I met our new priest this weekend. At confession. Confession is not the place to make a good first impression. But that got me thinking (dangerous, yes). I came to the conclusion that we’ve been doing it backwards. First impressions shouldn’t be good.
Okay, I’ll try to explain my logic (not always easy). Nobody is perfect. (If you suffer from that delusion you need more help than I can give.) So what happens when you make a good first impression? The impressee puts you on a pedestal, granted it may not be a tall one, but size doesn’t matter here. The moment you do something less than perfect, the pedestal cracks. The more the impressee gets to know you, the more hits your pedestal takes. Soon you’re left standing on a heap of rubble and the impressee feels cheated. You never live up to a good first impression.
A bad impression on the other hand leaves room for improvement. Making new acquaintances would go something like this:
Me: Hi, I’m Dawne. I can be a snarky bitch.
You: Oh, thanks for the warning.
The expectation is set. You expect me to be a snarky bitch. But when I do something nice for you—”This round’s on me.”—you are pleasantly surprised. And when I say something unbitchy—”You make the best margaritas ever!”—you begin to think, Hey, she’s not such a snarky bitch after all. Enter pedestal. When I revert to snarky bitch, you’re not surprised and the pedestal remains intact.
I think I missed my calling. Move over Socrates.