Admit it. We all do it. Every single day of every year of our lives we are judging people, more often than not without knowing them. We do it all the time. In fact, even as I am alleging you of judging I am in the midst of committing that very evil.
Everyone has their own way to make opinions of others they barely know. I, for an example have a habit of judging people by the music they listen to. To be more specific I associate personality traits, specific quirks and characteristic qualities by particular genres and artists.
The method most commonly employed by people( this is my own assumption, not based on any particular research) is the way people appear at first sight. Now don’t get me wrong. In no way am I saying that we think more of attractive people or even that we are more interested in them. All I am saying is that our expectations from others are influenced by how they present themselves: their clothes, shoes, hairstyles, accents and even their gait. We mix all these variables into the magical formulas in our brains, grind them all together, sprinkled with our own personal biases, prejudices and pre-conceived notions and Voila! We have categorized all our encounters!
‘Never judge a book by its cover’ , they say. But is that realistically possible at all? It is our intrinsic nature as humans to judge others. It’s a basic survival mechanism without which our civilization would have perished. The cover of a book is how it introduces itself. Similarly the impression you form of a person at first site is what they are projecting to the world. It is what they want the world to see and probably who they want the world to think they are. Our true achievement will be learning to tell the difference between forming a blink opinion about something or a blatant bias. All we need to remember is the ability to keep our minds open to the idea that our ‘blink’ judgement may be wrong. We must allow people to challenge what we think we know about them; to surprise us.
In my opinion these ‘fraction of a second’ assumptions we make about people are a great way to learn more about them. As we continue to get to know them better, the picture in our mind gets clearer and clearer just as if the pixels in the camera were increased. I believe that first impressions are a great way to know more about a person. and no matter how much we may deny it, a book is and will always be judged by its cover.
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