Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even …
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… First Impressions Part 2

All the way back in April I wrote an article about first impressions which can be found here. Unfortunately there are some new people about who clearly do not spend their days reading old copies of the View and thus have taken their first steps into the Realms with their foot in their mouths. Fear not, young plebs, for I have sage advice for you which might help you and your future in our lands.

First off you'll need to recognize that you've made a mistake. If you think you've done everything perfectly fine and have done nothing wrong then I can't help you. Understanding that you are not perfect and can improve upon something is usually the first step in becoming a better person in almost every circumstance. So man up, or woman up for you lovely ladies, and admit that you done mucked it up.

“But Zarine, I didn't muck it up....” Oh yes, my love, you certainly did. You see, when you first come into the Realms as a fresh adventurer you are somewhat like a child, and children should be seen and not heard. Observe, listen, and learn about the culture that you have found yourself in. Don't be that annoying tourist from another land who thinks that they know better than us. Be that guy or gal that soaks in a new environment and learns from it before they try and change it. All too soon you'll be more like a teenager with all kinds of wacky ideas and too many opinions on everything, but people might actually listen to you because you've paid your dues as a respectful observer. And make sure you get out all your good ideas during this time, because before you know it you'll be one of those whiny old people who hurt all the time and don't like change.

Do not think that I am telling you not to get involved. Getting involved will help you learn and grow within the community. You'll get to know people and better understand how to address them when giving an opinion or asking for assistance. But get involved with the understanding that you are new to the world and its peoples and don't instantly start disrespecting them and making baseless assumptions. Otherwise you are going to have a bad time. We do not take too kindly to people who speak first and think later, unless you've been around longer than dirt and then you can say whatever the heck you want no matter how dumb it is.

If you have come to terms with the fact that you have blundered, I am here to tell you how you can fix a bad first impression. The first thing you should know is that it is going to take some work. It takes approximately eight positive encounters to make up for a negative one.

The most important thing is to apologize. Don't over atone, that just gets weird, but a simple “sorry, I messed up and got off on the wrong foot,” can do wonders for repairing a damaged reputation. It shows that you understand your mistake and are willing to admit it. Most people will respect that and be a little more lenient in their grievances towards you.

The second most important thing is not to do it again. If you've just apologized for being a jerk, and then five minutes later you're a jerk again, now it's a pattern of behavior. It's not that you've given a bad first impression, you're just a jerk and likely always will be. When people say “bad” in this case they mean incorrect. If you repeat the action you are only proving that the first impression was the correct one and further cementing into people's minds that this is simply who you are. If it's not who you are, stop telling people that it is. If it is who you are, well, then I literally can't even help you.

Find a way to change our minds. We are likely never to reevaluate our impression of you on our own as that takes more energy than most of us want to put forth. So you will need to give us a reason to reevaluate and change our minds. Just make sure that what you do makes us actually want to change our minds and not just think even worse of you. Try doing the opposite of whatever you did the first time, and just remember that you'll have to do it quite a few times before we start to see that you aren't the bumbling idiot that you first appeared to be.

So you see, dear reader, it takes patience and understanding to overcome a bad first impression and not from everyone else but from you! You are the one who unimpressed us, after all. We've all been there and likely will be again at some point in our lives. No one is perfect all of the time and we all make mistakes. Some of us learn from them and some of us don't. Be the one who learns and eventually people will begin to see you for who you really are, and not that one instance of stupidity.

Whoooo Ashenmark Day!

See you next Tuesday.

Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.

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