Monday, May 8, 2017

A Few More Words About First Impressions

By Christine Clinton 

Christine Clinton, CCA Adult, author of a memoir about living with Apert Syndrome, posts a follow up to her first blog, First Impressions.

I thought about writing a second part to the blog on first impressions, because I felt it was important to explain my own feelings on first impressions. I am a pretty decent judge of character, and I can usually gauge whether or not someone is a caring, compassionate, gentle, kind, loving person, or not. It usually takes me more than one time of being in their company to figure out whether or not we will be lifelong friends. Building solid friendships is important to me, and I think that is where the first impression is most important.

When I meet someone for the first time, I never know what they think of me, or how they feel about me, and that is OK. I don’t always need to know how others feel and think about me, but I can usually tell by the way they act around me. Sometimes I notice there is a certain comfort level, and sometimes I sense a bit of discomfort, too.

It is easier for me to have an idea how an adult feels about me rather than a child. Children are innocent, and all they want is to be loved. Adults tend to be more vocal with their feelings (at times), and so more often than not, I either feel super comfortable with them, or not so comfortable with them. I have come to realize that as I’m getting older, while in a sense it matters what others feel about me and think about me is important, in reality, it’s not important. How I feel about myself should carry a little more weight than how others feel about me. Once a person meets me, whether it be for the first time or the tenth time, after we go our separate ways, the ball is in their court. If they like me and want to get to know me, that is great. But if not, that is fine too. I am never going to force anyone to be my friend or to like me if they really don’t want to be.

In conclusion, I think first impressions are so very important-both for the person with the facial or physical difference, and for the people meeting them. That isn’t to say anyone needs to be ‘warned’ about me, but I always like to have a general idea of what others think of me. I don’t always verbally know what others think, but their body language does speak volumes. While like I said it doesn’t matter what others think about me, I do think that first impressions are very important. It gives a glimpse of where I stand with people, whether or not I will forever enjoy a lifelong friendship with them or not.

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