It’s actually really simple. People are terrible problem solvers. Any great scientist/problem solver will run information through a system. If the conclusion from the information is consistent and repeatable by themselves and others, then it’s right to generate a conclusion. If the information is complete, there is no conclusion drawn, only research for more information.
The average person has a much simpler association system. We have to take that into consideration when talking about first impressions. A first impression can usually leave someone with a lasting impression. They will draw a conclusion about the type of person you are.
That’s where most of our problems come in. It doesn’t seem fair to be judged on one incident or one event, but that’s how most people are. Terrible problem solvers. They don’t have a system of solving problems, they take any bit of information and, for a lack of a better word, guess the conclusion.
The Dreaded Catch up
If we aren’t careful and we end up with a negative first impression, it’ll take twice as long to play catch-up. Imagine transferring into a new school and your first week, you get into two fights. The fights might be because you’re new and were picked on for being an outsider. The reason doesn’t matter, but the fact that you had two fights can leave people who were clueless about you with an impression.
You might be quiet because you’re new and fighting to defend yourself, but people might get the impression that you’re a mean, cold hearted person. That’s obviously not the case, but people won’t care to look into it any further. No one is going to tell themselves “Well, he’s only been here for a week. I don’t know anything personally about this person and not enough time has gone by to see consistency in this behavior, therefore, I can’t make a complete judgement on this person.”
Come on, no one thinks like that. Although we should. Just remember to always make your first impressions your best because we can’t give people enough problem solving credit!