Many a time our first impression about someone can be so wrong, and this imprint in our minds can be so clear, that we can write them off as an unimaginable waste of life on earth, or more so, God has made a terrible mistake with this one!
Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, was originally titled First Impressions. This novel will prompt the reader to realize that not all first impressions are right impressions, because at a later stage they can prove to be erroneous.
I had recently observed a lady at the vegetable booth bargaining with the vendor so relentlessly that finally the vendor gave in to her demands. My first impression was, “how mean this lady is, she must be a paisa-pinching woman with an uncertain temper and recognizable pride”. He is a poor man, working hard to make his living for himself and his family with this small business venture, I mean have some mercy!
Why do we need to bargain with pitiable people? She seemed to everyone around her, an odd mixture of sarcastic humor, pitiless and unpleasant, least bothered about people who were watching her, as she ranted about how much he unreasonably charged her and fancied herself righteous.
I have never met this lady again, but I had very well made my impressions about her. Is my impression right? I really don’t know – it’s imaginary for now! If ever I meet this lady again, I truly don’t want to have an attitude toward her based on my imaginations – because I want to follow truth not imaginations.
In this novel Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells Mr. Darcy, “From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit made me realize that you were the last man in the world that I could every marry”. And yet she later falls deeply in love with him and becomes his wife. Mr. Darcy himself is no better with first impressions. When his closest friend urges him to dance with Elizabeth describing here as “very pretty”, Darcy responds coldly, “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me”. Yet later he completely reverses himself, declaring, “For it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance”.
The question is “Should you trust your first impression of a person”?
We are all quick to make judgment about someone – by the way they dress, or speak, or act, but unless there is something that demonstrates our judgment, it remains hypothetical. When your first impressions are proved wrong, your thoughts and attitudes toward that person can be dramatically reversed. However if they are proved right, you can be vociferous to conclude that all your first impressions are right! It may not be so!
So be cautious about first impressions, I have.