Bad first impressions

The Unpleasant One

What a surprise! And what originality…

One of my colleagues at my super temporary job calls me the Unpleasant One. I found it out a few days ago and I’m not surprised at all, even though I would have preferred to be called the Chosen One :-P.

Why I’m not surprised? Because it happens all the time.

The first impression I give is always a bad one. People seems to see me as conceited, snobbish, cold and (*drum roll*) self-confident. At this point I can’t do anything but roll on the floor laughing. Self-confident me? I fight for every single little thing with my inflexible self and I appear self-confident and conceited? Oh, come on!

I have heard, or better eavesdropped, people saying that I’m snobbish and presumptious so many times that I’m not sure anymore if they are wrong or if I am really like that. However i can tell you with certainty that I’m not self confident. I fear other judgment so much that it took me 25 years to tell my family that I love writing. Is this self confidence? I don’t think so.

So… where does this bad first impression come from?

Even if I don’t care about my colleague’s opinion, because I don’t really know him and in a week or so this job will be over, I keep scanning my actions and my words, again and again, to understand what I’ve done wrong.

After a whole life of bad first impressions, I learned something about myself: I seem conceited where I am just reserved, I appear snobbish where I simply try not to be intrusive and I appear close because I don’t believe that strangers can be interested in my business. I try to soften these traits when approaching new people or a new work place, but sometimes it simply doesn’t work and I became the Unpleasant One.

When it happens my Inner Critic (see the previous posts to know her better) would like to take a shovel, dig a hole and throw me in it, but I’m not a messed up teenager anymore and I do my best not to listen and not to care. Moreover I couldn’t be someone else, even if i tried.

Give a better first impression, just like writing, requires a lot of self-discipline, self-control and practice. The difference is that I’m not always sure it’s worth the effort.

Now that I told you my sad story (*self pity, self pity and self pity once more*) I am curious; how is the first impression you give? Let me know what you think!

By the way, there is at least one good point: once you have been labeled as unpleasant, you don’t have to pretend to be kind anymore. You can be as irksome as you choose…. Bwahahahah!


2 Replies to “Bad first impressions”

  1. Maria

    Hello Irene,
    I came across your blog through goodreads and I like it! I admire your nerve (as you call it) and I wish you luck at writing. I really enjoyed this post, I have seen myself through your words since I am very shy and most people think I am unpleasant and snobbish. But I learnt not to care because I know what the truth is and people who really know me can appreciate my nature. I wish I had more courage to do things I am scared to because I am aware I should take all the good opportunities but I am still working on it! All the best Maria
    P.S.: I am Italian but since you write in English and I love it, I thought it would be nice to comment in English 🙂

    • Irene Aprile

      Maria, thank you for your comment!
      It feels good to know that other people have the same problem I have with first impressions. Keep working on it, it’s worth the effort!
      I decided to write in English because I believe it’s a good way to reach more people, however I’m writing fictions in Italian and translating them is quite hard. Maybe I should write them directly in English, but I don’t feel confident enough with my vocabulary.
      I hope you’ll keep reading and enjoying my blog!

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