Way back in the early 2000’s when I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college student, I took an introduction to a communications class that fascinated me so much that communications became my minor. One of the facts that fascinated me was that first impressions are important because we make our judgments about people in a mere few seconds and definitely in less than five minutes.
I could not believe that. In less than five minutes, people (myself included unto others) would unknowingly and unconsciously judge me, which would then either jumpstart a potential relationship or the person would just dump me on the spot.
This factoid has carried on in my life with always trying to put my best front in hopes that my best would click or connect with someone from the start. My gut feeling about people was also turned on and has heightened with time. Although I know that no experience with one person is the alike and to judge on my own merit and encounters with a person, my judgment is affected by people’s experiences with others being bad or good. Does the same happen to you? I thrived on the people I met who I felt and was sure the other felt an instant connection. Like many and especially in this fast-paced world, I thrive on an instant connection and turn my back on those who do not really rub me the right way from the very beginning. I think we live in a time and place where we are all about instant gratification with these technological devices used with every intention to try to fill a void we all have. We all want to be connected, but are we really connecting? Then, something happened. A light bulb moment, if you will.
Those who I felt a fast connection with would usually crash and burn just as quickly. Those whose first impressions did not really impress me from the beginning actually ended up surprising me with slowly revealed softer sides that was a sharp contrast to their initial edges on the surface. The relationships that hit me the hardest are the ones that lasted the longest only to fade away slowly or end very suddenly. After being rejected and dejected by many while also and especially treasuring the very few gems in my lifetime thus far, I’ve come to a realization that my trust level has done to subzero and my suspicion level has gone sky high. I no longer believe in people’s words and only believe in their actions. As one of my family members summed it up to describe the me I am now: “You do not trust anyone. You are also very hypersensitive and tend to judge based on what others say about a person. Your trust only grows with time pr never move or grow at all.”
Over time, I understood that first impressions will mean something, but they do not mean everything. It is the last impressions that mean everything—these are the impressions encased in actions and people being there for you at your worst, best, and in between. These are the impressions that made me learn that it REALLY takes time and efforts to get to know people and that people will surprise you with the best they can and will do for you or shock you with the worst they can do to you. Everyone actually SEEMS normal and nice until you get to know them. Everyone has stuff. Everyone has softer sides and sharp edges. Everyone has beautiful and ugly to them. I go on my gut more than anything else when I first meet someone than on their external image, because now I know more than ever that it is only internal truth about someone that will only be revealed in time. People are people. Most of all, nothing and no one is a waste of time. Everyone and everything serves a purpose in your life.
There are people who have made first and last impressions on you, but how many can you say have made an everlasting impression? Do you go on gut and on your first impressions of people? Who are the people who you did not think much of in the beginning and even disliked, only for that person’s softer side to be revealed in due time and for that person and the relationship to grow on you? Who were the people who made a great first impression on you where you felt an instant connection only for it to crash and burn as quickly as it started? Do you put your best impression in the beginning, or are you much more guarded and will only reveal your true self within time?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,