First Impressions

Paula faces

Fandango provocatively asks…

What impression do you think you give when you first meet someone?

In the business world, I think I give the first impression of being polite and helpful. I have been told I am reliable and sweet. I’m always punctual and this shows people that they can depend upon me.

Socially, I’ve been mistaken for a lawyer a few times. I’d like to think this is due to being smart, but I don’t really know why people incorrectly assumed this. I’ve also been told many times that I’m funny, which makes me happy.

Romantically? Impressions have been all over the place, and this is due to people’s projections more than anything about me. They fail to see the real person in front of them as someone to get to know, but instead superimpose an image of their ideal and go from there. Or they assume from one common characteristic that I’ll be like their ex. I’ve done all this too because it can be hard to put aside preconceptions. I’ve been called sweet as well as a c**t, to give you some idea of the range.

Luckily for me, I don’t have to deal with any of that these days because I’ve quit dating. It was the major source of my stress for about 7 years.

Now that I’ve answered the question as asked, I’m going to take this opportunity to jabber on (and on and on) about my favorite topic… and shovel in some prompt words. Reading further is optional, but it may be beneficial for insomnia.

Unlike some peeps, I’m pretty much a chameleon and am highly adaptable to different situations. It’s something I learned over time, sort of as a self-defense mechanism. Maybe it’s a desirable trait, or maybe not ~ I guess it depends on the specific circumstances. I can make a wonderful first impression if I choose to… or not, if I don’t want to or don’t care. I have learned how to behave in business roles, conforming myself to the person or group I’m with, and I believe I do well, given that there have been no complaints (at least not in this century).

But let’s flip back to yesterday. I didn’t make a good first impression on my peers when I was a child. They saw a fat, quiet girl, assumed I would be terrible at sports (true) and proceeded with nastiness and mockery. I didn’t have the made-for-TV fat girl confidence and moxie to be able to toss sarcastic comebacks at them; I just stayed quiet and sad. Unfortunately, teachers didn’t like me back then either and were no help at all. Later on, when I was around 12 or so, teachers began to see how smart I was and liked me then, but you know? I had also slimmed down a lot too, so in my mind, the two things became linked.

Here’s a funny story though. When I was living in NJ, around age 12-13, my 2 girlfriends started being friendly to 3 neighborhood boys. I hated the boys and thought they were idiots, so I simply stayed dead quiet while my friends flirted and vied for the boys’ attention. I was already crushing on older men, so getting attention from boys wasn’t something I sought. But soon, the boys began to wonder why I wasn’t flirting and mocked my silence. It became a contest for me then ~ to see if I could simply never respond. They asked one of my friends if I was in the “retarded” 7th grade class, and she said no actually I was in the advanced class. That made them more uncomfortable, not less. How could a smart girl not like them? Poor boys. I wonder if they ever figured it out? Nah.

Joke was on me though… neither Roger Moore nor David Cassidy ever asked me out.

At a certain point, I learned to be funny. This was later though, in my 20s. I’m not talking about sarcasm, but light self-mockery and whimsical observations, which were useful tools to deflect uncomfortable moments. This was rewarded by people being nicer to me, so I kept cultivating it. I like to be liked, and I’m not ashamed of that. I know others feel it’s more important to assert themselves and state controversial opinions, and that’s fine for them. I find pieces of opinions to agree with in order to avoid arguments yet still stay true to my beliefs, somewhat. I may give a false impression to some folks, especially about politics, where it’s easy for me to find points of agreement with most positions. Or I make a joke!

I’ve come a long way since age 12, when I began “cancel culture” by freezing out dumb boys. Now, I’d just be nice to them and mock them in my mind. Hmm, is that an improvement? Idk…

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

25 responses to “First Impressions

  1. You had me hooked so I had to keep reading! Lol. I was a shy kid. You know the one that hung onto the parents leg screaming bloody murder not to leave. Now I am more outgoing and often times outspoken. I think I adapt well to my surroundings as well as the people I am with.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since the c-word describes a woman’s sexual organs, it should carry a positive meaning and women should embrace it.

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  3. I love that green hat of yours!

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  4. I do the chameleon thing too. Some people might think it’s being fake, but it’s all me. I just choose which facets of my personality to highlight depending on the circumstances.

    You were waiting for David, I was waiting for Shaun. Poor us😂😂
    Alan Alda never came round for me either. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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  5. I think you come across, through your writing as a smart lady with a sense of humor who loves cats and cupcakes.

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  6. I think most of us try to come across differently depending upon the situation or circumstances (i.e., professional/business versus personal/social).

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  7. Here’s to all the chameleons of the world!

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  8. You look happy =D Like you are happy, and you want other people to be happy. Like a hippy, hehe

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  9. I’m of the opinion that our real selves and our blog post selves would, after a certain span of time, look the same, so I’m wondering how first impressions work in either case.
    I don’t know about my writing, but in real life, I’ve been told that frequently, the first impression I elicit is a little intimidating, and more than once I’ve been compared to Clint Eastwood in a bad mood, (not looks, of course. I’m no movie star.)
    So, what if someone looks at my blog and just by chance the top post is one of my real stupid ones? Game over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the danger with blog posts, and I guess being online anywhere. I am still sad about a celeb who was mutually following me, misunderstood something I said, and blocked me. Oh well. I remember a time when people thought I was the silliest person ever because I wrote in lolcat a lot. It was a defense against my constant sadness at the time. I realized, after someone commented on it here, that I didn’t need it any longer, so I stopped.

      Anyway… I totally see your resemblance to Clint!


  10. Another passing thought: how weird would it be to meet someone for the first time whose writing, especially these diaristic blog posts, you’ve been reading for a long time? I’m referring to you, but . . . anybody.

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    • I know. I have met a couple people from online. Two seemed the same as online; one was significantly different from his screen persona. I’d love to meet more peeps though. It’d be interesting, plus give good blog material…

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      • I met Asha! No surprises–except of course for how short she was. I a-aalmost met Don, I’m sure, but California was on fire and I didn’t hang around.

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  11. Your interaction with the boys reminded me of A Beautiful Mind, and the allegory they used to describe game theory – where the boys go after the girls they don’t particularly like in order to attract the attention of the more desirable girl. Of course this is predicated on boys being geniuses – which most are not 🙂

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  12. I don’t have any first-impression stories, mostly because I’ve been pretty low-profile my entire life — as in “loner”, both by inclination and as a result of various Life Stuff that made it a virtue. Combined with my baseline social maladroitness, I generally leave virtually no impression whatsoever the first time out. On those rare occasions when I do actually surface into the active attention of anyone as anything other than a 2-D background character, the range seems to fall somewhere between “Growly Teddy Bear” and “Uncomfortably Dangerous In Some Unclear Way” — but mostly just “That Weird Guy Over There”. (shrug) I’m generally good with that, I guess.

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