Stereotyping is a normal intrinsic human behavior. Humans have a propensity to judge based on other experiences and rumors. As a result, we end up making numerous mistakes when dealing with other people. This behavior is very dangerous, especially in a working place where different kinds of people are supposed to co-exist. Therefore, stereotyping should be discouraged and branded as a vice that can cause unimaginable harm to society. This paper seeks to discuss stereotyping giving a personal experience in a working environment. The paper will also discuss the errors people make in first impressions.
Stereotyping is a perception that we build based on people’s characteristics and behaviors. When perception is formed about a group, all members associated with that cluster are affected. For example, there is a popular assumption that all black people in the United States, especially young men are involved in drug abuse. Similarly, many believe that all white people are racists. These are two examples of stereotyping in our society. Our brains are more likely to form stereotypes because as humans we rarely take time to learn about a person. We form stereotypes due to our hasty propensity to judge others without making a background check. This paper seeks to share a personal experience on stereotyping and discuss errors made in the first impression.
While as an employee in a certain company in the city, I was very excited to join the workforce, which was made up of young energetic interns like me. There, everything was done informally with minimal bureaucracy. My first day, which was also my orientation day, was very exciting and I enjoyed the experience. After my orientation day, I became a fully-fledged member of the company’s workforce and I was welcomed by everyone in my department. However, there was a lady who did not pay much attention to me as everyone did. She was the only colleague in my department who deliberately chose to ignore my presence. She never gave me a welcome handshake and she did not seem fascinated with anything I said. I was very disturbed by her actions and I felt like she was being unfair to me.
Looking at her and considering her attitude towards me, I immediately formed a perception. I thought that this lady was a bully and she was trying to intimidate me. Mostly, people who keep stern faces are likely to be bullies. I immediately formed an attitude towards her and I prepared myself to handle her in case she tried anything. By the end of the day, she had not made a move at all, but I kept my mind alert to respond appropriately to her snobbish manners. As we closed the day’s business and as everyone was leaving, I felt a hand tapping my shoulder. I turned around only to find that it was the same lady. She looked at me and pointed towards her desk. I asked her what she meant by that, but she did not respond, she kept pointing at her desk. Shocked to realize she was deaf and dumb, I went over to see what the problem was.
Her computer was still on, so I decided to look at the items on the desktop. Interestingly, she had written a full-page message congratulating me upon my successful application and at the end, she offered to buy me a cup of coffee. I was very ashamed and sorry for judging her so harshly. We went out for a cup of coffee and within a few minutes at the restaurant, I had learned a few sign language letters. We became very good friends from that day until the end of my contract. We are still very close and she is one of my very valued friends.
Errors made in the first impression
It is normal to pass judgment on other people without paying attention to their history. Many people do this and later they realize it was a mistake. The problem is that we judge others based on an uninformed view. The error we make when stereotyping is that we do not take some time to know a person and to understand his or her point of view. Humans judge things from different perspectives, but they are also very selfish. We think our way is the only good way, hence the tendency to judge others when they do not agree with our understanding. Another error that is made in the first impression is comparing one person with another from the same group. While all other things can be shared, personalities are unique. A perception that generally defines a particular group is stereotyping, since not all the members in that group will behave or respond to issues in the same way.
A person can be quiet and gloomy from his or her physical appearance but very cheerful in nature. My former colleague is a perfect example to prove this. She was very gloomy and she looked very sad and domineering, but after interacting with her, I realized she was the happiest and the most welcoming person that I have ever met. First impressions can be deceiving as the saying goes. Based on it, one can either like or hate a person. Misjudging is one of the greatest errors that we make based on how we perceive a person on the first day. One can easily form a negative attitude towards an individual without enough evidence to prove his or her judgment. The first impression, therefore, gives you a physical image and based on past experiences a perception is formed. In a working environment, this can be very calamitous.