Bridging the Communication Gap

We decided the University of Richmond Campus wasn't a large enough bridge.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Last Impressions: What was his Name Again? (Published Jan 27th, '10)

There is a belief that first impressions make or break a relationship. Just to clarify, for this article we’ll define a relationship as a friendship or romantic relationship. We’ve all heard the expression, “The first impression lasts forever.” But I think there is a more significant interaction with a person than the over-exaggerated first impression.

That being said, I’d like to tell you a story.

There was a young man attending a prestigious university somewhere in the southeastern region of the United States. He was a young man who lived with a popular group of guys who seemed to always have fun.

This group of guys possessed a unique talent for affecting the lives of the people with whom they interacted. For that reason, along with others, they were what some would consider popular (although those guys would never admit to that being true).

But one day, those guys threw a party and invited a group of close friends to hang out. Throughout the night people were having fun and everything was copacetic. The issue arose when the young man had a few too many drinks. The number of drinks the young man consumed resulted in him, as we say, “blacking out.”

In the morning, this young man texted one of his close friends whom he had invited to the party, just to see whether that person actually stopped by and, if so, whether he enjoyed himself. After conversing with his friend, he realized he had drunkenly ruined his relationship with that friend.

Although he was not able to remember exactly what happened or find anyone else to explain the incident, he lost a close friend because of his actions. Now I know you’re wondering what this has to do with first impressions and bridging the communication gap, so I’m going to connect it all now.

I’m sure many of us have witnessed a similar situation. But in some situations, maybe it’s better the person not remember what exactly happened. Too much alcohol can sometimes be a disadvantage for a certain sex.

This leads to my point: Life presents all of us with thousands of first impressions. We meet new people every day and forget about them within the next five to 10 minutes. The one thing that life does not present us with very often is last impressions.

Last impressions only occur when someone is memorable. If a person is able to be remembered by others he/she has encountered, he/she has accomplished something that everyone should envy.

Take a second and think of a person you are really close with and think of the time you met him/her, along with the last interaction you had with him/her. The first time you met him/her may be unforgettable, but you will always be able to be more detailed with the last memory.

Many think of last impressions normally as taking place following a death, change of location, one-night stand or some other drastic event — one night stands may fall under this category as well. First impressions are a dime a dozen and can be very instrumental in deciding a relationship between people. But last impressions are what people will never forget.

Last impressions are what people truly remember about a person. Just think about it the next time you are introduced to someone. Do you want that to be your last impression? Will it be one that he/she will forget? Will it be one that he/she will tell his/her friends about until the next story presents itself?

We do not leave our stories with people we meet, but instead, it’s the people that we leave with our stories.

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