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January 02, 2009

First Impressions

First Impressions


I swear to God it’s a lot easier to misread people’s looks, gestures, comments and emails…than it is to get them correct.

Researchers say most people make up their minds about someone NEW within the first five seconds they see or hear the person speak.

And that first impressions are lasting.

One of my problems is that I fall in love with most every woman I meet – within the first five seconds.   If you got an Olympic Gold Medal for every failed marriage or relationship, I’d be on the cover of Wheaties, instead of Bruce Jenner, Mark Spitz or that new swimmer-guy from Ann Arbor.

Anyway, first impressions may be lasting, but they are usually dead W-R-O-N-G.

For years, I wrote a weekly newspaper column about people – and before and after that, held jobs requiring the ability to listen to people, synthesize their views, their skills and potential – and then make judgments about giving away money or hiring them.

No wonder I had trouble holding a job.

 I’d been better off – have a better track record today – from a career reading tarot cards, performing brain surgery blind, or running the Federal Reserve System.

First impressions suck. 

The smartest, most charitable person I've known in my life walks around in old clothes, and likes to muck out horse stalls.

I’ve learned that people are almost ALWAYS much deeper, much more interesting in their views, much better human beings than I first think….

Which says more about what I think of myself, perhaps, than of them.

Or as my Dad would say, looking over at the decked-out, pious dude in the pew across from us at Sunday Mass many years ago, “Jimmy, don’t judge the book by its cover.”

You got that right, Dad.

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