The power of the first impression

The power of the first impression

A fraction of a second is enough; and it is not just a way of saying it ; to create a first impression about something or someone. In a space of time shorter than the blink of an eye, the human brain builds images that are difficult to dismantle later. The research presented this month at the annual meeting of the Society for Social Psychology and Personality of the United States indicates that the power of ideas shaped at the moment you lay your eyes on a person is so strong that even facts cannot easily disprove them.

In this way, the immediate perception other people have about you derives from all your non-verbal communication: your physical type, your clothes, your posture, your facial expressions, your gestures and your voice tone. According to the “7-38-55” rule, suggested in a body language survey done in the 1950s by Albert Mehrabian, 7% of communication is attributed to the verbal component (what you say), 38% to the vocal component. (tone of voice) and 55% to the facial component (body language). That is, 93% of all non-verbal interpersonal communication is responsible for forming a first impression.

In the book "Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking" author Malcolm Gladwell argues that you need to accept the mysterious nature of your instant judgments without suffering. He explains that the brain uses two strategies to understand a situation: one conscious, when you think and get to an answer, and the other below the level of consciousness, faster, when the brain gets to conclusions without revealing it to you right away. While the conscious is blocked, the unconscious is exploring, sniffing the slices of experiences and environments to get to a conclusion about that environment or that person.

But what about you, how do you see yourself?

Psychologists call our own mental picture the self-image. Positive self-image means to be aware of your inner strength and identity, and it brings fulfillment and optimism to the individual. Someone who has a distorted self-image has difficulties in perceiving flaws, mistakes and limitations, which harm human relationships and the achievement of success.

So when you manage your own image you are taking care of how others will evaluate you. It requires self-awareness and all time monitoring. Try to understand the message you convey with your image  with the help of an Image Consultant or even asking for feedback from close and sincere people. The goal is not to communicate something that is not true, but to remember that your attitude influences your emotions. Caring about the image is not a futility, it is assuming the unique and non-transferable role of being responsible for your life success.


Do you exude sympathy? Do you have your own constant style of dressing? Do you know how to wear clothes according to what your work environment requires? Do you know how to compose and coordinate accessories? Do you write correctly on social media? Do you speak in an appropriate voice tone? Do you have a strong handshake? Do you keep an upright body posture demonstrating self-confidence? In short: do you know if the image you convey is the image you want to convey? Think about it. And remember: you are the business card of your self. Use your image to your advantage and be the main motivation for your smile!


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