The Impact of First Impressions

Of course, we all want to make a good first impression as we all know the lasting importance of those first few seconds in any context, but particularly when it comes to dating.

Unfortunately, we live in such a fast paced world today that few people make the time to truly get to know each other; we live in a world of “swipe left, swipe right”, where we are judged primarily on the first impression our external appearance provides…

In many ways, the main challenge with dating is that we aren’t able to get our foot in the door to enable the opportunity to truly get to know someone, or perhaps more importantly, for them to get to know us.

Today, with the proliferation of online dating sites, people look at your photo and profile, as if you were some commodity in a catalogue then, in just a few seconds, work out whether you have potential or not.

Now, in the real world, what you say and how you act is always going to hold more weight than how you look which is why mastering your English speaking skills is so important as the way you talk, and the language you use is all part of what is being assessed within that initial first impression.

This gut instinct response, known as a first impression, is formed by the reptilian aspect of your brain known as the amygdala.  This is responsible for our fight of flight defence system and is home to our reticular activating system.

This primitive psychological defence mechanism considers a multitude of tiny elements of detail and computes it within a split second to calculate who this person is; based on a variety of reference points.

Think of it as a credit score, where our brain will score this person against a set criteria depending on the context.

This is the powerful impact of first impressions!  We can’t control this gut instinct summisal of a person.  We can however, be mindful of it, and use it to our advantage.  Here are three ways to do just that:

CAR

Inferences are made by the car you drive and these symbols of status can strongly impact the first impression you make.  For instance, someone offering you a ride in a brand new, but filthy car gives off a very different vibe to the person with an older car that is clean and tidy.  Therefore it’s not just about how flash your car is, it’s about how it is maintained too.

CLOTHES

Your wardrobe and the clothes you choose to wear often reflect who you are on the inside, yet it’s not just your clothes, it’s your physique.

SHOES

In a similar vein, shoes have always been a significant symbol of status throughout history; hence the popularity of shoe shining.  Your shoes are often the most overlooked aspect of your fashion ensemble; yet, there is a very common saying that describes how if you want to know what a man is truly like, then judge him by his shoes.

 

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