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Thursday, December 20, 2012

First Impressions

Mr. Know It All, well ya think you know it all, but ya don't know a thing at all. Ain't it something y'all when somebody tells you something 'bout you. Think that they know you more than you do, so you take it down another pill to swallow. - Kelly Clarkson

So, first impressions. I've been thinking a lot about this. The old adage is "you only have one chance to make a first impression" but I don't know if that is 100% true. In my case, I make a different impression, if you will, depending on what is going on in my life.

In business? I make my business impression. Want to talk hotels? ADR? RevPAR? OTAs? I can do that in my sleep. I've been doing the hotel thing since I was 20. So my business impression, that's one. Online? Don't even think my full personality EVER gets out there in social media. I pick and choose what to put out there, of who I am. I censor some things (don't we all?) based on who my audience is. Did we meet online? Via Social media? Dating site? (ugh!) TRUST that you don't know all of me. You see the tiny parts of me I want you to see. It takes a lot for me to let someone close enough to know 100% of me. I would venture to say that there are a small handful of people that see every side of me, every impression. Did you know I'm actually REALLY shy in person? But ... only in a social setting. It takes me a little while to warm up in person. In business, in person? Hah! I'm on my game, always. Somewhere is my office is my Meyers-Briggs assessment. I'm an introvert. Shocking to most that have taken the time to get to know me. I forget all the letters, but it's me, to a "T". I can flirt with the best of them - but put me on a 1st date and I am the most nervous person you've ever met. In fact, I abhor 1st dates. Did you know I was in a long relationship that we ended - a month before our wedding? Did you know that relationship flipped my life in the mid-west upside down and was the catalyst to "She's Checking Out"? Probably not.

My point is, we think we know people. We see their lives unfold so much on social media, that we REALLY think we know them, but we don't. We know what they are willing to show. Impressions, but not the whole picture. I recently came into contact with someone who has 100% judged me COMPLETELY wrong. They couldn't be more wrong if they tried - b/c they only saw that small sliver that I was showing them AT THAT MOMENT, but it was enough for them to make a snap choice and decide I was someone...different then I am. Sure we banter now and then, but it really pisses me off that a quick, online interaction, was enough for them to judge. And funny enough, they hate being judged.

But we all do it, don't we? We all judge? We judge the person who makes a weird, out there comment. We judge the bat-shit crazy (ok, I judged!) lady in front of us at the grocery store, or the guy on our ass while we're driving. Most of the time, we never know the whole picture.

My goal for 2013 is to stop making such snap 1st impressions, and take a step back and try to let a 2nd and 3rd impression sink in. I hope you all will too. Life is too short!

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