Saturday, November 24, 2018

First Impressions Still Matter

There was an experience I had recently where I thought someone was a total asshole.  This guy keeps showing up around and it turns out maybe he is not the cocky jerk whom I first met.  I have not talked to him, so none of my opinion is really based on anything beyond observation, and this has me thinking about first impressions.

The person in question is a stand up comic. I have been participating in open mic nights this year, and I am discovering a lot about myself and it is having a positive impact on me as a person and speaker.  Turns out stand up comedy is the hardest use of the spoken word. 

My experiences in this medium is that it is a unique world.  Comics are interesting, but when I first showed up I was a total outsider.  Most at open mic nights are much younger than me, and they did not really seem welcoming to me up front.  That said, I am sure in my early attempts I was a fish out of water and probably did not come off as that welcoming either.

So this one comic I met in April really did come off as a dick.  Young and full of himself was the initial impression, and his jokes were very sexist and demeaning to others.  In a brief conversation he was dismissive and I jumped to a series of conclusions.

Yet recently I noticed he keeps showing up at many of the events I attend.  I have never spoken to him again, but I have observed him.  While the jury is still out about who he really is, I am starting to think I jumped to conclusions far too fast.

At my age I know that first impressions are not as reliable as we would like to believe.  People are often sure of their observational based decisions, but I am reminded of all those who have proved me wrong over the years. I am getting better at giving others second and third chances, as it really does take time to know who someone at the level of their soul.

Plus, many comics are playing a character on and off stage, so for me to have decided this guy is what I witnessed is short sighted on my part.

But the lesson here is that most people do not give time to reviewing their first impressions, so therefore the immediate vibe you give to others does matter as they will forge a permanent view of you very fast.

How you treat people always matters. This guy treated others with an aloof nature and was cocky as shit.  But I am going to erase that from my mind and try to get to know him as I continue to show up around the Austin comedy scene.  Who knows, maybe he is a raging asshole?  Or, he could be a good person who I will benefit from getting to know better.  I am going to believe it is the later.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer