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First Impressions

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What makes a "first impression" on you when you meet someone for the first time? As in, what about them influences your judgment of them the most? I do mean JUDGMENT, as in, whether you like them or not, whether you'd want to talk to them or not, whether you'd avoid them or whether you think they're good people or bad people, etc.
Physical appearance of the whole body (tall, short, thin, overweight, wiry).
Physical appearance of the face only (pretty, normal, even, uneven, bearded, scarred, fugly).
Style or fashion (clothes, shoes, jewelry, tattoos, body art, piercings, accessories).
Facial expression (smiling, sad, cheerful, pleasant, angry, blank, kind eyes versus mean eyes, etc).
Speech (what they say, verbal skill or fluency, eloquence, poor choice of words, awkwardness or rudeness).
Mannerisms (how they carry themselves, gestures they make while talking, physical grace or lack thereof, swinging of hips, beating of chest, etc).
Attitude towards you (wanting to meet you or not wanting to, aggressive, avoiding, respectful).
Most prominent feature overall (e.g. with a heavily tattooed person I might judge by the tattoo, otherwise not, I'd just judge based on whatever else was most prominent, like a menacing expression or gold-plated teeth or constant swearing).
Other (please comment).
I don't care what you say, I do NOT judge people based on first impressions! I am impressionless!
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Post #375189
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5:56 pm, Apr 29 2010
Posts: 1354


So my family's trying to set me up with this matchmaking thing, and I have to meet a whole bunch of people one after another... Kind of like omiais, I guess? It's hilarious; I'm having fun with it. Meeting a whole lot of different strangers... Some are nice, some are weird, some are boring and some are dangerously interesting. Lol.

The question I want to ask is: How do you judge people based on first impressions? Don't tell me that you DON'T judge them on first impressions, 'cause I won't believe you - it's a very human instinct to do that, and in fact I've read neuroscience articles about that, too. We can't HELP making snap judgments about people. Of course you might change your opinion later, if you're the open-minded sort, but nothing changes the fact that you DO form an initial opinion based on your first meeting with someone.

But how do you do it? By what criteria? What things make the biggest impression on you (positive or negative) when you meet someone?

This is the time to analyze a normally subconscious process! Think back to the last person you met for the first time - what caught your attention first? And what judgment did you make based on that? That's the kind of stuff you should bear in mind when answering this poll.

I'm interested because obviously I'm going to be making a lot of important decisions based on first impressions, lol...

Post #375197
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6:30 pm, Apr 29 2010
Posts: 367


Facial expressions I use for general assessing if she likes where she is, smiling and cheerful take the cake because I'm just an upbeat person and I HATE seeing unhappy people because it brings my mood down (yes it sounds selfish but I don't like to bath in other people's misery sometimes).

Talking mannerism, is more of a way in which I try to asses how 'sophisticated' she is. Too much swearing doesn't imply uneducated but it can be used to imply a lot about the kind of environment they grew up in. Sounding too much like socialites such as Paris Hilton or generally other talentless women who pollute the news nowadays and I'm having to be harsh and assume you're either too into media (probably a bit superficial) and maybe uneducated . Being well spoken and polite is a good thing but there is a balance to how much swearing someone can say before I start getting a bad impression.

Style of Fashion, people who fill in stereotypical non-conformist roles. This only applies to those who you see on the street and just think, wow he looks like a typical goth, emo and whatever else. Funny enough people who cosplay for no reason, seem to really give me a bad impression not because I think you shouldn't cosplay for fun but because I can't afford to have someone who draws attention to themselves be it on purpose or not.

Just a question, how old are you exactly? I'm 20 and my mother keeps setting me up with people but its not like = omias. It is more like when some of her friends have relatives who just so happen to be single she always invites them to my house and I have a forced date. It really annoys me since I'm only 20 but I have this feeling I'll eventually end up in the same situation someday so was just wondering how long did it take for you to succumb to your parents match making.

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Post #375199
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6:39 pm, Apr 29 2010
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@Noobsrus, about my age. I'm... old. Much older than 20. Lol, I don't even want to go into it, but let's just say that the biological clock's ticking and my parents are nervous wrecks because I'm still single and childless, ok? roll Hahaha...

...

Oh my God, I'm OLD. eek I didn't want to remind myself of this! no

bigrazz Leaving all that silliness aside, thanks for your detailed list. Gives me an interesting insight into what the guys I'm meeting at these "omiais" might be thinking... 'Cause obviously, my "first impressions" are a woman's.

Any other (straight) guys willing to elaborate on what first impressions mean to them on a blind date, or just on any first meeting with a girl?

Post #375204
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Mad With a Hat
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6:56 pm, Apr 29 2010
Posts: 4764


First impression is a big, bad, very dangerous beast.
Just because everyone do judge others when they first meet them...
You really can't rely on it.

I've heard and had experiences when the first impression was completely wrong.
Some people take longer to open up and they turn up to be great.
Other look charming but are bastards.

My opinion is this -
You need time to get to know a person.
If that person looks interesting to you even a bit, you might consider giving him/her a chance.
I don't know what people you're normally attracted to or what you're looking for, so I only say to follow your gut on this.

Don't judge based on the first impression.
I mean, when people first talk to me they think I'm shy and/or innocent person.
When they get to know me, they find out the complete opposite.
So... You never know...


Quote
But how do you do it? By what criteria? What things make the biggest impression on you (positive or negative) when you meet someone?


I pay attention to the speech, gestures, manners... Stuff like that.
Won't deny I look at the physique, too. :3

Last edited by NightSwan at 7:01 pm, Apr 29

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Post #375205
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7:01 pm, Apr 29 2010
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it's a combination of physical appearence on a whole(only considered when attractiveness is the point in question), mannerisms, facial expressions, speech and intuition.

I'm usually pretty good in judging the nature of someone, by nature I mean if the person is kind, selfish, vicious, backstabbing or whatever it may be. I simply don't like people who betray their friends and I'm pretty much able to tell if someone is capable of doing that in a few minutes of conversation.

I'm also very very easy to read regarding most things and I don't mind it.

straight guy elaborating on first impressions when first meeting girl:
Things I don't like:
1 - Someone that berates others based on unimportant(such as fashion, music taste, preferences and etc) things
2 - Fickleness.
3 - the absence of a brain. I like to talk, so I need someone capable of intelligent conversation.


Thing I like:
1 - Physical contact, not necessarily of sexy nature, just things like light touchs on the shoulder and such
2 - kindness, and I mean actual kindness, not the usual fake kind. I don't mind a tomboy(I even like it very much), I simply like when someone cares for their friends(I don't mind if someone finds the situation in africa or haiti or whatever completely irrelevant).
3 - athleticness. I like my girls healthy.

I may improve on the list but that's it for now, don't hesitate to ask questions =P


Quote from NightSwan
I've heard and had experiences when the first impression was completely wrong.
Some people take longer to open up and they turn up to be great.
Other look charming but are bastards.


I'm usually quite good at reading people through their masks. In the past I used to not show people who I actually was so I learned the tricks of it. I need to see and talk to the person though, otherwise I'm blind as a mole. That's why I absolutely loath talking on the phone, I feel friggin lost.

Last edited by Pedro Boh at 7:06 pm, Apr 29

Post #375209
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7:18 pm, Apr 29 2010
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Never went to a blind date. Well, I'm not counting those when it's not your first time meeting but you don't remember the person (for obvious reason). =)

I don't really pay attention to new people I meet (names, faces), so I'm easily fooled. Of course I do take notice of physique, but I don't find it the decisive attribute. Just don't talk about your horoscope sign, please.

And now I really wonder how old is tartufo. laugh


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Post #375211
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Catnapper
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7:29 pm, Apr 29 2010
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Well, I'm not exactly systematic in the way I judge people when I first meet them, so I can't exactly tell laugh

It's a matter of experience too, if you were accurate so far of course you will be confident when you judging people, if that is not the case, you shouldn't trust your first impression that much.



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Post #375215 - Reply to (#375209) by bedob
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8:05 pm, Apr 29 2010
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Quote from bedob
And now I really wonder how old is tartufo. laugh

I AM YOUNG AT HEART, I TELL YOU. YOUNG. AT HEART.

<_<;

>_>;

@Pedro, thanks for your input, man. That's awesome. And makes me feel a lot more confident, because actually, those are the exact same traits I appreciate in a guy when I first meet him - kindness, positivity (not speaking ill of others, in fact speaking well of them), steadfastness, intelligent conversation.

I might fare well on these meetings if some or most of the guys think like you. smile Thanks! The only thing I differ on is the slight physical touching, which I'm too shy to initiate on a first meeting, but I wouldn't recoil from it if the guy was genuinely nice and non-creepy. Lol.

@NightSwan, I totally agree that first impressions can be dead wrong sometimes. I'm actually usually dependable, but even one mistake in this arena (relationships) can be too many. I remember once I started seeing this guy who seemed really nice and interesting, and then he turned around about 3 months in and started talking about WEIRD things, I mean seriously weird, like swinging and stuff. O_O; Considering that I'm strictly monogamous and had made it clear from the start that I expected the same or wouldn't even date him, it came as quite a shock that he apparently liked the idea of watching me get it on with other people. (Not get it on himself, curiously enough, but just watch me get it on. Only watching. Voyeuristic, much?) Like what the heck, seriously. And he didn't mean it as a joke or a test, either - he was freaking serious about it. I broke up with him then and there.

So yeah, first impressions can be quite misleading - even one wrong impression can ruin your life if you're not careful. (Some people end up dating psychos who, like, cut them up and eat them for breakfast and stuff. AAAAGH SAGAWA ISSEI. *shudders*) But that much trust you have to go on, anyway - just be vigilant for "red flags" like weird comments or behavior that doesn't gel with what you like or think of as ethical or sane.

Most of the time, I actually think that first impressions are reliable; it's only in weird or exceptional cases that people turn out to be completely different than what they were when they met you. I mean, a person kind of has to be a psychopath or a sociopath or dissociative or something, if they can completely change personalities on you after that first meeting. Most people are actually kind of ordinary and middle-of-the-road, and don't change very much, if at all.

The only thing a date's going to notice about me is that I become very "natural" at home, once he starts cohabiting with me, and the veneer of Date Night comes off to reveal a cozy geek-girl who lounges about in ill-fitting pajamas. That's pretty much my personality on dates, too, though (geeky, relaxed) - minus the ill-fitting pajamas, because obviously I'm dressed up if it's for a date. biggrin

So, yeah. I think people can and should go along with first impressions, because they're the only impressions they've GOT to go on, anyway - but they should take those impressions with a grain of salt, and continue to keep an eye out for any strange behavior that seems severely contradictory with that first impression. If there is a major freaky difference, then you've got a serious problem on your hands, and you should get the hell out of wherever the two of you are, as soon as possible.

Thanks again to everyone who comments! Please continue!

Post #375219
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Mad With a Hat
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8:16 pm, Apr 29 2010
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If you still want to go with first impressions... I say check the shoes.
Many people apparently don't pay attention to their legs/shoes.
You can find out interesting things about people when looking at their legs (and shoes XD), since whatever they do with them is usually natural and fits their character.

Like to everything, there are all kinds of exceptions which usually show later on.
For example, the type who dresses up all nice and sleek only to shatter the image later on when you start dating.
Brings me back to the "don't rely too much on first impressions", but that's just my view on things. :3

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Post #375221 - Reply to (#375219) by NightSwan
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8:24 pm, Apr 29 2010
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Quote from NightSwan
If you still want to go with first impressions... I say check the shoes.


that's a very interesting way of thinking. biggrin

Post #375225 - Reply to (#375215) by tartufo
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8:32 pm, Apr 29 2010
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Quote from tartufo
So yeah, first impressions can be quite misleading - even one wrong impression can ruin your life if you're not careful. (Some people end up dating psychos who, like, cut them up and eat them for breakfast and stuff. AAAAGH SAGAWA ISSEI. *shudders*) But that much trust you have to go on, anyway - just be vigilant for "red flags" like weird comments or behavior that doesn't gel with what you like or think of as ethical or sane.



This is where I fall off far in the first impressions department. I always mistake excessive happiness or hyper-activeness as sociopaths or crazy.

Quote from NightSwan
If you still want to go with first impressions... I say check the shoes.


Funny enough my parents always say things about the leg. To find out how clean a women is the space behind the knee is the best indicator since its the hardest part to clean and easily overlooked. Also to find out their more natural skin colour, look at the knees, you can use as many whitening cream you want but the knees will always look black on most women.


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Post #375234
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Sorinozuka
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8:59 pm, Apr 29 2010
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1. clothes (style or fashion) - I actually judge people on what they wear.
2. mannerisms - How a person acts is important to me.
3. speech - How a person talks is also important.

Post #375235
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Blah
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9:00 pm, Apr 29 2010
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I've never had first impressions where my motive was dating (nothing like blind dates or anything like your omiais) But I do have first opinions of people, which might change later, but are nonetheless important to how I see them. Actually, it was kind of hard to choose, since I don't really try and focus on one thing. Also, all of them are important.

I chose physical appearance of the whole body. Since you said whole body, I assumed that this included the next three options (physical appearance face, style, and facial expression). People generally give off better first impressions when they look like people you'd want to be around. Speech and mannerisms are also important. They have to be able to talk/act like people I'd associate myself with, no? Attitude towards you...well, if they don't want to be around me, then I won't force them to stay wink And as long as most prominent feature overall isn't extremely distracting or something, it's fine.

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Post #375239
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9:04 pm, Apr 29 2010
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"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."

Post #375278
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Taro
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12:27 am, Apr 30 2010
Posts: 1975


I never knew that shoes were important for first impressions...maybe I shouldn't wear my hobo shoes when I go to meet new people. laugh
As of what I look at people when I first meet them.
The way they talk- I don't want to further my relationship with anyone who spits at least a glass amount of saliva on my face e__o.
Clothes- Tying a sweater around your neck like a golfer...no.
Sense of humor/boringness- If we're just gonna stare at each other the whole time, I'd rather go home and play COD. >:/

Edit: Oh what the, there was a poll?! eek

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