The benefits of a negative first impression

How important are first impressions in social situations?

I like to think I am a pretty good judge of character, and if I have a niggling dislike of someone, usually in the long-term my niggles are justified.  You could argue that I am stubborn and I have made my mind up early on, and refuse to change. That could be true, although I don’t think it is.

However, disregarding my own situation, how often do we change our minds after those oh-so-important first impressions? Some people never do.  I wonder if they are missing out.

In my mind, some of the nicest people are those that are the hardest to get to know. If someone appears a little grumpy or judgmental at the start it could be because they are unable to force a positive, chirpy front. Is that a bad thing? If you see their negative traits early on, how much worse can it get? Not every one has the ability to be easy-going, animated and complimentary.

Of course, they could be other issues at play here. Some people are shy, others are not interested in being sociable. It doesn’t mean they have unlikeable personalities.

Then there are people who don’t want you to like them, and it is not always a deliberate move. I have known someone like this, and she admitted to always seeing the worst in people at the start. I wondered if she was hurt in the past, but since I wasn’t in a position to ask her, I was forced to consider the benefits for myself.

She may not have many friends, but the ones she had have made an effort to get passed the negativity, and they are going to be more tolerant and understanding in the future. It doesn’t sound such a bad plan.

I would think one or two genuine friends, who accept you warts and all, are better than dozens who are only interested in what’s on the surface. I have had friends who brush aside your woes, and it is not a nice situation to be in. The last thing you want when your world is crashing around you is for your so-called friends to be disinterested in your troubles. Sometimes it is better to go it alone.

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About Honor A Dawson

I live in a rural location with my husband, dogs, cats and chickens. I love reading and writing, watching and playing tennis, and wildlife and nature.

Posted on September 30, 2013, in Psychology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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