Monday, March 12, 2012

The Importance of an Impression

While it's always a good thing to look beyond how someone looks, the truth is that how they look and act the first time we see them is often the only impression we ever get about them, which is the impression we carry with us when we meet someone new that somewhat resembles them; I am no different and readily admit to this kind of shallowness in my daily life. I'm certainly no prime catch myself, in terms of my overall physical fitness and the way I groom and dress myself, and for years have never even bothered to give those things more than a passing thought, because for all that time I thought that unless I was trying to create a positive first and start a relationship, that stuff didn't really matter.

Hell, sometimes I can go a solid week or more without taking a shower because I just plain forget.

Recently, though, I've began to pay more and more attention to the way I talk, look, smell and so on, wondering what kind of impression I was leaving with people who meet me for the first time. In my youth, I know that impression was somewhere between intelligent, awkward, understanding and creepy, based on how weak my grasp was who I wanted to be; these days, it's leaning more towards arrogant, loud, fun loving and quite frankly angry about the way people treat other like concepts to be analyzed like a painting hung up in a gallery for everyone to scrutinize. An upgrade, to be sure, but I'm still not sure if who I am is who people would wanna work with.

It's not like people are chomping at the bit for the loud mouthed braggart to join their team, after all.

Trying to improve yourself solely on what others want is, of course, naturally the fast ticket to stretching yourself thin and leaving yourself as hollow as a empty soda bottle, but on the same token, if you're not willing to be a team player in some capacity, it's gonna be much harder to get in where you fit in and create the sense of stability people need to take risks and grow beyond who they are now. For those entering the real world, this is one of the defining conflicts they go through as they establish themselves and come across those who think they need to fit a certain mold in order to take the next step up the ladder.

Makes me wonder what I need to revise, concerning how I sell myself to folks with my mode of behavior, dress and so on.

It's given that I need to enunciate more and slow the pace on how I talk(which is currently a mile minute) and that my overall level of dress has gotta be higher than rolling out of bed, slapping on shorts and shirts and heading right out everyday, yet part of me feels there's another aspect I need to work on, which my ego might be keeping just out of view. The more I find it tough to keep up a conversation flowing, the more I think about whether I'm letting the folks I chat with tell their side or just looking for a place to insert my 2 cents. I know well how valuable a listening ear is, and I don't want to alienate people just because there's something I want to say; I seek to relate to them as much as my skills will allow and help them get through whatever they're trying to manage.

The last kind of person folks wanna get to know is a self centered bum who makes everything they talk about revolve around them and their needs.

With time and effort, I'm sure this improvement will come natural and seep into the stuff I do everyday, but something tells me that every time I initiate a chat with someone I just met, somewhere in the back of my mind I'll be thinking “Man I hope I didn't stick my damn foot in my mouth.” Guess that's part of the dance we do in order to leave folks with a relatively positive image of who we are, so if they ever see us again, they think “Hey, it's that one person. It's been a while, so I should have a chat with them”