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Posts Tagged ‘First Impressions’

Warning: First Impressions Are Frequently Unreliable

Monday, February 1st, 2016
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First impressions are sometimes accurate, yet other times they aren’t.

Unfortunately, they can’t be relied upon for consistently accurate personality analysis.

You may get a feeling about someone upon first meeting, but trying to determine specific personality red flags—and the magnitude of those red flags–is a different matter entirely.

Consider some of the things people attempt to determine upon first meeting you: trustworthiness; intelligence; emotional maturity; leadership ability; whether you are an extrovert or introvert; and a lot more.

According to a Harvard psychologist, the two most pressing concerns people have when they meet you are “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?”

Are you a physical threat, and are you a thief? Are you a traitor, or a backstabber? Are you to be admired or despised? Will you be a source of embarrassment?

According to an article in the Guardian, perception of others is clouded by subconscious fears and defenses: “Although our rapid cognition is fairly accurate, it’s still possible for us to misread someone the first time we meet them. No matter how shrewd you might think you are – and most of us like to think we’re a good judge of character – we are subject to all kinds of cognitive biases, which stretch and distort our judgment.”

Listen to your intuition upon first meeting someone, yet also apply objective, rational thought. It’s also a good idea to utilize various methods to detect dishonesty, for example, to confirm any suspicions.

It’s possible to find out if you can trust someone before it’s too late, but first impressions aren’t a consistently reliable method to discern trustworthiness and other important personality traits.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo