Let’s ask art to show us what is wrong in trusting the first impression.
Imagine yourself in Warsaw Ghetto.
You see a child. Judging by clothing it’s a boy. He turned away from you so you can see only his back not his face, at least not yet.
You slowly approaching him. He’s standing on his knees. He’s obviously praying.
You see a boy that prays. What a peaceful and full of tenderness sculpture, you think, while walking around it to see a boy’s face.
You draw in your mind some nice, typical, and thoughtful face of 8 years old little fellow frowned with concentration, praying.
But once you make your way around you see that it’s not a child but Adolf Hitler.
Yes, the one that is considered to be an incarnation of evil and malice in the physical world, the one which name sounds like an antonym to Jesus Christ.
Instantly, all positive feelings and thoughts disappear, replaced by self-discuss. You ask yourself, did I just really felt sympathy towards Hitler (though not knowing it) in the middle of former Getto?
We bet, you did.
In this controversial piece of art, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan (on our opinion) apart from making an appalling spectacle and receiving a huge amount of both positive and negative feedback, is trying to say that, quite straight forward, our first impression is not something we should trust.
Science says – you have about only 7 seconds to give an impression of yourself or your business. To be fair we must add – you take only about 7 seconds to make an impression about a person or a company that you just met.
After that, those first feelings (whether they good or bad) will stick for a while with you. If you won’t make an effort to take another, more close look, you end up labeling someone or something for the rest of your life. Labels can’t be considered as a benefit even when they’re good.
This natural reaction to the unknown has two major faults, though.
First, you are limited in recognition of all richness of someone’s personality or some business model.
Second, you will always be narrowed by other’s hastily made first impressions.
Therefore, trusting judgings of the first 7 seconds after encounter does limit you twice.
How old are you?
We’re just wondering..but no matter how many years are behind your back, you are (be sure of that) a more, much more difficult creature to understand. And taking only a couple of seconds to claim full apprehension of all aspects that make you different from the rest of us – is always highly unfair.
Walking through life we gather knowledge, impressions, feelings.
That makes us emotionally educated and teaches us a lot of great things. We keen to become more acceptable, more empathic, more interesting.
If you’d ever try to describe all your essence in one sentence you’d see how complex the task is, and how rich person you are.
Then, if you’re not allowing yourself to shrink under unreasonable limits, why would you tolerate unconsciously created deadline that lasts only 7 seconds?
If there’s even the smallest danger of misunderstanding towards someone or a fear of losing a great business opportunity do not hesitate to double-check your gut feeling.
At the end of the day, that feeling may be wrong.
And while checking be sure to remember the only truth that would apply to all of us – behind each of us there’s a great deal of struggling, suffering, failing, and trying to get back to our feet again.
That can’t be seen at first sight but can’t be ignored either.
Since the first impression is so feeble and easy-changeable (as art can show us) it can’t be trusted – that’s our sentence for today.
Take your time!