Making an impression, whether we want to or not
By Stephan Drew
Impressions are a constant thing in our lives. We make them on others and form them of everyone we meet. Everything we do or say can make an impact on someone and the consequences of that can sometimes last for years or even a lifetime. Most of the time, we don’t even realize how easily we can influence what others think. We’ve all met those people who, at first glance, have “rubbed us the wrong way”. Others made us feel “like we’ve known each other all our lives” even if it’s the first time we’ve ever met. Though we may not be aware of it, the smallest things we do can change people’s opinions of us in a negative or positive way. The way we talk, how we carry ourselves and how we treat others matters a great deal. It’s even more important when we’re trying to build a business or a reputation. To many people, appearance is everything. To a certain extent, they’re absolutely right. Not necessarily how we dress, where we live or what we drive but, whether we appear to be decent, clean, polite and “in control” of ourselves and the circumstances. Can we carry on a conversation, no matter what the subject is or with whom we’re conversing? Or are we socially dysfunctional in certain situations? These things all make an impression. Oftentimes, some poor souls seem quite eager to impress others. They enjoy telling others which “important” people they know, the cost of their clothing, what type of car they drive or how luxurious their home is. Some call this “pretentious.” I call these people “needy.” They seem to thrive on making sure that others are impressed by them. That must be a really sad life, always looking for validation through someone else’s eyes. But there are other types of impressions. Important events, whether exciting or traumatic, can have a great impact on our lives as well. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say the past year has made a great impression on the lives of all people around the world. We have seen every aspect of our lives change drastically. We haven’t been able to go to places we normally frequent. We haven’t been able to do many of the things that gave us the greatest pleasure – traveling, visiting relatives, gathering for Sunday dinners, holiday meals, special events and hugging those we love. We have, many times, felt an emotional void that used to be filled by interaction with those we hold most dear. With our masks covering most of our faces, we all walk around looking like bank robbers. This is not “normal” at all. These things have made an enormous impact on how we feel, what we think of ourselves and others, and how we react to our new situation. It will take time but we will restore what we like to think is a “normal” life. We will, eventually, come out of this and, hopefully, we can recover our old habits and scheduled activities. Until we do, we will suffer frustration, anger, excitement, impatience, annoyance and so many other emotions. Just try to remember — no matter what you’re doing or how you feel – if you’re around someone, you’re causing an impression. Make it a good one!