Last night I went out to see Cabaret at La Mirada Theater with a group of friends and our moms. While we were eating dinner, the conversations separated into three groups: the moms, the younger girls, and the bigger girls. For a second my conversation with my friends got quiet and we listened in on the younger girls’ conversation. I could hear one of them saying, “…first impressions can be misleading. Sometimes a person seems like a kindred spirit and is really a jerk, and sometimes vice versa.”
This really made me think about first impressions. I’ve always been stressed about what people think of me. It’s just my nature. When I was younger, every time I got a new teacher I had to mentally prepare what I was going to say, and pick out exactly the kind of character I wanted to portray. See, the thing is, I’m good at first impressions – I’m not necessarily good at the second impression or the third, or the fourth, etc. But we’re talking about first impressions. Because let’s face it – first impressions are very important.
I’ve devised a “make-a-good-first-impression” system that I use. There are three steps to it:
1. Find out what kind of person your new person is. If you don’t know beforehand, be more reserved and emotionless until you get to know them a little bit.
2. Let them do the talking. Ask open-ended questions, like, “What was the best part of your day?”
3. Compliment them and just be an overall kiss up.
Fair warning, this doesn’t always work. For example, this year I got a new teacher that I hadn’t heard good things about. I tried to make a good impression on her, and I used these steps. She still hates me. Although, I think she hates many people.
Then again, there are also other examples where it does work. I know I made a good impression on another teacher I have this year because I am clearly a favorite student.
When it comes to teachers, it’s pretty much all about being yourself while also conforming to model student standards. For me? That can be pretty hard.
Thankfully I have a few more months to master it before my grades count for college 🙂