We have all experienced what it is like to take an instant dislike to someone.
I have done this many times before and often think about why we do this.
Considering how many layers there are to a personality and that it is possible
to know someone for a long time without really knowing them at all, are we being
a bit previous when we take an instant dislike to someone within seconds of first
Our lives are built on relationships and it important to get on with all types
of people if you are trying to be successful in business or in your personal life.
But what triggers feelings of instant dislike towards a stranger and are these feelings rational or are we tricking ourselves into false thinking?
There are two possible mechanisms : one is human instinct and the other is psychological.
Instincts are animal based and can be thought of as our inbuilt defense mechanism for
coping with external threats, and these threats may come in the form of a stranger that
makes us feel uncomfortable. It is probably likely that Hitler made quite few people feel
a little uncomfortable!
When introduced to someone for the first time we may form an intense dislike of the person
based on association – this is psychological conditioning learned from previous experience.
They may remind us of someone else we don’t like and we could fall into the trap of reading the person all wrong – they may be very nice genuine people for all we know.
These associations can take many forms and examples might be: you don’t trust people with
a weak handshake; the person sounds like someone you have bad memories of; you don’t like
the way they sound; or maybe it is something you just can’t put your finger on but that you
know that there is just something definitely not right about the person.
Really? Says who?
Sometimes we need to give people the benefit of the doubt and give a chance to people who
do not easily fit into our belief systems.
However, it is ultimately up to us as individuals how we choose to react to the strangers
we meet from day to day by finding the balance between instinct and reason.