If I got paid for the amount of times I have heard people make snap judgement about other people based on a brief initial appraisal, or minimal conversation, I would not be writing this. I will be somewhere in the Caribbean sipping on an afternoon cocktail and contemplating the good life. From this initial encounter, one person leaves the room thoroughly convinced that the other person is probably a snub (face “boners” unite), probably rude (just check out her nails), probably can’t cook (not with all that English she is speaking), probably jobless (look at the “dada” or cornrows on his head) or just plain “off”. I always tap into blessing for such superior nose whenever I witness these conclusions. Being blessed with such a discerning nose must surely make life easier; with one whiff you can tell the phonies and dogs apart from the loyal people. No more heart break, no more entering into contract with dodgy people. Life would be straightforward and blissful.
I admit it; we are all disposed to make snap judgements about people. First impression counts, dress to impress and all those sayings did not originate from nothing. Humans are physical beings first and will make initial judgements based on the superficial. The problem begins when we do not let go of these initial judgements and allow it to dictate the direction of our relationship with other people. Admittedly in some situations your intuition might pick up certain vibes from a person, which leads you to avoid them so we cannot discount intuition. In those situations, you will be vindicated when your gossip mongering friend casually mentions that “Joe impregnated Janet who is Janice’s sister, and did you know that Joe is engaged to Judy?” or Judy stabbed her boyfriend to death in a fit of anger. (I admit it, I am drawn to the dramatic) in that instance, you nod to your all-knowing self and note that you are not really surprised; he always struck you as “off”.
Reality does not play by the rule of common sense and nothing is certain therefore we cannot rely on our intuition to be precise. Most times we miss out on building a relationship with truly wonderful people because we write them off before they even got off the ground with us. You know David in your workplace who is a dismal dresser? His idea of dressing up is to wear a pair of tight trousers that splits his bum cheeks and leaves you gasping for breath when he waddles by your desk? He is probably a decent person; however, you and everyone else might not give him the light of the day because he does not come in the package that you expect people in your life to come in.
I posit that the people who make snap judgements, of these kinds, do it because of their own inadequacy at coping with the challenge other different people pose to them. How else can you explain drawing outrageous conclusions about people you do not know well enough? I say this in relation to how I behave in these circumstances and how people who have done the same to me behave. The times I am guilty of making snap judgements about people is when I don’t know how to go about being friendly to them, as they are so different from me or what I am used to. It wasn’t until I started making conscious efforts to be friendlier to people that I began to shake off this impulse.
To be fair, you might be right in your initial assessment that a person is “off” or weird, but no one is perfect. Once you breakdown the barrier of how you think people in your life should be, then you will be able to relate better with everyone regardless of how different they are. You will learn that “weird”, “off” and “rude” are just synonyms for interesting, useful and funny. Even if you don’t end up being friends with these people, it cannot hurt to view people in a positive light as that ultimately reflects on you, and influences your thoughts and actions. You win!
PS: This does not count if you are on your way home at night. Then, EVERYONE is suspect and snap judgements to avoid all strangers, until you get home, applies.
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