Would you trust a teenager carrying a bag of tea?
I had an interesting conversation with my teenaged children this week about their perceptions of others’ perceptions of them.
My son then told me about an experience he had not long ago when he was waiting for the bus and an older lady started talking to him. He was surprised. While he is a presentable, handsome young man, he is more than 6 feet tall and often has his head down with eyes only for his mobile phone and, as he says, people don’t generally strike up conversations with teenagers.
His theory on why the lady felt comfortable talking to him: He was carrying a bag from T2, an upmarket tea shop, and a teenager who drinks tea can’t be too threatening.
Trusting first impressions
This interesting video from TED-Ed explains some of the psychology of first impressions – why a bad first impression is harder to shake than a good first impression and how our brain weighs things up when updating impressions based on someone’s behaviour.
When we have ongoing interaction with someone, we have repeated evidence of typical behaviour for that person and we may adjust our initial impressions if our brain decided that the first behaviour we witnessed was not typical.
- Trust is dynamic and changing.
- First impressions are powerful so try to make them good.
- It’s never too late to improve someone’s first impression of us.
- Our repeated everyday behaviours can change that impression.
Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonflysky/496429872/”>dragonflysky</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>