Why First Impressions Matter

whether it's a first date a job interview or just meeting a friend of a

friend first impressions are important and depending on how much of a social

butterfly you are meeting someone for the first time can also be extremely

nerve-wracking and stressful but just how important are first impressions

really after all it's not like you can glean everything there is to know about

a person just from your first encounter right after all people are complex and

multifaceted a person even so first impressions can have a much larger

impact than you might think and today we're going to unpack some of the

potential reasons why if you're new to bestie I hope this was a good enough

first impression to make you subscribe and click the notification bell that way

you can stay up to date on all of our daily videos and content so what makes a

first impression so important while people are far too complex to be

perfectly encapsulated into a single encounter our brains may try to convince

us otherwise according to Psychology Today human beings seem to be mentally

hardwired to size each other up as quickly as possible in fact a person

often makes up their mind about someone within the first seven seconds of

meeting them the reason for these snap judgments can stem from a number of

different factors but once they've been made a first impression can be hard to

move on from because of this first impressions can be an important and in

some cases your only opportunity to really sell yourself to the person

you're meeting which can be especially crucial in situations such as a job

interview where leaving someone with a good first impression can make or break

your chances at employment that being said there are ways you can ensure a

better first impression when meeting someone for the first time you can start

putting these strategies into effect once you gain a better understanding of

what goes into a first impression to start with one weird little cork in

human psychology that has a strong impact on first impressions is an

occurrence referred to as the halo effect

halo effect occurs when our initial judgment of a person ends up

unconsciously overshadowing our perception of that person as a whole

fairly or otherwise the term gets its name because when meeting someone for

the first time a positive external quality of theirs may shine over that

person like a halo glowing brightly enough to blind us from new details or

information about that person that we may learn as time goes on this can

obviously lead to some incredibly harmful effects such as some people

being subjected to unfair and biased treatment based on aspects they can't

control while others might be put on a pedestal with their strengths seemingly

overshadowing their flaws however there are ways in which people have tried to

work around the halo effect in order to be more fair and unbiased in their

judgments for example in an academic setting professors may choose to grade

papers anonymously so that preconceived notions they might have about specific

students doesn't have an adverse effect on their grades you can also shake the

halo effect simply by getting to know someone over a long period of time such

as in a long term relationship eventually the initial judgments of the

halo effect will fade away as you begin to experience a more nuanced and

realistic view of that person as new traits and information come to light of

course while true substance can eventually overcome a sub-optimal first

impression most people often don't get the chance to make up their initial

mistakes this means that if you want someone to have a high opinion of you

from the first meeting onward you should pay attention to ways in which your

behavior might be received by others such as tone posture body language

additionally now that you know this information you should also be more

mindful of ways in which your own personal prejudices might hold sway over

the way you view others on a first impression and try to break yourself of

that knee-jerk judgmental mindset and see people for who they really are

beyond your first impression of course breaking the psychology of first

impressions is easier said than done according to psychologist Leslie zebra

wits from Brandeis University the things that make or break first impressions can

be as simple and subtle as someone facial information even just seeing a

photo of someone for the first time can be enough to create an impression which

colors the thoughts and opinions you have of the person in question our

criteria when it comes to making these judgments is also fairly consistent

meaning that these judgments are probably innate as opposed to a mindset

that we learned over time according to some research children and even infants

also display tendencies to judge others based on their faces which shows us that

this behavior can potentially start incredibly early in our lives there are

a variety of different facial cues and traits that zebra wits has come to

identify as being common factors in solidifying a person's first impression

for example a person who has a baby face like large eyes a rounded head or other

facial characteristics associated with babies might be seen as friendly but not

necessarily as capable or competent because of the subconscious mental

Association others might have between that person and a literal infant in

other cases if we see people who bear facial similarities to people we already

know such as close friends and family members chances are we'll probably make

assumptions about them based on what we know about the person we think they

resemble if you see a man who looks like your curmudgeonly great-uncle you're

probably gonna make a mental assumption that this person is a grouch as well

even if it turns out to not be the case and of course if someone looks healthy

and conventionally attractive we'll probably be more inclined to like them

and give them preferential treatment over others finally we also make

assumptions about people based on the emotional expressions that their faces

seem to best exemplify for example some people's natural resting faces might

naturally look mean even in times when the person in question is currently in a

neutral or even a good mood there's a reason your parents told you not to

judge a book by its cover after all as you can see there are a number of

potential factors that go into a first impression some of which we have direct

control over and many more we don't is this a fair way to assess another person

when meeting them for the first time well the short answer is no but

unfortunately the fact of the matter seems to be that we

as a species have a natural disposition to making quick judgments about people

and holding on to those judgments for a long time afterwards at the very least

you can hopefully take what you've learned in this video to heart the next

time you judge someone poorly based on a first impression ask yourself am i

judging this person based on something that they have control over

if not then train yourself to keep a more open mind moving forward did you

enjoy this video what qualities do you find yourself paying attention to when

meeting someone for the first time share your stories and experiences in the

comment section below and help us keep the conversation going and as always

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