Is First Impression the Last Impression?

6 minutes

According to an article published in 2015, it shows that within 50 milliseconds of seeing someone’s face, we automatically start forming opinions which influence our future interactions with that person.


Nicholas Rule, a Psychology Professor at the University of Toronto, interestingly states that “Every time you see someone, even if it is someone you really know, you’re making first impressions again.”

This makes me think about a few questions – are first impressions always right? How true is the statement, “First impression is the last impression?” Here is my personal take on these questions –

I’m sure we all have that one friend who turned out to be the complete opposite of what we initially thought them to be. In my group, I am that friend.

There are many such people out there, in this huge world, who are mistaken right from the start only because of the utterance of one word, one phrase or for looking a particular way. However, there is quite a bit of humour involved when you and your friend reflect on how you met and how wrong both of you or one of you might have been about the other until you really got to know them; and those mirthful laughs make it worth the while.

Recently, a friend disclosed to me that what he thought of me when he initially met me would be blasphemous to the essence of me if he were to reveal his first impression of me. Naturally, I got curious. I just had to know. After a bribe of Banoffee pie and coffee (he was a tough nut to crack!), he settled into his seat to tell me. And now, at no additional pie or coffee costs to you, dear readers, I shall share the story with you.

This event dates back to around 2008-09 when my now-friend and I were in the 11th grade (we are now two very grown up and mature individuals, or so we think). Now one must know that 11th grade in a PU college setting can be quite an intimidating experience at first – not knowing anyone, trying not to mix with the wrong crowd, standing up for yourself, trying to have at least one professor remember your name in a class of 100 students etc. Intense, right?

I had always been that girl who grew up around male company both at home and at school and as a result became an unflattering mixture of a girl and a boy – a tomboy! I was very assertive and very fiery-tempered. But on the inside, I was a ball of mush too scared to let my feelings come in the way of anything.

Half way through 11th grade, I had a set of friends comprising of both boys and girls. But I had earned a reputation for myself. My classmates called me “Hitler”. Not the bad kind, of course, as the nickname might suggest, but I was proud of it. This reputation came with certain responsibilities such as getting my friends out of tight spots, standing up to others who tried to bully my friends and the likes. All well-intended actions. But on most days, I was the clown in my group – jumping, joking and dancing around.

One day, I had a friend who came up to me and tried to size me up against my nickname. She dared me to stand up to the boy in class, who was always trying to get my number and make good with me, the next time he said something or tried to get smart with me. Her words were, “If you are Hitler-like, you will not go easy on him”. I didn’t back down, I accepted. Now what I didn’t know was that my now-friend but not back then had seen me around college and assumed that I was not a nice person because he knew of my “nickname” and always wondered why my friends, who were also his friends, hung around with me. So my devious friend decided to have a little fun and decided to prove his theory about me right.

first-impressions-conversations                                                                                                             Image credit: Linked source 

On her suggestion, the guy came up to me in the college food court and tried his luck with me again, and true to my word, I lost my temper and stamped on his foot really hard and walked away just as my friend brought him to meet me for the first time. Imagine the horror! He was appalled. He was so careful in his interactions with me for the first month, that the normal chatterbox that he was, he was as silent as a mouse around me! However, as time passed by, we got to know each other and became fast friends and I continued on, not knowing about any of this!

Coming back, to the end of the last piece of pie and the last sip of coffee, he was laughing with tears rolling down his face at my appalled expression as he narrated the tale of how he first got to know me! Thankfully, he admitted to and assured me later that I was a far cry from what he initially thought me to be.

Hitler and all aside, I am glad that first impressions are not always the last impressions and that I found a good friend in him.

So to all of you, who worry about the first impressions you might have made, worry not, because someday, you will look back it and laugh together over those initial memories.

If you are thinking about how to make a lasting first impression or want to know how you can improve your first impression on your friend, talk to our experts at YourDOST and seek guidance, for free. 

Arshia Rajshekhar

Arshia Rajshekhar is a special friend at YourDOST. She is from a Psychology background. She loves unicorns, rainbow, is a big fan of Harry Potter. She is a foodie and loves cake, pudding and desserts in general!