Our first impressions of people are based on probably hundreds of little nuances. For example, if someone wears their kippa in one place on your head they might look like a “Pocket Kippa Jew”. Where it half an inch further up and they’re Orthodox.
We take it all in. I’m not even that visual a person, meaning, most of the time I would probably not be able to tell you what someone was wearing after I was with them. But subconsciously I must be taking it in because I have a perception of who the person is. Was he wearing a suit? Did it fit properly? Was it wrinkled? Did she have some makeup on? If so, how much?
But do those things actually make a difference in who we are?
I am giving a 5-session course to high school girls and we were talking about how our first impressions of people sometimes make us not want to even talk to a person. But one girl was saying how one time she had the experience of getting to know the person that at first she was totally uninterested in and in the end she really liked them.
I think that one of the things that should happen in our maturing process is that we try to move beyond our first impressions of people and get to know them for who they really are.
So, half an inch makes all the difference… or does it?