Letters of Life

First Impressions (II): Be Nice Now

A Dog Year

Every dog has its --- typewriter.

First impressions can be 100 per cent way off course, but they do count.

This might surprise you, but more people than you think do not, or did not, have a good first impression of me. (Is this old news?)

And so, I will work on making a better first impression. Since I am now in the business of profiling personalities in the local, regional, and even global scene (what a privilege!), I need to work on being *more* warm and friendly, more easy-going and lively, than I have ever had to in recent times. Not that I wouldn’t try even if I weren’t meeting celebs; I’ve just had a wake-up call that’s all.

It’s not about the need to impress, though I feel the need to impress with just being nice. I need to cut away the need to assert myself everywhere I go, shave off the cynicism, sarcasm, the urge to give as good as it gets—all the qualities that went with working for the press. Old habits die hard, and I have gotten away with the bad things for too long.

Still, this old dog can learn new tricks. Sometimes being this old has its advantages: I am not as afraid to voice my opinions, I am more confident of who and what I am today (more so than before), and I will admit to my bad behaviour, my weaknesses, my penchant for mischief.

Some ironies persist. If I meet somebody that impresses me, especially someone younger, I tend to be, well, difficult. Or give them a hard time. Many times, these younger people who impress me are probably appalled but to their credit, they never give a hint. They play ball with me. They are what I’m not, which is Nice.

The trouble is, I equate being nice with a lack of personality. You know, a nice person is someone who is easy-going (no opinion), quiet (an uneventful life/job), doesn’t say the wrong thing (remains neutral). . . , in fact, doesn’t say very much at all.

I know. I have a problem.

I’m actually nice when you get to know me. But I don’t make it easy for people at first sight to realize that. It’s weird. I’m weird.

I’m going to be nice.

I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge? — Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That’s relativity. — Apparently Albert Einstein said this.

Ireland is also quite nice. So is Amsterdam. — Dianne von Furstenberg, fashion designer. I love this quote!

But Will Rogers, American humorist, said it best: Diplomacy is saying ‘Nice doggie!” until you can find a rock.

Ever had any interesting first impressions? Leave a comment! Please! 

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