(Dr. Michelle Callahan)
I consider myself an open, welcoming person. I am able to quickly get past a person’s appearance and enjoy them (I hate to even use the word “judge”) for the person that they are rather than what they look like. However….I am the first to admit that I do make those initial judgements based purely on what my eyes see.
My husband has a classic story of first impressions. One Sunday, years ago, a man walked into our church, wearing old, worn out jeans and a dirty shirt, his days-old beard looking scruffy. My husband was in the lobby (he had an administrative role at the time) and he greeted the newcomer. He said that his “first impression sensors” were going haywire. On one hand, his senses were telling him that this guy would probably never come back around. On the other hand, the man had “bright, friendly eyes” and his demeanor seemed to contradict his outward appearance.
It turned out that this man had just finished moving in to a new house. I don’t remember the details of his story, but it went something like this: he had been driving all night, finally arrived at the new house, and didn’t have water to take a shower before driving over to the church. He figured he’d take a break and check out where the local congregation was meeting before finishing the move-in procedure.
First impressions are not always correct. In fact, they are often very incorrect….but the simple fact remains. People are judged by the first impression they make. Hopefully, just like we’d like for ourselves, we always give people a chance to show us through actions what their true character is rather than relying on those first impressions.
“There have even been studies that indicate lasting impressions are made within the first three seconds of seeing someone,” said Dr. Michelle Callahan, renowned TV host, relationship expert, coach, and development psychologist. “Many adults are concerned about how their smile might affect their chances for employment or advancement in a competitive job market.”
Kelton Research recently conducted a study where 1,047 nationally representative Americans were shown images of men and women with straight and crooked teeth. Those participating in the study were unaware that they were comparing people with straight teeth to crooked teeth. In the study, respondents were shown images of people with varying tooth issues and asked to give their honest opinion about them. According to the study results, it appears that Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including happiness, success, and friends.
I’m not saying it’s right…but it certainly is interesting.
“First Impressions” study results
Do you have an amusing “first impressions” story that you could share?
Note: This post was sponsored by Invisalign. The survey results and infographic were supplied by Invisalign but the thoughts and opinions included within the post are mine.
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