In her new book No One Understands You And What to Do About It, social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson takes a closer look at why we're misunderstood. Unsurprisingly, when people misunderstand us, it often has to do with an inaccurate first impression.
Halvorson says that although we're always able to identify our first impressions of others, whether they're true or not, we're not so great at knowing how we come across. We usually have no idea how we've been perceived, which makes damage control pretty tricky. To override this natural bias, she recommends consulting a friend for some brutal honesty.
“Take somebody you really know who you trust," Halvorson told Science of Us. Then ask them to complete this sentence: “If I didn’t know you better, I would think …”
The answer may not what you want to hear, but it will give you better insight into how you're perceived.
According to University of Toronto researcher Nicholas Rule, it takes a lot of effort to overcome a first impression, whether it was negative or positive.
"We judge books by their covers, and we can't help but do it," he explained. "With effort, we can overcome this to some extent, but we are continually tasked with needing to correct ourselves.”
Hey, a little honesty can go a long way.
H/T Science of Us