First Impressions

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Charmed, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Have you ever been told by someone that their first impression of you was totally different to the one they have of you once they got to know you? And I'm not just talking about the natural characteristics that you learn about someone with time. Is there an aura around people that they are unaware of or they are aware of but don't understand why they have it?

    When someone says to you "and to think I was scared of you when I first met you", it makes you wonder what 'aura' you are giving out to people! And it can be quite a shock to know that this is the view of lots of people when you have a totally different perception of yourself. :eek: It's also worrying when your professional life is about working with lots of different families in a supportive, caring, compassionate and understanding environment. The families that I work with, and there have been hundreds over the years have always been able to welcome me into their lives, to work with them and support them. Even the ones that I've ended up having to prosecute, have always agreed with the courts that I have been great and supportive and will continue to work with me. So what happens when I come home from work and hang up my coat? Perhaps I am overtaken by some mysterious force without my knowing it. :biggrin: Perhaps there is a 'force field' around me that says "approach at your own risk" :biggrin:

    Whatever it is, it's b****y annoying! Any ideas on how to cleanse? To remove this percieved 'auro' that people are seeing? Or should I in fact, celebrate? Celebrate what I hear you ask? "Celebrate the fact that I am a woman, with my own views on things, I'm not always a 'push-over', and that I am PASSIONATE about band, and woe betide anyone who tries to mess me around!

    You see, there's that monster again! :( Help me! ;)
  2. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    Better for them to be scared of you rather than think you are a bit of a pushover ;)
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    WOW, excellent (and very brave) post you have made there Sue, nice one.

    The only thing I can mention here, and I am sure you will have heard it before, but it does I think go an incredible way in explaining why it is people see you in the manner they do.

    "Perception is reality"

    If you can for just a second here, discount considering what you know to be true about yourself and of your own character, and consider the same thing - but from without. It is not what or who you actually are that matters... it is what or who you 'appear to be' ie how you are perceived by others.

    I should think everyone has at some point in their lives, experienced something similar to this, where one persons perception of them turns out to be the absolute opposite to what they know to be true. I consider this an amalgamation of other peoples' fears, reservations, misunderstandings, expectations (social and personal) etc. and subsequently them imposing how they feel you should behave given certain circumstances - when indeed they do not know the facts of any current circumstance or situation (and you do) and therefore continue to make a judgement of you based on their restricted knowledge.

    Because they might have done something differently, or behaved in an alternative manner given a set of circumstances, they feel you ought to have too! They are unable to see the bigger picture and cannot then figure out your behaviour - which sometimes confuses them, often annoys them etc etc... and so feel that your behaviour was wrong. It's an inherenet facet of human nature: to judge - based on social and personal expectations. We might not ever consider that we do this, but we all do it - some more so than others, and some who by us doing it, it affects more than others (if that makes sense).

    As for you getting annoyed and/or frustrated with these folk..... 'wooooooosh'.... let it go right over the top of your head Sue and try not to let it bother you.

    In this regard, only concern yourself with those who you yourself are concerend about.
  4. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member


    Right I'm heading for the retreat in the hills!
  5. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I think you should celebrate! You are who you are! You're obviously a very independent person with solid views but at the same time - dare I say it... sensitive to how others perceive you? That's natural, we all want to be accepted, but don't change how you are just to feel that. I too am very independent and have stong views on things which have sometimes got me in a bit of bother.... but having strength of character gives you the confidence to take risks in life and in the long run would be nearer that point of "self actualisation" (hierachy of needs - psychology!)

    I hope I haven't misunderstood the thread but that's what I think anyway!!
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Oooooh... Maslow... don't we just love Maslow eh... :) SImply fantastic works and studies (if you're into that sort of thing)

    For those who are, or might like to be, then this link to a WiKi article will be a good place to start.
  7. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Actually, that probably sums it up. Perhaps my 'ego' is not reconciling my 'id' and 'super-ego' as it should be.

    I need counselling! :eek: Where's the couch. ;)
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    This 'aura' thing has been researched with various explanations depending on who did the theorizing. My gut feeling is that it's related to your own private space and how far in others are allowed before it is breeched and invaded (i.e., invasion of privacy). Body language and facial expression gives out so many indirect cues and clues that the person may not be aware of them all. Most people at a glance know when to closely approach or avoid someone and this builds an impression (loosely known as the Primacy Effect [in Attribution Theory] for all you budding trick cyclists). And sometimes if the initial effect to the perceiver is strong, it can be long lasting although fleeting in time.

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