I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

They're gonna hate me

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Unfortunately, you should get two chances just in case you fuck up your first one.

One inappropriately-timed turn-of-phrase, and you’re a social pariah.

So, imagine what happens when a group of strangers already know of you when you know hardly anything about them...


On the way to the place of a friend of a friend, I look over at the driver and ask, “Do they of me, or anything about me?”

“I little, I guess,” is the response, eyes concentrated on finding a parking space in the neighbourhood.

Great, they’re gonna hate me, is the first thing that pops into my mind.

They have some general idea of me and it's probably the wrong one. They’re going to take one look at me and they’re going to hate me. I’ll give my people a bad name. Bad Steven. Bad, bad Steven.

Where's a tabula rasa when you need one?

After the initial introductions and trying to merge myself into the ongoing conversations, one of them asks me, “So, what do you think of us?”

“You know what? I really don’t have an opinion,” I reply, truthfully. “I know so little about you, that I can’t say anything, either way.”

His face reads as uncertain. He probably doesn’t believe me.

“In fact, on the way here, I kept on thinking that you’re going to hate me, that I’ll say or do something stupid and you’ll think, gaaah,” I roll my head back.


That’s what happens when you meet someone you don’t know, but know of. You have a predisposed impression in your mind that is a basis of their personality and you build from there. If the initial impression is good, there is a solid foundation to build a stronger relationship. If the initial impression is lacklustre, than it’s like constructing a house in a sandpit.

They know something about me, and I hardly know anything about them. Do the math, because I didn’t do so well in OAC calculus.

In the end, I don’t know what they think of me. I never asked. Even though I tried to fit in, hopefully I didn’t fuck up my first impression because I know I won’t get a second one any time soon


Blogger Lemuel said...

I understand how first impressions are so important - not just in business, interviews, etc., but also in social contacts. It can be a bummer.

I guess one reaction we can have proactively is not to let ourselves get into the same rut, that is, to allow those we meet to impress us positively each time we meet.

Btw, fwiw, when I first "met" (read) you, you did not fuck up! I enjoy reading your posts.

August 24, 2006 8:44 am  
Blogger Steven said...

I guess I should add is that when someone knows something about you, you have to either deny it (if it's bad), or live up to it (if it's good).

You're kinda screwed either way.

August 24, 2006 11:13 am  
Blogger john said...

To me it's scary to meet friends of a friend. You want so much to impress that you end up screwing it up.
And of course the looming thought of--I'm sure this group has heard something juicy about me.

August 24, 2006 12:12 pm  
Blogger Dantallion said...

And if you DID 'fuck up', so what? Life is way too short to be too worried about snap judgements that people may or may not be making about you.

Personally, I firmly believe that the only real 'fuck up' is if you did something intentionally vindictive or mean spirited, or judgemental to them. In which case, you deserve their ire. Anything else is just human foibles, and it would be inappropriate for ANYONE to jusge those...

I'd bet you did just fine.

August 24, 2006 3:21 pm  
Blogger Kevin said...

I don't know ... you might want to avoid "new" people for awhile. It doesn't sound like you are having the best luck.

August 24, 2006 3:30 pm  
Anonymous Aaron said...

I find if you buy someone a drink they think you're great.

August 24, 2006 4:01 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

John: To me, I spend the time trying to read their faces and reactions, which takes all the fun out of meeting new people.

Dan: I totally agree (and I was a good boy, I swear).

Six: I'll remain in my cave, located in some remote mountain region, like a hermit.

Aaron: If only it was that easy!

August 24, 2006 10:00 pm  
Blogger Knottyboy said...

Honey you worry to much. Let them see the funny, witty, intelligent and handsome boy we know. Fuggem' if they don't see you as we do. The Seinfeld line reversal of, "it's not me it's you" comes to mind.

August 24, 2006 11:30 pm  
Blogger Tuna Girl said...

The best advice I've ever gotten was this: Decide you're cool and go with it. It's my motto.

That doesn't mean that I don't come home from some officers' wives' coffee, school board meeting, or gay bar and think, "I'm the biggest dork to ever live." Because I do. But at least in the moment I am the coolest person in the room.

August 25, 2006 1:51 am  
Blogger tornwordo said...

In the end, all that really counts is that you like yourself. Others liking you is just a bonus sometimes.

August 25, 2006 8:07 am  
Blogger Steven said...

KB: It's not me, it's you. Brilliant way to piss people off even more!

TG: No matter where I go, I know there has to be one person who's worse than I am... unless I'm the only person in the room, then I'm in trouble.

Torn: That sounds like the guy from SNL; gosh darn it, I like myself.

August 28, 2006 12:19 am  
Anonymous BID said...

I live by this rule.

Screw me once shame on you.
Screw me twice shame on me.
Sometimes I let there be just one last shot, and then that is the end of the game my friend.

August 31, 2006 6:07 pm  

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