Getting started

Don't expect words of wisdom or earth shattering revelations, just my thoughts and observations about living in Ottawa, being a public servant and trying to live life every day to its fullest

Friday, January 20, 2012

First Impressions

Spending a lot of time on chairlifts alone gives me time to think ... possibly not a good thing!

First impressions are so important and we base so much on them, and yet they tell us nothing about the actual person on whom we are projecting these impressions. I know for one that I am guilty of letting my prejudices cloud my opinions on people before they even say hello and yet some of the most interesting people I have ever met are those who have proven they are very much not the person who I thought they would be.

I wrote earlier about using stereotypes to make life simpler and this is really what first impressions are, they really build on these and are self fulfilling. I think about how quickly (and possibly unfairly) I have been in the past with my initial impressions of people, I start to wonder how bad a first (second or third) impression I make on others.

Building off what I said in some of my previous posts I think I have created for myself a strong stereotype; the curmudgeonly bachelorette. This is what I have hoped to portray in my worklife, and to some extent my, personal life. By being honest with myself, I have to acknowledge that a lot of that has been a shell. I used to joke that my sister was the Ice-Princess and that she has a cold and impenetrable exterior, but the Ice-Princess is actually pure mush once you break that down, she has a heart of gold (when you find it). I would like to believe that I have learned a lot from my little sister. She has always protected herself from the world, believing that I was naive and way too trusting - and this is the case. I have been hurt and started to create this shell, I built layers and created a new persona, the curmudgeonly bachelorette, so that people couldn't get in and hurt me. The bottom line was to my thinking was "you can think what you want of me, but if I pretend I really don't care, then I really won't care!" But I think I have taken it too far and it is time to create a balance.

I am going to try and challenge the first impression that I project on others and be open to their second and third impressions, given them the opportunity to build a complex (and complete) pictures of themselves. As for me - who knows, maybe I am an Ice-Princess or a curmudgeon, or something else ... and maybe I am not. Who knows! Let me challenge your impressions of me.

I want to thank CBD for giving me the inspiration for this post - something he said about first impressions (and "the hot one") at Lac Carling really spoke to me. He is right, as usual!