Yes, we agree that people form impressions within seconds. The reason it is indelible is because impressions are formed through various cues which are weighed in the brain’s more primal, emotional centres, which instantly produce a visceral assessment — a gut feeling as to whether you’re a potential threat or asset. This means that people have already decided on what you’re like before you’ve said anything beyond your initial introduction and to top it all its done with lightning speed.
But are first impressions enough to crack that interview, or to win a sales pitch or to get good contacts in a social gathering.
The fact is that only the first impressions, while overrated, is enough to make your image. Your immediate actions, verbal and non-verbal, that follow needs to be given equal importance. This is when the rational brain comes into play. Once first impression are created, the brain immediately starts to evaluate if the cues are in line with what you say, your belief or value system and even your emotional quotient. We need to ensure there is a perfect match between our inner self and external demeanour to create a winning image.
Research has found that it can take up to six months of regular contact with someone to change their initial impression and alter the lens through which they see you. So, First improve your inner “game,” and then learn how to present your true self in the best possible light.