Half an inch makes all the difference

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?

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2 thoughts on “Half an inch makes all the difference

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  1. Interesting post :) yes, I think half an inch makes a difference… in one of my professional development courses they were talking about how all these first impression things are there for a reason.

    The reason is that the human brain cannot handle the gazillion bits of information it gets every day. In fact we can notice max 8 items at a time (give or take). So to compensate we developed a way to quickly assess a person/situation based on “stereotypes”.

    One way to combat it is, yes, to be more aware of how you judge people. But the other is also being conscious of yourself and how you appear to others. You can’t always control what other people think, but that’s no excuse to not have any self awareness and sensitivity of your effect on others.

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