This is a very popular quote attributed to Oscar Wilde, Will Rogers, it is unclear whom said it first.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression
This statement emphasizes on the importance of making a positive impact when meeting someone for the first time. It suggests that the initial encounter sets the tone for all future interactions and that it is difficult to change someone’s initial perception of you once it has been formed.
Usually, unless the person is aware of the faulty human judgmental mechanism, first impressions are formed quickly and often based on limited information. A negative first impression can create barriers and make it harder to build trust and rapport. Whether it’s a job interview, a meeting with a potential client, or even a social gathering, people tend to make judgments about others within seconds of meeting them. These judgments can be influenced by factors such as appearance, body language, demeanour, and the first few words exchanged.
It is often recommended to present yourself in a positive and professional manner, demonstrating confidence, being attentive and engaging in conversation, and showing respect and interest in the other person. It may take considerable effort and time to overcome a negative initial perception, if it is even possible at all.
However, do first impressions matter really all that much ?
If you ask me, i’ll say it depends. It depends on the personality of the individual, and the ability to socialise and manage a discussion. For a reserved individual, the first impression might be all what we’ll get about the person, while a social and energetic individual would not be defined by the first encounter. You might change your opinion about a social and energetic individual multiple times, and each time you would discard and update the previous assessment.
Thus, if you are assertive and able to guide a discussion, the first impression does not really matter. If you are a social person who opens up to people, the first impression also would not matter.
In business trust is important, but it’s not based on first impression, these days it is based on reviews.
The only cases where first impression matters a lot, is if you are a reserved individual, or in company of shallow people.