Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

When a stranger sees you for the first time...what do you think they see?

Asked by Cruiser (40421points) March 7th, 2017

First impressions are everything….or not. We all navigate life…each day as best we can…if I was to cross paths with you for the very first time, what do you think/feel I would see? What would you see in me?

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47 Answers

Dixon's avatar

Someone who looks very tired but is kind and considerate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Then or now?

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III 30 seconds ago, in the shower~...or last Friday night…you choose.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’m told that the first impression that people have of me is that I’m well put together, attractive and friendly/kind looking. I get “approachable,” a lot, too. It’s funny to me, because I’m painfully self conscious and I was incredibly shy as a kid. But, as an adult, I like people and I try to smile and make small talk with strangers. I find the world is a much nicer place when you’re nice, so I usually give people the benefit of the doubt right off the bat. It’s hard to guess what a first impression would be of you, as someone I’ve never met, but I have no reason to think it would be negative.

ucme's avatar

Not gonna lie but I don’t care, the way I project myself is for me personally to be contented with.
If a stranger seemingly responds in a positive, understanding & friendly manner then that would reflect their initial opinion of me & probably vice versa, although i’m a very good actor.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well… I look like an extra from Sons of Anarchy, or maybe Vikings…. Sometimes my appearance makes me sad, because of the reactions I get. I walked by a woman and her daughter one day, and the little girl said to her mother “that’s a scary man Mommy,” and the Mom said, yes, stay away from him.” Most dogs are afraid of me at first,until I pet them. It’s not a look I’m “going for,” but it’s what I’ve grown into.

@Cruiser . From what I’ve seen from your avatar pics, you look like a “normal” man. Sometimes I wish I just looked normal too. I can’t judge much from a photo though.

When I’m on the job ,I look at people’s shoes, hands, any tattoos, bulges in clothing, which hand is their watch on, is there a visible knife, do they make eye contact, are pupils dilated, do they have a visible limp, what is their current mindset, if it’s a man how clean shaved or style of facial hair, what is their posture/body language etc.
These things tell me a lot about a person. I used to see people as just people off the clock, but as time goes by, I have started this type of judgement even when out with friends….

I hope this response is the type of contribution you are asking for… The above responses were a little confusing to me.

cookieman's avatar

My wife always says I come off as being scary or unapproachable.

I think this is because I’m fairly big (6’, 200+ lbs.) and am usually focused on something in my head – deep in thought – so I look pretty serious. Plus I have a very deep and booming voice.

Truth is, I’m a teddy bear.

chyna's avatar

I think I don’t make any impression. I feel like people never notice me, that they look past me or through me. I think part of it is that I’m a small person and pretty plain looking.

LuckyGuy's avatar

They’d say. “That guy lives around here. He is dressed for the weather. He’s wearing the right footwear, (either Red Wing waterproof boots or slip-ons depending upon the weather). He’s got a utility knife/multi-tool clipped to the inside of his belt or in his jeans pocket. He is in good shape, white, smiling, clean shaven and is wearing a ball cap from a local business – probably to cover a head that is starting to go bald. No need to cross the street.”

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Not that many years ago, people made eye contact and smiled. Now, they don’t even see me. It’s as if I’m not there at all. I must have developed something very off-putting in my demeanor, something that makes me invisible.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am in pain most minutes of every day. My expression makes people think I am hateful.
Small children are usually the first to find that I am approachable. Funny, that.

janbb's avatar

@cookieman I know you’re a teddybear!

Short, middle-aged woman with a friendly demeanor and smile. Comfortable. And look! She’s got flippers!

Sneki95's avatar

Considering the stares people (men, actually) give me, and the nature of those looks, I guess there’s something about my appearance that attracts people’s attention. The looks I’m talking about go from a mix of puzzlement and snideness to a near death glare, and I’m far from being attractive by any social standards, so it’s definitely not that type of look (I know, I got those too on occasion). I don’t know what exactly do they think upon looking at me. It may as well be either that all men have resting bitch face, I have some issues with reading human face expressions, or there is something about me that simply creates reactions like that. May as well be all of that, or none. I don’t care much anyways.
My nephew, however, always stares at me with some sort of amusement and surprise. It’s that “woah” look only kids have. He stares at me a lot. Sometimes he’s sitting and playing with something and then just suddenly stops and stares right at me. We joke that he does it because I look like his mom a lot but am not his mom, and it confuses him heh. It’s kind of funny that, even after nearly a year of seeing me at least once a week, he always has the same stare, like he sees me for the first time.

flutherother's avatar

There was one very young kid on a bus who called me ‘daddy’ repeatedly which was a little embarrassing. He was with his mother who kept saying I was not ‘daddy’ but he kept looking at me trying to grab my specs and saying the word ‘daddy’ over and over.

Another time when cycling I stopped at lights and this guy came up to me and said ‘Douglas, long time no see’ I am not called Douglas and he took some convincing that I wasn’t who he thought I was.

I usually walk quickly and self-consciously down the street not looking at anyone but with the impression that others are looking at me. Then I look at the faces of the passers-by and I see they are not and that they are in fact all ignoring me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, my first impression today isn’t the same as it was 15 years ago. I guess the first thing men thought of was “sex.” Not sure what the women thought of, but sometimes I got dirty looks from them, for no reason.

I remember one time I was at a convenience store behind a pretty girl. She was flirting pretty hard with the clerk, who kept looking past her at me. She finally got impatient and swung around, saw me and stopped dead for a second. Then she gave me a dirty look and stormed past me! WTF?! I wasn’t doing a thing except standing there!

But, as in any time in my life, it would depend on what I was wearing. My casual, work around the house duds, no make up, hair just pulled back….well, in my younger years that didn’t make a difference! Now I think they just see on older women (bleh) and that’s about it.
If I’m dressed for work I think they see an older, intelligent woman.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What would I see in you? I think I’d see a good looking guy who would be fun to hang around with! I just have a feeling you usually have a smile on your face and laughter in your eyes.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well that is just what you would see on my Facebook page but it is not all rainbows and fuzzy kittens. But I do smile a good portion of the day. I have a new hire here that is a total fun parade and she and my younger secretary are goofing with each other all day long. Lots of laughter and work get done in the process.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well of course reality is always different. I think that would be my first impression if I didn’t know you at all and we crossed paths at Walmart.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III I will add I wear progressive glasses that have me in a permanent squint when I am up and about so I picture myself looking quite intense just pushing a shopping cart. I have to remind myself to smile so I don’t upset little children. :D

cinnamonk's avatar

I probably come across as someone with extremely low self-esteem who doesn’t know how to wash her hair well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I come across as someone with a lot of confidence who moves quickly and decisively.

cinnamonk's avatar

We cannot all be winners, Dutchess.

DominicY's avatar

I’ve also been told I look “approachable”; I’m soft-spoken and tend to listen more than I talk. Those are all plusses. As far as my appearance goes, I’m fairly short and often mistaken for younger, so those are all things make me look un-intimidating and easy to talk to. I doubt people could assume I’m gay from the way I look, but who knows? It’s not something that’s come up so far, though.

Cruiser's avatar

@DominicY If I may say so your description of yourself reinforces the impression I have assembled of you all these years.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My post had nothing to do with you @cinnamonk.

kritiper's avatar

That I’m a guy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Cruiser I thought progressive lenses went from clear to dark when the light changes. How does that make you squint?

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III Maybe I am using the wrong terminology. My lenses are to provide a singular solution to enabling me to see both near sighted and far sighted. There is a blend in the field of view of the glasses between far view and near sight or reading range which is towards the bottom field of view. They made me dizzy and pissed off the first 2 months. Now I am OK with them except when shopping.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III @Cruiser describes progressive lenses very well. The prescription changes gradually from the bottom of the lens to the top with no noticeable lines.
“Photochromic” may be what you’re thinking of ”(1953) 1 :capable of changing color on exposure to radiant energy (as light) <~ glass> 2 : of, relating to, or utilizing the change of color shown by a photochromic substance < a ~ process> ...” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.)

MrGrimm888's avatar

As I think of it, I wear contacts. They work great.

My glasses suck. I can’t walk,or drive well with them. They affect my peripheral vision, and my depth perception. I’m sure I am concentrating more and may “appear” more frustrated / angry…Same when I’m not wearing any lenses. I’m squinting a lot…

I never thought of how much my decision of sight correction could have any relevance to my perceived mood….


Kardamom's avatar

I think they think, “Awww, she likes animals too : )” I will always be the first person to come over and ask about your dog and say hello to your dog, and probably give your dog a kiss.

flutherother's avatar

@Cruiser I have the same kind of glasses. We call them varifocal here. I was told they might mske me dizzy going down stairs at first but I never had a problem with mine.

Cruiser's avatar

@flutherother In hindsight I believe I made a mistake of choosing fashion over function as my daily glasses are rectangular and narrow and I am constantly tripping over dog toys that are out of these glasses field of view. I have same script in aviator sunglasses that has much larger lenses I have no issues of vision with. My next pair of daily glasses will be a bigger lens.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, yeah. I tried those. It had a triple prescription. I hated it. Went back to single lenses within 2 weeks. She couldn’t understand why I preferred to take my glasses off to read, or work on the computer. Um, because I been doing it for fiddy years?!

In high school I had those glasses that changed color in response to different light. Maybe we called them “transition” lenses. The idea was to make it look like we had on sunglasses in the sunlight, with the benefit that they were prescription too, which I needed since I was blind as a bat without them.
I didn’t like them. They never got completely clear indoors, and never got actually sunglass-y in the sun. But they were all the rage..

janbb's avatar

I know this is Social but it sure got off topic.

Cruiser's avatar

@chyna I am leaning towards these glasses but in brown frames. Now what would your first impression be of me?

chyna's avatar

Oh look at those glasses! He’s got to be a goofball!

Cruiser's avatar

@chyna I was expecting you would say…“HOLY COW!!! Look at those glasses! He’s got to be a goofball!

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOLL! Goofballs!

jca's avatar

I tend to smile at people and look them in the eye. I am willing and often initiate small talk with people, for example the cashier in a store. I’m tall and blonde.

My job is one where I often have to meet strangers and hear about their personal issues, so as one supervisor told me once “You’re good at your job because you’re a good bullshitter.” I tend to read a lot about a variety of topics so I can shoot the shit about all kinds of stuff. I don’t always prefer to make small talk but I can and people think I do it effortlessly. I prefer not to talk but I do what I have to do.

I wear contacts, glasses out of bed and on first thing when I walk in the door. I prefer contacts because I find I see better with them than I do with glasses, especially driving at night. I could do bifocals if I wanted but I don’t feel like learning to deal with them.

What do I think I’d think of @Cruiser? I don’t know as I have never seen @Cruiser‘s photo, I don’t think. I am guessing I’d thnk @Cruiser looks like a Jelly!

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Cruiser The truth is, I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Harry Caray. :-)

Ah, what a true gift and gem that man was.

Danebiggs's avatar

What was the question?
Something about “what do people see when they see you?”

They probably see a single dad in his 30s, separated, tired and usually buying groceries.

I think they see potential because girls used to always want to see me without my glasses.
At parties they were obsessed with getting me to take them off.
Anyway, they used to say I was cute, but these days II’m a little worse for wear.

Coloma's avatar

You’d see a middle aged woman with shoulder length blonde hair and most likely wearing a bohemian skirt, boots, sweater or summery top or dress with sandals, depending on the season. I’m a friendly, playful type of personality so I think most people feel comfortable around me very quickly.I am an extrovert with zero social anxiety and very adept at making others feel at ease and am very approachable.
I don’t know what I would see in you if I met you as a stranger on the street not knowing you the way I do from Fluther. I imagine you to be a friendly/playful type too so, knowing myself I would probably take the initiative to strike up a little chit chat and before you know it we’d be zinging around witty banter. haha

I also wear cool sunglasses. lol

Brian1946's avatar

Most people probably see someone who’s older, paler, and balder than they are.

About the only exceptions I can think of to that are probably a specific North Carolinian jelly and Patrick Stewart. ;-)

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