They say not to judge a book by its cover, but what if that may actually be the worst advice?

Studies indicate that you will know if you want to be friends with someone or not within 2 minutes of meeting them. This applies to other various scenarios. Think about this: if you can tell in 2 minutes whether you like someone or not (hence the term, “first impressions”), that seems to imply that though you are not giving them the opportunity to show who they are as a person (and remember, you may still become friends!), you can technically judge a book by its cover. Let’s summarize this.

Appearance Is 80%

     Ever meet someone that you just know is not a good person? Ever watch a talk show and know if the person is lying or not? It is true that your appearance says a lot about who you are. Remember that our personalities often project themselves into our physical appearance. If you are a risk-taker, things like visible tattoos or accessories like chains indicate a person’s dangerous (and probably careless) personality. That is the only example I can think of here, but there is more to the equation than simply outer appearance.

Body Language

You can tell everything about a person by studying their body posture. Confidence is denoted with proud shoulders; shyness is indicative when you walk with your hands touching your sides rather than extending out the standard 2-3 inches; someone whose vocal tone shifts in pitch or frequency can expose a liar. Body language is 80% more important for the way you judge someone, and only 20% is based on the actual contact you have with said individual. An example is someone who talks fast (this indicates confidence and creativity!)

Books Can Be Judged

In summary, you can judge a book by its cover, and that is not a bad thing. Remember that we all possess a primordial brain structure (often referred to as the “reptilian brain” because it is basic to the point of an alligator or a snake) that functions on instinct. Often you will hear that someone (including you) experiences “red flags” or warning bells when in a certain situation or around a certain person, yet there is no direct research on this topic. However, it can be insinuated that this is based on our mind’s ability to tell just everything about a person by mere appearance, vocal patterns, the wording they use, and body posture.

Don’t Write Them Off!

This is not to say that you should live by this principle. Learn to ignore the occasional perception of someone and give them a chance to show who they really are. Remember that a visible tattoo can indicate danger…but it can also indicate success (successful people are perhaps the only individuals who are established enough to get a visible tattoo, as they work for themselves and have no one to impress). High pitch in voice can mean that person is lying…or it can simply be a personality trait that was passed on by family or that person’s peers. Recognize that yes, you can judge a book by its cover, but you do need to read at least a couple of pages before deciding not to buy it!

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