First impressions are very important, especially for online connecting with others.
Often people get a bad vibe or impression from a person when they first connect or meet. Then, after a while they warm up to the person because of various reasons.
Most people think that they shouldn’t believe their first impressions, and place much more emphasis on other things they then learn about a person. They learn about all the achievements that person has attained, or about all the friends that a person has. They may get impressed by a successful career, a salary, a car, a boat or a house.
Why am I saying that first impressions are so important when all this later information seems to be so impressive? It’s because our native (yes primitive) instincts are most active during that moment of a first impression. If there is fear, upset of any kind, a feeling of hostility, mistrust, etc. in the first few moments, it’s our inner instincts sending us a message. These messages are usually pretty basic, not very intellectual. Actually, these are probably the most pure of our emotions.
The rest of our opinions that occur during the later part of that first connection or meeting is all the fluff that is poured out by that other individual to make a good “first impression”. But really…it’s too late. That first impression was set in the first moments of the meeting.
Remember that we are animals. We are the human species of animals…but animals none the less. We still have vestiges of animal instincts that can “sniff out” things that just don’t seem right. It’s very important to keep a keen awareness of the feelings that you sense in your first encounters. If not, these will come home to roost.
So often people ignore those first negative feelings and get awed by the accomplishments, the good looks, attractive personality or flirtations of the other person. When things go wrong, it is only then that some people realize that they observed that at the very start. If only they had taken their own sense more seriously.
Looking for this inner sense (instinct), for a good first impression, must of course be followed by all the other good things that you’re looking for. It’s not to say that the first impression cancels out other non-compatible situations. So you can really like a person, but see that there just isn’t enough compatibility to make it work.
Checking in with your other friends may not be helpful either. They didn’t experience that very first impression that you had the experience of feeling. They will only judge by the things that the other person has told you about how wonderful they are. The things typically mentioned to impress. So, of course, your friends will be impressed by all that. This will only work to take you further from your own first impressions and to give more weight to the intellectual rather than the emotional. Friends can be very helpful in helping to make a great connection, but only if they have had close and personal experiences with that person. Then they can speak about the person’s attributes as well as their instinctive feelings about that person.
The importance of a first good impression and the importance of other compatibilities are important if you’re looking for a romantic partner, a travel buddy, a house sharing mate or a companion.
Written by Elaine Rodino, Ph.D
Elaine is CEO of Senior Premier Dating LLC and is a licensed psychologist in private practice. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists. Dr. Rodino is a past president of the APA Divisions of Independent Practice, The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, Central Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA), the Foundation of LACPA, and recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology Award, and the Distinguished Service Award to LACPA. She has appeared on T.V. and radio and contributes to magazines, newspapers and online health sites on issues regarding Couples, Relationships, Sandwich Generation, Holiday Blues, and other popular topics.