We search for acceptance from our friends, family, co workers, children, husband/boyfriends, the person walking down the street, the waiter at a restaurant, not realizing that an impression has already been made. A person has already looked at you and assessed your actions based on their standards. It’s not until one decides they want to know you that their initial impression ranges from dislike, content, and/or admiration. Questions: “So why?,” “Why should you care?” and “What is the fix?”
Why do we try to make an impression? Why do we care so much? Why? Why? Why? My five cents…we do it because we were conditioned this way. Think of when you were a kid; before you left the house your parents would warn you not to “act a fool,” “your actions are a reflection of this household,” they would say. What about your first date? The unwritten rule, “Don’t show him/her who you really are. “Wait a few dates/months’ or the crazy one “until you are married and he’s trapped.” You go on a job interview, wear certain clothes, you speak and conduct yourself in a manner that is so uncommon that you have to coach yourself days before the interview; then you get the job and the first few months you are on your best behavior and once you feel comfortable you become a little more relax. Restaurants – same thing, there are even social etiquette classes on how to conduct yourself in a social setting; as we speak, there is a format on how to engage your audience when blogging – “Social Norms” we call them.
So…why should we care?
I have a coworker who wants a James Jean “Crayon Eater” tattoo, however, is hesitant because of the social stigma that blinds our creativity and individuality. She’s not sure how she would be perceived. In speaking with her, this is one of her favorite artist, his work describes perfectly what is in her head. Why should she care?
My son, a young black boy growing up in a “free” but racist, discriminant, world. Why should I care? Especially when, as much as you try to ensure they speak /respect others, peoples hate can sometimes affect how they treat people of color. Why should I care?
If we were meant to be the same, we would all be the same color, height, weight, sex; we would speak a certain way, conduct ourselves as a “Collective.” My response to my coworkers hesitancy about getting the tattoo, “Tattoos are extensions of art, an extension of you. If this is something you luv, do it. When you luv it, you don’t regret it.” In her situation she should not care what others thinks.
Me, I am 7 of 9. I was once part of a collective: I had to think, act, and dress a certain way until I realized there was a way to construct my social etiquette without losing sight of who I am. As I mature, I realize there is a need to “instruct” others on how they conduct themselves. Every action will have a reaction. We as individuals choose how our first impressions to others will be and should accept the reactions given.
My son, I should care. I want him to make an impression, his impression. So, what do I do? I explain to him what I have learned, show him what happens when he goes left, or goes right, I teach him to think for himself, I provide him with the good, the bad, the ugly; I explain to him my idea of life and what it’s about, and as he grows/matures I pray that his impression is a positive lasting impression. I pray whatever path he chooses, he thought about it and accepts the journey he will take.
As long as we are aware of our actions, impressions though needed should be our own.