Your first impression might tell people you’re untrustworthy, lacking intelligence, or even promiscuous. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
We all hope that when meeting someone new, we don’t make a huge goof, like offering that person or saying something stupid. But even before you have a chance to wow them with your superior intellect or quick wit (before even open your mouth) people are already making snap judgments about you.
Psychologists call this tendency “thin slicing”. Basically, we tend to look for patterns to help us recognize and understand new things. When we meet a new person, it’s our natural inclination to make very quick decisions about them with only minimum information. Since we don’t have information about that specific person yet, our assessment is based on what we think we know about people we deem to be like them.
For instance, it takes a people just one-tenth of a second to decide whether they believe a person is trustworthy or not. We tend to believe that wearing thick glasses and speaking in an expressive way are traits of highly intelligent people. When we meet a new person who fits his bill, our first impression is that he or she must be intelligent, too.
So we rely on our past experiences and yes, our biases to help us make faster decision. Even the way you walk into the room gives others the basis for making a decision about you, all sorts of things about you from status to intelligence to promiscuity.