First Impression = Last Impression. Really?

We have lived our lives believing in the expression “First impression is the last impression.” But has it never happened to you that even the person you hate the most sometimes end up being your friend? My life is full of such incidences! My room-mate is the greatest example. When I met her for the first time four years back, my first impression of her was that she might be infuriating. My hypothesis turned into a big fat fact when she started talking. She was really exasperating, in all sense of the word! She told me and the third roommate that she would never share anything with us, be it her comb, toothpaste and especially any study notes. I felt like I am looking at an endangered species of humanity!

But after just one or two months she became one of us. She didn’t bother giving us her notes. And she can never find her things and started using my comb, toothpaste, towel, etc. Long story short, she changed and became better and acceptable. The first impression that I had of her just flew out the window. Hence, I no longer believe in first impression being the last one.

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To actually say that a first impression is the last one – is a bit exaggerated. Nothing is permanent except change! People can change and actually correct their mistake. It depends on the other person to see the effort a person has made to correct the wrong. Often realizing, accepting and working on mending the wrong takes lot of effort and courage. Some people really go over the cliff to correct their mistakes.

The question now is – why the first impression is given a top-notch importance? The answer is actually quite simple. When we meet someone for the first time, we have no clue how the person is. Hence we start judging the book by its cover, in this case we judge on the basis of what we see and hear. Sometimes our judgment is also supplemented by feedbacks from other people that might contain contagious misunderstandings. This builds up the foundation of the person’s personality in our mind.

The only reason first impressions are worthy because they build a granite foundation for the way we perceive people. And in some people, it is hard to even put a small crack on the foundation. Once they decide you are wrong, no matter how hard you try they would never trust you. This makes it quite important to give a thought on creating the best first impression.

In normal life, it is alright if the first impression was little broken. We can sort it out with our near and dear ones. But under circumstances where your first meeting really counts, doing a bit of homework on giving the best first impression would be an advantage. To start off the first thing you should remember is that a person’s state of mind makes a great difference. If you are nervous, your lack of confidence would be portrayed. You will be unable to carry yourself well and smartly. So you should always check on your mood and state of mind before that important first meeting.

You should rebound with confidence and appeal, physically and mentally. People, on your first meeting, also judge you on the basis of what you speak. What you say reflects your thought process and your opinion regarding various issues. Basically, what comes out of your mouth is a direct mirror to your personality. So believe in think before you leap. Think twice before allowing something to come pouring out of your mouth that might totally come across as wrong, absurd and foolish. Keep your charms, best manner, confidence and intellect intact on you special first meetings.

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So we find that under certain circumstances a first impression really counts. If you are in the corporate world, your success is actually defined by first impressions. But in your ordinary normal life, I believe you should keep an open mind. When you see a person in wheelchair or having visible disability, what is your first impression of the person? Well, in most cases we try to exhibit sympathy because deep down we feel that this person has no meaning in his life. We think that he can achieve nothing. But are we right? If you have seen and heard about Nick Vujicic you would never underestimate a person with disability.

There are few people who would want to have a relationship with a person with visible disability. It’s our first impressions about such individuals that have driven them to isolation from the society and have stripped them of living a normal life and having meaningful relationships. What if we just gave a rest to holding on to our first impressions? J K Rowling’s first Harry Potter script was rejected by 12 publishers! She was told she cannot write. What if she had adhered to the “first impressions” that those publishers threw at her? The world would have been devoid of the greatest children books ever! As Abraham Lincoln said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” Actually, this is what every one of us should do.

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