We try so hard to make good first impressions. We try to wear the right clothes. We try to tell all the good things about ourselves while hiding the bad. We try to make people think we are better than we really are by hiding our imperfections.
What if we were just totally ourselves upon meeting someone for the first time? What if we really let people in and allowed them to know our true selves quickly? What if we laughed our most obnoxious laugh, let a snort sneak out, and didn’t even care? What if we talked about our dorkiest hobbies instead of trying to tell our most exciting travel story? What if we shared a struggle in our life instead of an accomplishment?
I admit that I sometimes worry about first impressions. I wonder what people are thinking of me. I try to present the best me, and that, I admit,may not be the most authentic me.
I’m teaching at a conference this week and have had the pleasure of meeting about 15 new people that I’ll be with the whole week. Some I feel like I don’t really know them yet at all. They might still be hiding behind that mask. The two people that I feel I know the best are the two people who are completely being themselves. They are saying what they really think, telling their dorky habits, and sharing some struggles. They seem more relatable, more approachable, and friendlier because they seem like real people! I want to be more like that! I hope when people meet me they don’t see a mask but my face.