Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Move Beyond First Impressions

When I was in college and during my student leader years, I met this fellow student leader. I met her because she’s an organization president just like me then. She has an evenly tanned skin. And her face doesn’t have any pimples. She sports a sort of wash-and-wear type of hair. Once, I watched her in a debating contest (the real debate, not some religious leaders are initiating as a form of “who’s right”). During my undergraduate days at Adamson University, she’s known because she’s a very active and VOCAL organization president (during those times, I am more of an action guy, rather than a talker during my organization days). Man, I can say she’s good. She’s active. In other words, she’s popular. I have to admit; I find her interesting. I subliminally decided not to ask her out or strike even a friendly conversation. Whenever there’s a chance to chat with her, it’s more organization. I admit; I got intimidated by her status. I felt at that time that she’ll not have a conversation with a guy who likes math, crossword, sci-fi, comedy. After all, unlike right now, geeks are cool (thanks to CSI , BONES, Eureka, Criminal Minds, and more recently, the movie Tron Legacy).

Years later, around 6 years later, I got a chance to chat and go out with her. Like typical alumni, we refreshed those times. Then, out of nowhere, I said “you know what? Back then, I’m interested to talk to you, but I don’t want to have a longer conversation with you.” She asked me why. I answered, “I was quite shy and I was kind of intimidated because you’re well-known.” She answered back, “really? The feeling is mutual. I’m also interested but I was also kind of intimidated.” That day ended with laughter and renewed friendship. As of this writing, she’s now in a serious, yet happy relationship…just like me.

6 long years of wrong assumptions. I thought of these things to her and she thought the same things to me. The bottom line: back then, we’re both interested. THE LESSON: MOVE BEYOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

Because of that learning experience, I decided to take calculated risks on approaching people and saying what I truly feel. This is also the reason why I’m with Amie right now: I made a calculated of approaching her.

This also applies in meeting new people. We are not omniscient beings. In meeting new people, we have no choice but to take the risks. The Bible only reminded us to be cautious and only avoid if in doubtful situations; the Bible didn’t tell us to be antisocial.

We tend to live and die on first impressions. It’s a natural tendency. Reasons vary why tend to live and die on first impressions. We don’t want to look stupid at the end of the day when it’s proven that the person is a manipulative freak. We judge because of certain behavioral patterns. Some people I know judge because of certain “vibes” (I usually call it “feel factor”). Hence, you’re already shut down before you open your mouth. Other people have previous negative experiences why they don’t want to take the risks. (Note: The reason why these things are not well spoken of is because of the prejudice one will get while saying this.)

This holiday season, why not begin to take calculated risks (allow me to use the word) of interacting? Try to be sociable, friendly, nice, and generous. If you’re not compensated back, let’s face it: God will reward you in some other forms. Again, I hope made sense this holiday season.

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Atkris said...

I loved your write-up. Most of the time, we never go beyond first impression..so very true.