Consider: First Impressions
I was thinking about first impressions a lot this weekend. It was the 21st birthday of a lovely girl at university, and we travelled a long three hour car journey to get to her house which is in the middle of beautiful countryside “north” and “left” of London as my substandard Geography understood it. Being surrounded by lots of friends that are relatively new in my life, all made since university which only started 18months ago, I started to think about what my original thoughts were about each person, how my first thoughts about them based on face value have changed as I’ve gotten to know them better.
I came to this realisation. No matter how hard we try not to make snap judgements and base our opinions on what somebody looks like, we all do it and continue to do it even when time and time again our initial opinions have been proven wrong in the past. I’m not really sure why this is. A lot of my thoughts about the people I spent the weekend with are so vastly different to the first few weeks of university. Some in a good way – people I wasn’t sure about have ended up being really great friends, and some in a bad way – thinking people were something they weren’t (i.e. not the nicest of people). But, for the most part, the former is true.
Why do we do this? Why do we think somebody is an arse just because of the way they look or the way they walk? Why do we think somebody is uber cool and there’s no way they’d want to talk to us because they are very attractive? 9 times out of 10 these rash judgements simply aren’t true. The guy who thought was an arse, is actually a sweetie (albeit slightly opinionated) and the popular girl is really a little bit goofy and not that dissimilar to yourself. We all do it and sadly it’s human nature to be judgmental, but I am trying to teach myself to stop doing this. Most people are nice and kind, it just doesn’t always seem that way because we’re all guilty of putting up barriers and a ‘face’ to people we’re not familiar with.
When I first met my boyfriends parents I was, of course, very nervous. I had these grand thoughts about them, but as I’ve gotten to know them I came to realise that they are just human like myself, and actually, in their own ways, are slightly insecure/unhappy people. I think we can all make more effort to be less judgemental, even in the sense of thinking that people are ‘too cool’ to be our friend. Nobody, really, is ‘too cool’. Not once you get to know them. Once you get to know them you realise they’re just like you, and they may well end up being one of your good friends.
Have you got a really close friend now, that you originally had different thoughts on? Are you making an effort not to be judgemental?