Everyone has seen “that girl”. The one that posts on social media that she is working out and trying to get in shape, and is even trying to help others do the same. We have even seen that guy who is working toward his goal of finally being financially stable so that he can start his own business. Some of us root for them and say keep going, while others look at what they are doing and criticize them for not doing it the way we would do it. With just one post or one meeting of these people we have made judgments on them and assume that they 100% work on their goals at all costs. Our first impressions of them set them up for failure. When we do this we ultimately give up on goals we may have for ourselves because we believe that others will do what we may have done (i.e. criticizing others for going for their goals).
Just recently I what sitting in the break room eating my lunch. Nothing special but then a co-worker in passing mentioned that I was eating chips. So what? Well this same co-worker knows that I like to eat healthy and I usually will stay away from most junk foods. She had learned over the years of knowing me that even when offered junk food I usually decline, it just so happened that I had a craving for some yummy Doritos, no shame there. Though this is not a first impression it is a judgement on my values in a sense that because I chose to change my eating habits to healthy foods, I have chosen to not eat junk food ever. Not once did I even proclaim this to be, but as was proven it is what people believe as a decision made. So because of what others perceive, to them it is a shock when I am “caught” eating a food that is not seen as healthy. I just shake my head and eat another Dorito.
Not more than a day later, I did the almost the same thing my co-worker did to me. As part of my job I have to check in patients for surgery and we have paperwork that we go over with the owners. On one of my sheets in bold letters it said “Owner is a dental hygienist”. My first thought was “well that’s great, so what does that have to do with my patient?” When I asked our receptionist about it later she said it was so we could talk to the owner with more medical terms because she has a medical background. Ok, I can understand that, sometimes we have to talk to owners in more layman’s terms for them to understand what we are saying is going on with their pet. The problem is, we assume that people with medical backgrounds will understand what we are saying to them. From what I have noticed over the years human nurses/doctors etc. somewhat draw a line that they don’t think they can cross, they don’t understand that animal medicine has a lot of similarities to human medicine. So this one owner realized that she could give her dog subcutaneous fluids at home, but then when I had an actual doctor come in a few hours later I suggested that she could give the same type of injection to her dog and she said “no, I am a doctor, I haven’t given a shot in years” I knew she was joking…..sort of. I know for a lot of doctors their jobs are to figure out the problem, write our the orders and then the nurses take over the treatments. My point here is this: my first impression was she is a doctor, she can do this, it’s just a shot. Could she have? Yes, but I assumed it before I even asked her.
First impressions can encourage or kill a relationship. If you are willing to take what you first thought about a person and see if it is actually accurate then that will be the only thing that will move you forward in getting to know someone more. By talking with the person you can find out who they really are and what is important to them. Don’t put people in boxes that you have created in your mind. You will be quick to judge them, quick to see when they fall, and won’t be open to the face that God made them to be special in their own ways, quirks and all. How boring the world would be if we were all “cookie cutter made”. I thank God daily that the first impressions I had for some people were oh so wrong and I learned how wonderful they are and other times how these impressions were spot on and I found life long friends. Don’t judge the book by it’s cover, see the content inside.
Being around imperfect people only makes you understand that you are one yourself and by embracing that you learn to grow into a better person. Until next time:
A negative mind will never give you a positive life