There are many things in life that we can easily change to make better. Try and try until you succeed, right? However, impressions, especially first ones, is one of the few things that aren't so easy to alter once they're set.
Experts say that it only takes five to 15 seconds for first impressions to be established. These are based on your education level, socioeconomic status, social background, and even personality and character. How then can someone change people's perception of her if previously tagged as a certain "type" of a person like a "loose girl?"
When it takes seconds for first impressions to be set in stone, how can a changed woman convince others that those first impressions are now incorrect? It may take a long time and a lot of effort, but the good news is that it is possible to change other people's impressions of you. Here are a few ways how.
A Changed Person But Still Known For Promiscuity?
Let's say you used to explore a lot in the past and got the rep of being "loose." If you live in a closely-knit community, then practically everyone knows of your deeds. People talk, and what's more, gossip spreads like wildfire. The challenging thing with the mechanics of gossip is that the bad ones spread faster than good news.
You might have already completely altered your life for the better, yet people still see you as before. It's here that you're reminded it's challenging to change people's perception of you once the first one has been encoded.
You can't keep declaring to everyone that you aren't the same person anymore because that could come off as counterproductive and risk people thinking you're just defensive. Plus, that's exhausting! Instead, give the following tips a try when you're decided you want to start changing others' impressions of you.
9 Ways To Start Changing Other's Impression of You
Here we have a few ways to begin changing other people's impressions of you. Do remember that these can't be rushed, and with a little patience, that old reputation can be truly buried and considered a thing of the past.
1. Forget about others
This is perhaps the most important thing to remember when changing what people think of you. It would be best if you forgot about them first. Doing the opposite could make you addicted, in a way, and you end up losing focus on the more essential things in life, like yourself.
Forget about others, consider what they think to be non-essential, and then you can begin. After all, their perceptions of you are only second-most important and should never take top priority. Having this mindset keeps you on the right track while trying to change others' impressions of you.
2. Embrace your new you even more
As you grow and transform your character, don't let feedback that others still think of you as the old you pull you down. Instead, embrace your progress even more. Bask in the growth and change and focus on that.
Remind yourself who you are now, and that old perception of you is a thing of the past. Think positive and stay positive – all of these help you stay grounded on your path and push you to take another step forward.
Chances are, as you take one small step towards your goal, others would see it too, and they're left with no room to doubt that you indeed are a new person.
3. Make an assessment
If you have made steps to change and yet the comments still linger that your old impressions are intact, you can also assess and double-check. Check to see if there's anything left that could still make people think you haven't changed.
One quick and straightforward aspect is to assess your dress code. Yes, it seems trivial, but people do judge a book by its cover (in this case, outfits). Therefore, it may be time for a closet makeover! Chance are, your new you have outgrown (figuratively or literally) the old fashion style.
Have you ever looked at your clothes and thought, "Hmmm…this isn't me anymore"? That would be one sign to transform your style and ensure it's on the same page with the rest of the changes.
4. Change your posture to exude confidence
This is a simple yet highly effective way to change what others think of you in a psychological approach. By sitting up straight while engaged in conversation with someone or practicing proper posture as you go about your day walking the streets of your home area, people who see you will see a difference.
It might seem like a small change for you, but the confidence that you portray by sitting or standing up straight affects others' perception of you, without having to do anything about it. You don't need to walk up to them and convince them that you've changed. Just you being spotted with your back straight and looking like a transformed person is proof enough.
5. Confirm and alter
This one is for those who have difficulty letting go of first impressions. I'm sure you have a few in mind. If you find yourself conversing with them, practice the "confirm and alter" approach. For example, they say, "Oh, remember when you did this with that person…" You can reply, "Yes, I do. My goodness, how things change. I'm glad I decided to get my life together after that!"
There are many opportunities to confirm the old you and then subtly but decisively alter the conversation to bring the people up to date!
6. Ask for a second chance
If you really want a fresh start and are sick and tired of your past stopping you, then straight up, ask those people for a redo. Perhaps you've done a friend wrong in the past, and you value the friendship so much you don't see yourself burning bridges.
Then be honest with that person and tell them how you've changed and what they think of you is important to you. Don't overdo this, though, because it could quickly go over the line and make you seem desperate. Just let your intentions be heard and let time take its course.
7. Try some reverse psychology
Here's another psychology trick: boosting one's ego to get what you want. Devious, yes, but the intentions are on track here, and no one gets hurt. As you're conversing with the people whose impressions of you matter, comment on how open-minded they are. Fluff them up or beef them up, so to speak.
The next step, of course, would be to plead your case and tell them what it is that they have to be open-minded about and accept. This way, they have no choice but to alter their perceptions of you. Once again, this should be done cautiously and sparingly as it could backfire and make you look defensive and manipulative.
8. Make an effort to connect
As mentioned earlier, it takes time for first impressions, or any impressions, to change. In the meantime, make an effort to connect with those people you're trying to convince. As you continue to do so, they will realize on their own that what they thought of you and who are now are entirely different individuals.
9. Set goals
By progressing and succeeding further, you will leave those impressions far behind and even the people who choose not to let go of them. In the end, it's their loss, not yours!
By always having a goal in front of you, you're continually striving to be the best version of yourself. Others can't help but notice that! This will trump previous notions of you without you having to do anything about it!
How to Respond When The Community Continues to Enforce the Impression?
There's no other way to go about this, but don't mind it and let time do its healing and transforming. Let them continue enforcing that impression. On the other hand, you continue executing your new you. If it gets too much, perhaps you can consider moving out and starting fresh somewhere else? Of course, this is a drastic measure that requires a lot of consideration.
If you decide to get away from it all, don't think that you're running away. In fact, you're saving yourself from stress and drama. You've done your part in trying to convince them, yet they choose to stick to their ways. Instead of getting caught in the eternal cycle, you hit stop and paved a new direction for yourself. That isn't cowardice but gutsy and ambitious.
It may be difficult; it may be futile – but changing others' impressions of you is something every person experiences at least once in their life. Just know that it is a journey meant to provide so much growth and revelation in and of itself. In the end, you gain more understanding of how people tick, how you respond to them, and what you want to do, moving forward.