understand from the body language and mannerisms. However, if you know for sure that you are going to get more opportunities to interact with a person, you should always keep an open mind and not be too judgemental from the onset.

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