Superficiality and the power of first impressions

Your first impression might not always be right.

a year ago   •   1 min read

By Vladimír Záhradník

Some time ago, I participated in an online training, and I realized one important thing. In most cases, people rely too much on their first impressions and their conclusions are often misleading.

The title photo is illustrative. But try to think who the gentleman on the photo is. Is he a tourist? Is he outside to do some shopping? Does he have higher social status?

At the training, we were shown a photo of a gentleman eating alone somewhere in a buffet near a forest park. Most people assumed that he liked sports… because one meter away from him was a bicycle. Also, he supposedly likes being alone, and he knows how to do his outfit, because the bike was blue, and it had the same color as his jacket…

But no one thought the reality could be completely different. The bike was about two meters from him, but that doesn’t mean it’s his. Also, just because he ate alone didn’t mean he was there sitting alone… Maybe the one who took the picture was his friend. Or another friend just ran to the toilet. We do not know…

I realized how most people in the group thought differently of me. I didn’t come to these hasty conclusions and I also looked for alternative explanations. This was the most valuable lesson from the training.

One note for you: the next time you see someone for the first time, before you make a quick judgement about them, try to think first… you may eventually find out that in reality you know nothing at all.

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