Hi, it’s nice to meet you! Supposedly a first impression makes all the difference, but I think first impressions are entirely odd. People say that a first impression is the only impression you’ll really get of someone. I think it’s within the first ten seconds of meeting someone [don’t hold me to that statistic – but I seem to recall it being true] that you make a fairly permanent judgement on what sort of person they are.
I have to say that I think this thing is totally, entirely false. This is entirely opinion, of course, and maybe some people are totally judgemental,but I have had enough meetings [and wrong judgements] of people to have decided that, for me, the first impression is most often completely irrelevant.
Take Amanda, for instance. When I first met her [for real, not when we met in ballet when we were seven, or the babysitting course when we were twelve; the meeting we had in her grade eight year – when she was very close with my boyfriend of the time.] I thought she was the worst. I thought she was obnoxious, and loud, and stinky. Okay, maybe not stinky, but I certainly was not her biggest fan. Then two months later I actually got to know her and BAM, soul mates? I think so.
The same goes for another friend of mine. I wasn’t so sure about him for a very long time, and would go back and forth between liking and not liking [sort of like my constant battle with leafy greens…]; but about two months ago we went on a band trip together, and spent most of it hanging out [this may or may not have been to totally annoy my awful last relationship… [I refuse to even grace him with the term “ex”] you’ll never know…] and getting to know each other a lot better. And it turns out that he is just the most splendid kind of guy!
This brings me to another thought about friendships and relationships.
No one is going to be exactly how you want them to be.
So you’ve got to allow for that! I’ve spent so much time in my life putting off friendships because I don’t like one or two things about a person; but often they have so many other qualities about them that are totally fine.
Amanda, again, is an example of this [how I’ve solved it at least, and on a very small scale, but still… she’s an example.] Amanda is always late. She blames it on her mother, but I’ve picked her up for things when her mother isn’t even home, and it takes her at least ten minutes from me knocking on the door [when she has said she’ll be ready] to her getting into my car. Now, this is something that would normally drive me totally insane, but, for those of you who haven’t met her, she is the most wonderful person other than that. She’s thoughtful, and kind, and hilarious – when she’s not just stealing my jokes. It’s one of those instances where you think “Well I could hate her because she’s two hours late for everything, or I could tell her dinner is at four, and she’ll be on time for dinner at six and it will be the most splendid dinner ever.”
I just realized that I have been on quite the “relationship” and “happiness” kick recently… I guess that just shows how my life affects my writing!
Anyway, I think people should pay less attention to first impressions. Maybe the person is nervous, or having a bad day, or just is really shy about meeting new people. I’m never “myself” on a first meeting – and I’ll openly admit that. It takes me quite a while to actually warm up to someone and be entirely natural with them. I actually will change entirely between different meetings too. Sometimes I’m shy, overly outgoing, or standoffish. It depends on the situation, and the person I’m meeting.
I doubt that anyone greets someone they are just meeting like they greet a friend. So I think we all need to just cool it on the first impressions, and judgements of people. It doesn’t matter whether I go to an east coast school – that doesn’t mean I’m a snob [I haven’t even been there yet!]; and it doesn’t matter if I’m from the west coast – that doesn’t mean that I’m a tree hugger. My short hair doesn’t mean I’m a tomboy, and my baggy clothes don’t mean that I’m self conscious – I just like to be comfortable [why people dress up to go to school and sit in a desk for six hours escapes me…].
So I’m going to just make a little reminder for everyone:
Get to know someone before you make a judgement on whether you like them or not. You could really be missing out on a wonderful friendship if you don’t.