Friday 15 November 2013

First Perceptions

Even if we don't admit it, we judge each other within a minute or so of meeting, which is why first impressions are so important. I'm told that I make a great first impression- hopefully people who say this to me are not lying!

But what about perception? How do people, who me know-maybe not well, but still know- perceive us?

Back in April or May, I was having dinner with some friends that I met through the Brock Alumni Network. While we knew each other, as in had previously met and previously socialized together, we did not know each other well. For some reason, the conversation turned to me and how I was perceived by the group.

The consensus was "girl" (and also that I come across as a Kindergarten teacher). Always wearing skirts and/or heels, always smiling/laughing, lots of pink, smiley faces in my texts and emails, nice, stickers.

While I am all about being open minded and not being pigeon-holed into a category, I was ok with this perception and, have to admit, it's fairly accurate. 
A few years ago, a wonderful, wonderful friend said that, based on the way I spoke, you could tell that I was intelligent and well-educated. This was his perception of me. While it was said after a lengthy conversation, it was the first time we had met. To this day, this is one of the nicest (and my favourite) compliments I have ever received.

In September, my boss and I were having a conversation and she was making a lot of Star Wars reference, which I was NOT following- she was calling me Young Jedi, something about a force and mind tricks...I don't know. I finally had to admit to her, I had no idea what she was talking about and that I had never seen an episode of Star Wars. She apologized and said that she thought I was a Sci-Fi nerd like her. 

Me? Sci-Fi? Really? Apparently, that was her perception of me...and I don't know why. I am definitely not into Sci-Fi. But, what made her perceive me this way? While she never answered that question, and she was very off in her perception, it does make for a funny story. 

Earlier this week, I had a co-worker tell me that he could see me as being a huge Lady Gaga fan. Again, really? I do not like Lady Gaga. At. All. Around the office, I am frequently talking about my love for David Myles and Luke Bryan (both loves well documented on this blog, BTW). David Myles (folks jazz/roots) and Luke Bryan (country) are not even in the same musical genre as Lady Gaga. Again, no idea why he thought this...

Last night, I was bowling with Brock Alumni and I was talking to a guy I had never met before. Well into our conversation, we decided to play the "guess what my major was" game. His other guesses included (after I said my major wasn't math based and I did chose my major specifically because there was no math): psychology, rec and leisure, English, business, child & youth (that Kindergarten teacher thing?), concurrent education (ditto), geography, speech therapy. My major was Communications.

His initial guess? "Something agriculture based." Do I come across as something agriculture? Or was it just my bowling shoes and skirt combination?


  1. This is pretty interesting! I have a fun game where I try to picture what people's lives are like on the bus, etc. It is a bit judgmental, but mostly in the sense that it entertains me and I am probably definitely wrong!! It's crazy that the way that we dress, speak or present ourselves portrays certain aspects of ourselves.

  2. I have never really thought of perception but now that you mention it, it happens all the time. Now I'm curious to know how the brain comes to these conclusions