Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First impressions: accurate judgement depends on the observer and the person being observed

What were other people's first impressions of you? In my case, they vary: from a good guy, strict, and many more. But, although I don't take the matter too seriously, it quite surprised or even embarrassed me sometimes to hear some people's way of asking me questions.

One time in Ayala mall, a middle-aged gay who were promoting an insurance company (something like that) by which I instantly refused at came to ask me, after a series of questions, something like this: "Sir, you're not a pure Filipino, are you?" I answered, "I am a pure Filipino, but what made you say that?" "Because you have those grayish eyes," he said. I made a quick attempt at humor and said, "Ah that's cataract I guess." A former colleague of mine in a call center company who, after several months of working together with, have once confessed to me about his first impression of the person that I am. "I really thought you were, by first looking at you Nap, an arrogant person but then I was all wrong," he explained. Then there was this job interview for a Content Writer position I was applying with when, all of a sudden, the HR manager said to me: "You look more like a military man than a Content Writer." "I think it's because of my haircut and body built ma'am," I told her silently.

Although first impressions are often agreed with to as lasting, it will take time to know the true character of a person. Sometimes, physical appearances and attributes mislead and thus leading us to judge a person, situation, thing, and place for the wrong reasons. I have my share of first impressions, as well, to every new experience I encountered. My favorite disc jockey of a local FM station, upon seeing him in person, appeared to be the opposite of what I was visualizing of him as a person based on his beautiful voice. 

I'm not saying that we should not judge or make any comment at all, but for such an impression to base our accurate judgments actually depends on the observer and the person being observed. David Funder, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside said that, "a good judge of personality isn't just someone who is smarter--it's someone who gets out and spends time with people." First impressions may last, but they're sometimes unfair. You may do everything you can to make your first impressions to others to be positive or you may just be yourself.

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