Cold Coffee, Cold First Impression?

Holding a cold drink could give you an icy first impression of the person in front of you. What? You may be asking what I am talking about and if this can really be true. According to an article in Psychology Today, “The Ten-second Take,” it is. Apparently physical sensations, such as how hot or warm something is in your hand or even feeling off balance as you sit in a chair can all influence a first impression. Is the person you are assessing warm, cool, unsteady, etc.? That seems so subjective—and frightening—that someone’s impression of another could be so easily influenced. So, how reliable is a first impression? Colvin, a researcher quoted in the article, found that first impressions have about 30% accuracy. Interestingly, however, those impressions dissolve the longer people get to know one another and see a more complete picture of the person. Personally, I am thankful for this! How many times have you ever made a less than stellar first impression and wish you could have a do-over? If you are like me, you may beat yourself up and then repeat the scenario in your head many times, wondering how you could have been so silly. Eventually, however, I have to ask myself why I am obsessing about my bummer of a first impression—or even any succeeding impression—so intensely. The answer is usually that I do not feel good enough. Not a good enough wife, daughter, mother, friend, niece—you name it. How do I move past myself and my own failures enough to keep pressing forward and becoming the person I want to be? Answer: I have to remember that I am human and in spite of that I have worth and belonging. I will never “arrive” but that is the beauty of being open to growth and embracing my vulnerabilities in the midst of it. If someone does not approve of me at first impressions, that has to be okay because I still am enough. Besides, their judgment of me says more about themselves and what unresolved issues they may be having than anything else on my end. So, if you find yourself in a situation with an acquaintance who is staring you down over his or her iced coffee, kindly go get the person a warm drink and maybe they will send a smile your way instead. If not, that’s okay, you are still enough, a work in progress!

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