“First impression is the last impression”: can this be applied to every first meeting?

First impression is something we always talk about. Blogs, online websites, career advisors are constantly writing about it. How to dress properly, to talk in a certain way, to act polite, especially in “selfie social media era”, where good impression is put through likes, reactions and followers? First impression, whether we like it or not, is really important. But is it really the last?

An old man enters a luxury bag’s shops. He is not well dressed, his hair is dirty and his hands desperately need water. The shop assistant gives a quick look to her colleagues, a little bit worried. “May I help you?”. The old man smiles at her. “I was looking for the most beautiful bags you have. I want to buy them all.”. The lady is hesitant. “Maybe you can check those on sale, they are the cheapest!”. “Oh, I see. But I wanted the most beautiful”. And he leaves. The day after, the shop assistant is decorating the store’s windows when she sees him again. Not in person, but on the news. Apparently, the old man turns out to be the richest man in town and he have just bought all the bags from the shop next door as a Christmas gift for his sick and dying wife. If the shop assistant had ignored her first impression, she could have received a huge bonus from his boss for her spectacular sale.

We can definitively understand the lady’s behavior. Everybody would have done the same. Her mistake, in fact, was not to have listened to her first impression but to have been stick with it, assuming the old man was poor and cannot afford to buy those bags. The smartest thing we can do is to look beyond our first impressions. And to be open to all the possibilities that getting to know people could really bring us.