How To Fix A Bad First Impression
The first step to fixing a bad first impression is to firstly gain a better understanding of limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are ideas that we have all been brainwashed into believing from a very young age ...and which are not always true.
When it comes to first impressions, most of us have been fed the limiting belief that:
"First impressions last forever"
...And this is simply just NOT true.
I got a message from a woman on the forum here (See the RelationshipPsychology.com Forum) who once met a man who at the time made little impression on her. After getting out of a terrible relationship however, she found that this same man, who previously had made such a small impression on her ...was now suddenly more attractive to her.
And they eventually married!
If there is anything we can take away from this simple story it is that first impressions are far from the be-all-end-all that they are often made out to be. It is 100 percent possible to change them.
So how can you fix a bad first impression?
The truth is that people are constantly re-evaluating their impressions and opinions of others. There are two main reasons why this happens:
- Re-Analysis Of You Relative To Other People: Similar to the example at the top of this article, someone may not see your true value until they see you relative to others in their life. After going through a hard experience or being let down by someone else ...they may suddenly see you in a whole new light.
- New Information: Someone might initially take a negative first impression of you (for whatever reason). However, if they later find out you are particularly skilled at a certain sport, earn significantly more than they do or do volunteer work ...suddenly their previous impression of you is now seen through a new filter.
It is clear from these examples that it is possible to recover from a poor first impression. Over time, it is always within your ability to demonstrate that you are different from what they had initially assumed.
BUT... it’s important not to fall into the trap of constantly searching for social approval and trying to win over people who don’t have a positive impression of you. While it may help you win approval in the short term ...it will almost certainly lead to a loss of self confidence.
But back up here a second...
Are you sure you’ve made a bad first impression? Many people incorrectly interpret events in ways that reflect negatively on themselves ...and as a result, experience a loss of confidence and self-esteem.
When you meet someone and they are quiet or unsmiling ...it is easy to believe that you have somehow made a poor impression on them. In reality though, the answer may be as simple as the other person:
- Being shy
- Just got some bad news
- In the middle of a bad day
- Or even something as simple as them having a bad tooth-ache etc
There is no need to focus on changing their impression of you if you misinterpreted their impression to begin with. Without a solid reason for believing someone has formed a negative impression of you, simply focus on conducting yourself with self-confidence the next time you meet them ...and believe in your ability to make positive impressions. The rest will fall into place.