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  1. Body language, intuition, and initial judgements

    scarab9 [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Colonel
    • Posts: 207
    • Joined: 1 May 2012

    Evening all,

    I am incredibly curious about human behaviour and find people fascinating (not in an ant farm way, but look at us, we're crazy and wonderful!). I also find the LH Forum community to be open, honest, liberal, and incredibly supportive and so would like to ask you wonderful people what you think in regards to something that apparently is natural, but also how it differs from person to person.

    According to a lot of literature we make immense judgements of people based on a very short timespan - a few seconds generally - of having met them. We're told "don't judge a book by it's cover" but do people really agree?

    Personally I BELIEVE (I always find self assessment suspect as a psychology studier, even my own) I'm fairly intuitive, can judge people quickly and accurately based on their body language and reactions to those talking to them. In fairness I'm very rarely wrong, and can usually (if tested) give a fairly detailed description of someone's personality based on even a few seconds of observance.

    Derryn Brown I am not, but mostly I hope due to not being so arrogant and cold!

    Anyway, the important thing is I recognise the fallible nature of my judgements and don't close my mind based on them.

    However I was wondering how other LH members feel about that initial judgement - is it accurate, what's it based on, were you right about your partner, how much do you trust it etc.

    mrs average [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 687
    • Joined: 18 Oct 2012

    Personally I'm rubbish at reading people on first impressions and often get it wrong so I don't relly on it as a rule. I am useless at guessing someones age based on what they look like and have absolutely no gay-dar.
    However once I've got to know someone, had a few conversations with them and got to know people better I can get a good feeling of what they are like in other areas of their life and can asses how they would probably behave or react to certain things as well as what they are likely or not likely to do or say.
    I am generally a very trusting person and believe in giving evryone a chance which hasn't always worked out but I'd rather be like that than cynical.
    I do believe first impressions are important though because if you care enough to make a good impression with poeople you don't know, a potential boss or first date, then it shows that you care about yourself and others. I dont like the whole 'I don't care how I come across to others or how I look' attitude as I feel it shows selfishness and lack of care and love for themself.

    dotdashdot [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 706
    • Joined: 7 Jun 2009

    First impressions are very important. I find this in most aspects of life, not just in humans.

    For example... and this is a very strange example. I came back from holiday in a pretty bad mood, tired and PMSy, to find that my housemate had bought a new bath mat. The most garish, massive, ridiculous bath mat you'd ever seen. I took an instant dislike to this bathmat and even now, one month later, I can't stand it. Purely because of that first impression! There's really nothing wrong with it at all, it's quite pretty really.

    I did a bit of online dating and though they were all really nice guys, my boyfriend was the only one that upon first glance I knew he was right. I liked his jacket, he had a lovely smile and he just appealed to me instantly. And one year later... still has that appeal!

    I went on a date with another guy who was very good looking, very much my type. But the instant I saw him I just thought "nope!" even though he seemed very nice. And I was right, because it turned out that he was a complete bore!


    rubysoho [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 1219
    • Joined: 6 Mar 2013

    im an awful judge of character . too trusting by far

    BDSM [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    • Posts: 188
    • Joined: 14 Feb 2009

    We all make a judgement based on first impressions. Even the most experienced person is going to get a large amount of that wrong. There are so many factors that can affect that first meeting, that I cannot accept your opinion of your own level of accuracy.

    Like you, i am fascinated by human behavior, it forms a major part of my job. It it through my experience of working with people, that I know how easy it is to misjudge people.


    [suspended user]

    suspended user
    • Rank: Major
    • Posts: 193
    • Joined: 1 Apr 2013

    It's to be expected that people (and animals) make a quick initial appraisal of someone when they first meet them. It gives them a basis on which to proceed. 'Is he sound.... or not to be trusted'? 'Is she someone who is going to be well-disposed to me..... or dislike me'?

    The dodgy bit is that these first impressions are often wrong, being based on preconceived ideas, stereotypes and prejudices.

    The good news is that we are open to modifying our first impression when we get a bit more information about the person. How often do we say 'I didn't like him at first.... but now that I've got to know him....'

    So first impressions are nothing to fret about, even when they are wrong. Whether we are a human being at a party, or an antelope in the lion-infested savanna..... we need to make quick judgements about others characteristics and intentions.

    SophieM [sign in to see picture]
    • Rank: General
    • Posts: 908
    • Joined: 16 Dec 2012

    It's really bad but I have terrible trust issues as I've been hurt a lot in the past by people I was really close to, and the majority of the time I rely on my initial judgment of body language to determine whether or not I can trust someone. I don't feel like I can walk around with an open mind anymore, because if I do, I'm just going to end up getting hurt again.

    I'll be completely honest here though. I don't judge people on their appearance, i.e. clothes, hair, body mods. But body language and the way someone speaks is very important to me and I can usually tell someone's personality straight away and be accurate. I can however get it wrong sometimes but I'm only human after all.

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