Sunday, October 18, 2009

First Impressions

I find it funny that I can meet someone and in the first minute or so decide if I like them or not. I find it even funnier when that first impression is so far off, it's ridiculous. It seems I'm not too good at the whole first impression thing. Most of my best friends were girls who I never imagined getting along with. Girls who I felt a "bad vibe" from. Then came the part where we bonded & found something so in common it's like the stars knew we would be friends from the start.

Isn't it ironic that the people who are most like you are the ones you don't get along with? (maybe it's just me) My best friend in high school was Jessica. Not only were we always competing for the same things (homecoming queen, basketball, student government, deca) but she seemed to be at every hangout and party I was. She had aspirations and goals parallel to my own. Yet, we just plain did not like each other. I can't even believe some of the things we did and said to each other! I don't know why we hated each other throughout the first year of high school. Perhaps it was competitive spirit in each of us or maybe the jealousy got the best of us. Whatever it was, I'm glad we got over that first impression. And to tell you the truth, I don't remember the exact moment when we stopped hating and embraced the fact that we were meant to be best friends. I'm glad we did. Jessica came to be the biggest influence of my high school years. We encouraged each other to push harder, to do better. And although we were competing for the same things, there were no bad feelings when one or the other won. It was sheer happiness. Jessica is the girl that knows me without asking what I'm thinking. We are so alike she knows my train of thought in any given situation. And even though we are miles apart at school, I still consider her one of my best friends. She will be the girl at my wedding, the shoulder I lean on in hard times, and the girl I visit if I want to have a REALLY good time. See what I would have missed out on if I would have believed that first impression?

Similar scenarios play out for many of the other important people in my life, including Molly. I just DID NOT like that girl when I met her. Fast forward a pledgeship and initiation and she became my dearest friend at the U.

First impressions. They say the first 20 seconds is all it takes for the average person to form an opinion about another. TWENTY SECONDS. That gives us almost no time at all! It's sad to know that we can lose the opportunity to get to know so many people because of the first twenty seconds of an encounter. How is someone supposed to know all 20 years of me in 20 seconds? That's like a year a second. And I would be extremely weird if I introduced myself, "Hi, I'm Jill! I like to have lots of fun! I'm a republican, feminist, Pi Beta Phi, girlfriend, sister, and Ute fan. I love to play games, hang out with friends, ride horses, go to the row, and watch movies. Would we be good friends?" Ew. so unrealistic.

Then there are those people who you really like from the start then you hang out with them and your like...uhh...wrong choice.

Everyone is different, which makes this whole first impression thing totally ridiculous. Not one person is the same in the world. Not one. How can we identify ourselves in 20 seconds? Especially in a social environment? But, I guess it's just a fact of life-the whole 20 second rule.

As I think about this whole first impressions dealio, I can't help but to wonder what kinds of people I have not given the chance they deserve. There could be another Jessica right under my nose, highly unlikely-she is one of a kind :)

But, you get the point.

What I need to learn is to GET TO KNOW PEOPLE before I just brush them off. As I have learned in these situations, first impressions are far, far off. Although it will be hard to change my ways, I don't want to miss out on amazing people! And now I feel kinda guilty about all the people I have bad thoughts of who I knew for I don't know a couple hours...maybe not even that long.

That's the life lesson I'm just beginning to learn-and I don't know what too me so long. I read this quote yesterday, "Adjust your belief of first impressions- you should know by know they're meaningless"

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