The phrase “dress to impress” is something many of us have heard.
It’s a common expression people adopt in different daily situations because they understand how important it is to give a great first impression.
The first impressions I have made in my experience with jobs, student organizations and relationships usually define how things will work and how people will see me in the future, especially if I am in an environment full of judgments.
People make good and bad judgments of others within the first few minutes of meeting a person, without getting to know them at all. We then usually proceed to create our own profile of them.
I am amazed by how little time it takes for someone to make a quick assumption based on appearance, body language and demeanor.
Two questions come to mind: “How hard is it to overcome a first bad impression?” and “Why are first impressions the most important?”
Few of us haven’t had a time in our lives in which we have faced someone else’s bad first impression of us.
It’s a problem we encounter when someone else’s perception doesn’t match our own outlook.
Another situation many of us have gone through is when we encounter someone who may initially appear “rude and mean,” but after knowing him or her, realize that this person is totally the opposite.
Several people recently told me they were afraid to approach one of my friends because she appeared mean.
However, once they met her, they realized she was actually friendly and nice.
It takes time and effort to change first impressions because they stick for a long time. You’ll have to work extra hard to debunk that encounter.
The problem is that many impressions are misleading because people like to put on an act around other people they’re meeting for the first time.
In many situations, people look for acceptance from a group of friends, colleagues or a certain social class by putting on a facade.
Sometimes we act like someone we aren’t just to get a reaction or to achieve something, when really we don’t belong.
I’m not trying to tell people to dress a certain way or be someone they are not.
As cliché as it sounds, the best way to give a good first impression is to just to be you.
I believe the impression that we want to give varies a lot depending on the situation, but the best asset is definitely an original personality.