Thursday, October 20, 2005

Second Impressions

Thanks everyone for telling me about your first impressions of me. If you read through the comments you will see that many of you had different opinions. It seems I come across pretty much the same to the bloggers who don’t know me in person and then I am pretty similar now to who I am online as well as in person. But for those few who’ve known me for a while, there seems to be a different first impression.

So what does that tell me? That I’ve changed. What a glorious thing to be able to say. Change might not be the best word; matured, grown, developed, yes those are much better.

It is funny to know yourself and to look back at your life and see who you were before and who you are now. Are there many major changes in my life? Not really. Have I made a major overhaul of who I once was? Nope. I think that over time and after living through certain things in my life I have just become more of who God wants me to be (at least I hope I am moving in the right direction on this front). This also allows parts of my personality that many people don’t get to see very often come out.

One thing I realized is that context is so important with how people view you. That isn’t always the best thing. For instance when I have been in roles where my administrative nature takes over many people don’t get to see the wild, crazy, fun, or as BM put it “perky” part of my personality. But then again, when you only see me in social settings you may not know that I am a pretty deep thinker, I love to discuss things, and I am super organized and very excited to be in the thick of a project or activity that has an end goal.

So is it a good thing that I seem to have these dual personalities – Fun Katie and Serious Katie? Not always, because if you only get to see one personality you are missing out on the entirety of who I am. Now this is wholly my fault because I choose to only show that one part of my personality that is exhibited by the context of my surroundings.

So here are a few questions:

If someone who met be “before” met me now would they notice a difference? Would they take the time to notice a difference of would they just assume that I am still the same person I was when they first encountered me and observed their first impression?

Is everyone a set up multiple personalities and images and often we decide how we feel about a person by just looking at the certain one that is visible in the context of the situation we first encounter them in?

Do I portray a certain personality or first impression because that is what I think people want to see? Do other people do the same? Am I willing to take the time to get past that first impression (which may not be entirely true) and get to know the real person?

Just something I was thinking about.


Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

It reminds me of my 10 year high school reunion last year. Where I really didn't want people to remember me the way I was, because I had changed, but I was remembering people the way that THEY were. I didn't have any new memories of them to compare their old self to their new self. If there was a new one to compare to. I was able to meet alot of my old classmates again, but in a new way. It was funny, because we were at tables, and people sat at the same tables as they would have in high school. EXACTLY. With the same group of friends at each table. I made it a point to walk around and get to know the changes that have taken place in people. Not everybody did so and I feel like they missed out. It's good to give people 2nd and 3rd chances, because you really can't base your decision on a first impression. Sometimes you can, but not always. I think I rush into a first impression, especially with my natural shyness. I'm so glad that y'all took a chance on meeting me in person that first game night. SO glad!

10/20/2005 11:48 AM  
Blogger Deals On Wheels said...

I go by my middle name, but in college there were a whole lot of people (from class) that only knew me by my first name. It was weird when the people who knew me by my first name came into contact with people who only knew me by my middle name. Oftentimes, they'd talk about me like I was two different people (and they'd have absolutely no idea that I was both). It was a total identity crisis.

I even had a person tell me once that they liked me better as (my middle name) because (my first name) was too shy. I mean, WHAT?! THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME PERSON - ME!!

So, anyway, that is what your post made me think of, because I've actually had to make a first impression twice.

10/20/2005 12:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think that everybody gives different impressions depending on the situation. The people you work with may not know that you can rip up the dance floor while the people at church may not know you have mad food flipping skills while the people you hang with may have no idea you can organize a weekly staff meeting for 30.

Most people are multi-faceted but not every situation calls upon all of your skills. And really may depend on you not showing all of those skills.

10/20/2005 12:09 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I absolutely am different than I was 2 years ago, and I sure hope that people take notice of that. Well, honestly, they really can't help but! But that just comes along with the whole new creation concept. I think if a person is open-minded enough, past experiences are not going to influence thier opinion of you forever.

Over the course of time, change just takes place whether we like it or not: We grow, we mature in our life circumstances, and generally the people who don't take the time to get to know you - again - are the ones who haven't done much growing themselves over the years.

10/20/2005 12:51 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

"Do I portray a certain personality or first impression because that is what I think people want to see?"

Katie, I don't think this is so much a concious effort but rather, a lot of times we are too focused on our insecurities rather than confident in who we are... so we portray ourselves differently until we let "our guard" down and show people who we are. You think?

10/20/2005 1:43 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Good point Ben, I chalk it up to nervousness also, we want to be attractive to other people so we naturally try and equal their personality or attitude

10/20/2005 1:47 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I don't want to complicate things too much, but...

It seems to me that the discussion of identity on this post has centered around what you do. I suppose that is only natural since those who are looking at you have only so many cues by which to make an impression.

Does the fact that other people have different opinions of you based on what they have seen of you mean that there are really different parts of you? In other words, are we whole things (like diamonds with facets) or part things (like watches with different parts making up the working whole)?

10/20/2005 4:30 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

And leave it to Eric to take us down the deep thought road. . . .actually I like this rabbit trail.

Ok here we go.

Well actually from what I'm reading here (and mind you it is not statistically sound - look at me throwing out nerdy talk - it is what we have to work with) I leave the same type impression on others. In the past I think I gave off different impressions and that wasn't so much based on what I do but on how I chose to act differently in those different situations.

To answer your question I think we are diamonds or at least shoudl be diamonds. I think that one's self should be constant and solid through all situations, but that is a mark of maturity (such a back handed compliment to myslef there - ahahaha).

And yes I realize that we will be different in different areas of our lives, or in different situations, but there should be an overall sameness to who we are.

So did that answer the question? Diamonds not watches.

10/20/2005 4:36 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

First, I would agree with you, we are meant to be diamonds not watches.

Second, the semantics...isn't what you do the same as how you act?

Third, I wonder sometimes if we really are meant to be diamonds. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. People are mind, body, soul. Does that mean we are made up of parts? How can three things be a unified whole? Would God say He is one thing?

10/20/2005 4:50 PM  

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