We have been told decisions are made based on logic. But maybe we have been wired to make snap decisions such as love at first sight, trusting someone at first glance, or having that gut feeling. How many times do we say “I should have trusted my instincts”.
When training, we talked about getting so in tune with the process that it becomes a part of you or in other words it becomes instinctive. We all have been around someone who we believe was a “natural born salesperson’ or a sports player that was “in the zone”. This is the person that just seems to know what is going to happen before it happens.
Maybe what we are describing is a person that has the ability to take in all of the available information around them in a super fast fashion and sort out this raw input of information to decide what is most important or urgent without having to work out a slower more regular rational thinking process. In other words they have the ability to think on the fly. What makes this amazing is that it appears they are doing this unconsciously and they are making sound decisions.
Psychologists even have a name for this, it’s called ‘thin-slicing’ and what we believe is snapped decisions is really just a selection process that has always been working in our heads for months or years. It appears for this to work, our mind makes these snap decisions based on what we personally have in our mental history or what we could call ‘known beliefs’ that pushes back or ignores facts that might be considered more complex when it comes to making a decision. In other words, we take a short cut base on our impressions of the given situation we are in.
The more our mind has a history of diverse social experiences; these files can be used to assist in this snapped decision. Without a range of diverse experiences, we are more incline to make decisions that limit our ability really read the situation.
So our mind will affirm some known beliefs and ignore more complex inputs we are actually receiving at the time. This action takes our first impression of a person and infuses or embodied this person with what we want them to be based on looks and action. We make the person we are just meeting into the image we want them to be without really getting to know them. This impression becomes hardwired in our head so it’s almost impossible to change it at a later date.
While this might seem unfair, its how first impressions are made. Hopefully with this knowledge, we can prepare ourselves to take certain actions so we can increase our chances to quickly get into someone’s good graces. Knowing what is consider being positive traits within a social environment and acting on those traits, allows us to gain the upper hand in a meet and greet.
If we mirror the image of what others consider to be a trustworthy and charming individual, we become that individual in their eyes.
Now if this is true, what does it take to make a good impression? Well that’s for another article.