The First Impression

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2008

Just how long lasting are first impressions? Why is there so much pressure to make the first impression your best? Does the future success of a friendship really hinge on those first few moments of exchanged dialogue?

I went out last night for my first meet and greet. Everything was foreign. The bar, the waiters, even the drink menu was written in some secret Melbournian code. I salute the genius that fused a double Grey Goose Vodka with ginger beer and fresh lime. As far as first impressions went, me and the goose hit it right off. Mild to moderate intoxication is the key to turbo charging confidence and charisma. You could hardly call me socially inept, but the prospect of having to meet a completely new bunch of people is daunting for the best of us. Especially so when the people you are about to meet are highly successful over achievers who are basically living the dream. Considering I’m temporarily unemployed, sleeping on an inflatable air mattress, and feeling like a tourist in this city, I thought I was doing well to even get amongst it. But fuck it, what’s life without a challenge right?

The first introduction went swimmingly. Not only was this guy extremely successful, but he was ridiculously charming and had a smile that was nothing short of genuine. That’s the thing about generalisations; you can never really make assumptions about a person until you sit down with them and maybe even put yourself in their shoes. And what nice shoes he had. It’s extremely refreshing to meet someone who is able to show as much interest in you as you show in them.

Without even knowing it, when we meet someone new our minds are cataloguing a myriad of qualities about this person. Not only are you actively engaging in a conversation, but you are also gauging the conversation. Within the first few minutes you are aware of several things: he is funny, he is driven, he is homesick, he is honest, he is charming, he is polite, he is attentive, he is interesting…he isn’t the guy I thought he would be. I think I even sighed with relief when I realised this. And if I’m thinking all of this, I wonder what thoughts are drifting into his mind? For a first impression to be successful, it obviously has to be mutual. And judging by the dialogue exchanged, I think that’s a yes.

Having had just one triumphant meet and greet, my confidence morphed into cockiness and before I knew it I couldn’t even be fucked making the effort with the rest of the new faces. I figure that I’m lucky to have one lasting impression. I’m all about quality and not quantity. And that’s how it should be, why waste time on being guarded when you can just relax and roll with it? I believe that the real me is far more likeable than what a first impression could ever convey. Those who know me, know this well.

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