Why First Impressions Shouldn’t Count

We get told a lot of cliché’s growing up:

Actions speak louder than words

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

And don’t get me wrong, a lot of life’s good lessons are tucked away somewhere in these cheesy simple tips your parents hand out before your first day at school. But there’s one I’ve started to find doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with a mantra of "first impressions count remember!" It was said by parents and peers and teachers and every single adult I’ve ever known or trusted, that to make a good impression the first time you meet someone is the best thing you can do.

And they’re not incorrect. But they’re not 100% right either. The thing is, this kind of mentality doesn’t really work. For those people like me, who find that meeting new people can feel a little daunting or just downright scary, getting told that my connection with someone relies on the first words, first conversation, first meeting I have with them, that always felt like an enormous amount of pressure. And it’s not realistic. Call it nerves, or over egging it or just you know, being human; how often do you actually make the impression you want on someone the first time you meet them? 

I can’t remember many times I’ve walked away from someone or a situation thinking "yeah that went exactly to plan!"  But I can remember every time I’m left kicking myself because I’ve said something stupid or made a simple mistake and thought I’ve ruined it for myself. And really if you’ve ever been in that situation, 99% of the time the other person is so worried about themselves, they don’t even notice. But you walk away thinking how you were then, is now how you have to always be, because they’ve already made their mind up about you. And without realizing it, you put yourself in a box. 

What I’m saying is that whether they do or don’t, first impressions shouldn’t count for much. They shouldn’t feel like the be all or end all for you. You’re not really under any obligation to be the exact same person the first or second or third time you meet someone, how dull would that be? The kind of people you want in your life, aren’t going to judge you off of something so cliché as first impressions. So, especially at this time of year, when you’re just starting off at uni or college, just remember not to stress too much about how you’re coming off. If you don’t get it right the first time, it’s not the end of the world(even if it feels like it), I promise!