“First off, don’t let the force of the impression carry you away. Say to it, ‘hold up a bit and let me see who you are and where you are from – let me put you to the test’…” Epictetus, Discourses.


Learn to take a step back before acting on your first impressions. Your brain is powerfully-geared to make rapid, knee-jerk decisions in order to keep you alive, but the chances of jumping to the wrong conclusion are high.


It is not wrong to have a first impression and to experience emotions that can accompany it – fear, anger, disgust, sadness, shame, as well as elation, ecstasy and love, for example. It is better to recognise that is what is happening and then to allow a second opinion to form – one that is based on facts and logic. Call it thinking beyond first impressions.

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