Why first impressions are important but not always right! Do you ever change the perception people first have about you?
I am in Disneyland Paris celebrating my wife’s 40th birthday. My wife is Disney-mad and has almost succeeded in her quest to get “something Disney” in every room of our home. It was not difficult to know how she would want to spend her big day!
Naturally, it brings to mind the last time we were here. It was another big day – just after our Christmas 2012 wedding. We stayed at the lavish Disneyland hotel on our mini-honeymoon.
On our first evening, I took my newlywed wife to the top restaurant in the hotel. It was all planned that we would be there around the same time that the fireworks display filled the skies over the famous princess castle. Being guests of the hotel, we did not need a reservation – and indeed there were many tables available when we arrived.
But the maître d’ decided that we were not the “right type” of guests and sat us on the table behind the door, barely in the restaurant, and certainly not anywhere near a window. If there had been sacks available, I felt sure we would have been asked to climb in so that the other guests would not be offended at our sight. Their evening would be ruined by having to avert their gaze from our hideousness!
First impressions interest me. Perhaps for reasons such as this – and the many others like it. I find it happens quite frequently in “posh” places that somehow, we are not “expected” to be there. It has become an enormous source of fun!
After an age of being ignored behind the door, eventually a wine menu was reluctantly provided (and a jug of tap water undoubtedly on its way). But here’s the funny thing, the moment I ordered – everything changed.
Hurriedly, we were moved to the window with the top view of the castle and a scurry of waiters bowed and bobbed to our every need.
Same people, same appearance, but the first impression changed when it challenged the accuracy of that perception.
When asked how we enjoyed our meal, there could be only one response.
“The meal was lovely thanks – and the view splendid – my wallet just couldn’t see properly from behind the door.”
What first impressions have you challenged and changed?
This is a vital tool for successful life transitions.
There are three main factors that cause people to get “stuck” when trying to make a life-decision.
In all of these factors, the views of others play a definitive role. A change of direction in life means that other people we already have connections with will need to accept the changes we make (or part direction) and that’s a big deal.
Part of managing a successful transition is to be able to re-establish ourselves on a new path, and that means a change of perception in the way we see ourselves and the way we want others to perceive us.