First impressions. They set the foundation for a new relationship of any kind. Whether it be an acquaintance at work or a future significant other. It’s that first encounter that determines any further encounters or remove all possibility for them. But what if I said to you that first impressions didn’t really matter? What if I said you could never really understand someone from that quick interaction? What if I daringly say that it’s possible a first impression is so insignificant, that it can just be neglected in favor of some other arbitrary superficial attribute?
I pick how their shoes look matters most. Yep, I’m going with that.
This popped into my head while I was covering my coworker’s floor assignment for the duration of his absence. The front desk lady struck me as such a b*tch the first time I encountered her. She had a nasty attittude, gave me such an “I’m watching you look”, and didn’t say a word to me when I extended my “good morning” to her. I was so over her and just walked past her while doing my business from that point on. Now she’s always so pleasant, compliments me on the work I do, and says such nice things with a smile. I even get a “good morning” just about every day. Or a lovely head nod. But I was like hmmm, so her tough exterior isn’t her actual personality.
It goes for me too.
I start off so shy and quiet. Although, I am actually shy and quiet haha. But I make sure to be super professional, my word usage is very distinct and calculated, I don’t even make a physical motion that may come off too loose. …I don’t even laugh. Then I open up and relax. I joke around. Make casual conversation. Give a friendly little fist bump here and there. …I even laugh haha.
This seems to be the norm though.
Most people, I find, have a tendency to not be genuine at the first encounter with someone new. There tends to be that “feeling out” moment. A shield goes up in front of our actual selves and we project the person we think the other person would be most comfortable with. Or maybe that projection is the kind of person we think will best fit the situation. A funny man being serious at an interview. A little brother trying to toughen up when he meets his older brother’s friends. A girl trying on new makeup to impress a guy she likes. There are many different ways to become a modified version.
A “you 1.5”.
But why? Isn’t this the same as being dishonest? Comparable to being disingenuous? If the person you meet isn’t their true self, then how do you trust them? If everyone does it, how do anyone trust anyone? Maybe because it’s such a normal occurrence, that it’s one of those exceptions we accept and expect. Like being pressed up against someone on a train during rush hour. It sucks, but normal.
A bad thing that always happens is still a bad thing.
Til next time. Stay genuine. Be “you version 1.0”