What are the first things you notice about people? | INFJ Forum

What are the first things you notice about people?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Soulful, Jan 17, 2009.

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  1. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    Note: I have tried to be respectful with the terms I've used - so if, unknowingly, I have used an inappropriate term, no offense or disrespect intended. And please feel free to let me know.

    What do you notice first when you see a person?

    Their sex, their race, their age, their body size, their physical ability/disability, the "niceness" of their clothes - i.e. poor, average, wealthy, their style of dress (including religious outfit, skimpy clothing, bulky, average, artistic, etc.)

    So let's say you see someone who has several of those characteristics - someone who is female, black, very well toned, 50 year old, dressed in expensive-looking attire - what would you notice first? That it is a woman or that it is a black person? That she looks rich, fit, or in her 50s?

    Let's say you see a child dressed in faded raggy clothes, unkept hair, white skin, rail-thin, girl, happy smile - what would stand out most?

    What if it was someone in a scooter or wheelchair - do you think that would catch your attention before it registered whether they were female, male, black/white/latino(a)/aboriginal/oriental asian/south-east asian/middle-eastern/etc, rich, poor, thin, overweight/obese, and so on?

    Impressions often occur within a split-second, sometimes it can be hard to know what we tune into first, and what seems to "take precedence" over what. Anyways, I'm curious and interested to hear what you think.
     
    #1 Soulful, Jan 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2009
  2. Silently Honest

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    I kinda take everything in at once...
     
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  3. OP
    Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I feel like I do too. It's the split-second thing.. But I think that if we were able to slow those split-seconds down and tap into our awareness, certain things would perhaps take precedence. I wonder if sometimes we have those experiences within the split-second. Are there times when we focus more-so on something specific?

    And if we do - what does it mean? Does that signal a level of discomfort or intrigue within us? I know we tend to notice novelty in our environment... and sometimes people pick out the things they don't accept.. and sometimes we focus on something because we're intrigued and interested..
     
  4. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    Firstly, Soulful...

    Very interesting topic, introduced with admirable sensitivity. Love it :)

    I think my first impression of people has evolved with time to be primarily instinctual. Barring anything really attention-grabbing which might lead me to ask a million questions in my mind (obvious injury, disability, etc.), I think I unconsciously assess body language, facial expression, and the look in their eyes (if possible) first, before I see the rest of it (gender, shape, color, attire, etc.). To be quite honest, my assessment is probably based on whether I feel this person is likely to pose any kind of threat to me or my son (who is often with me).

    I've lived in a lot of places over the course of my life. Urban, rural, and everything in between, and the urban living (when I often had to commute on foot and by bus to/from work alone at night - particularly in Manhattan and Los Angeles) assessing threat was key, and is now automatic.

    I've also had experience being accosted (and twice attacked) and no two of them were the same (having been both male and female, white and black, young and old, superficially affluent or not) so gender, race, etc. really don't factor into my initial impression based on my past experiences.
     
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  5. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Slowing it down to one snapshot at a time, that is interesting. I'm trying to picture in my mind what I would notice if a black woman in a wheelchair appeared in front of me.
    I'd notice the wheelchair first because of eye levels, then I'd notice the person's eyes, their sex, race and then everything else after that.
     
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  6. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    When walking around in public, the first thing I notice is appereance, and how they present themselves. This strongly relates to my "reading" of people so a milisecond after that I gather information what they are like a person, and there personality (of course I am not always right). The two go hand in hand. I also freeqently wonder about their past, what they have gone through, what they have learned, where they have been ect.

    I have noticed something with me though. If there is someone who I find extremely attractive, I will quickly scan them over for other physical attriubutes that I find highly attractive, and then fail to really scan them, or it is just very delayed. Same goes for someone with an "interesting" vibe. I will try to put words to it and become very focused on them and fail to dig deeper.

    All of this is very disqurete and I have yet to meet someone who can tell that I do this.
     
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  7. MoneyJungle

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    I tend to notice clothes, race, gender and size all at the same time. I suppose clothes are the first thing I give any thought to as they tend to be a fairly accurate representation of their mood. It is not so much the niceness of their clothes so much as the presentation of what they have on (tucked, untucked, pressed, wrinkly, etc.) I'm sure this is a result of being in the military and enduring personal inspections. I try not to judge people based on their appearance but immediate impressions are pretty involuntary.
     
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  8. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    I tend to look at attributes that can indicate whether they are 'friends', someone I can feel comfortable around or 'enemies', someone who makes me withdraw inwardly and make me feel distress.

    I notice the persons mood and bodylanguage. Generally their behaviour from a perceptive point of view, merely observing the cheer beauty that can be expressed that way. Then I focus on the eyes and face gestures, again to interpret if they are e.g. tired or happy through smiling: anything to indicate how they are feeling. I often search for something to relate to.

    When it comes to attractiveness if these mentioned above are possitive and upbeat then the rest such as clothes, will turn to be perceived as brilliant even if they wouldn't have been otherwise. Usually I don't pay that much attention to the clothes unless they are extreme of some sort, same with body type and handicaps.
     
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  9. Lurker

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    Good point that.

    I tend to subconsciously notice what is most obviously different about them and me, are they considerably older or younger? Does their dress make a statement? Do they have any obvious racial or cultural differences? And so on.

    I like differences, that’s why these things grab my attention first.
     
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  10. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    I know its odd, but I notice the hair first. Don't know why, i just do. It then quickly goes sex, facial features, race, style, then the rest., I have to observe them for at least a few second to make personality judgments.
     
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  11. Ender612

    Ender612 Community Member

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    This is really tough, it depends on the person...and it's different between men and women. Also there is usually a subconscious noticing and that differs from my conscious noticing. Consciously, I usually notice the face, and it's shape, square...round...oval..etc. Then the neck (or lack thereof) to shoulders, down to waist (general body shape now). I do notice belly spilling over jeans if it's obvious, but I guess the general thread of my conscious noticing has to do with answering HOW the person would roll in a jiu-jitsu match (obsessed I know).

    There is a subconscious noticing, and that has to do with body language, posture, fidgeting (or lack thereof), how they're moving...if they appear threatened by me. So subconsciously, I'm trying to answer..."is this person a threat to me?" Also subconsciously, I may notice if something is different. If there was a black woman in a wheelchair, what I would notice first would depend on where I was. If I was in Tokyo, I might notice that she was black first, then the wheelchair...but what I noticed first would change based on what was to be expected, this is more a subconscious thing I think. My subconscious says different!! pay attention!

    Things I noticed with someone I recently met: (in order of noticing as best as I can remember)

    moose socks
    brown hair
    cool necklace
    light eyes
    freckles
    open face
    nice smile
    honest smile
    ready smile
    light voice
    airy voice
    pretty eyes
    shorter than me
    soft eyes
    in shape (different from muscly, bulky, tiny, and skinny)
    nice teeth
    green shirt.

    I noticed other things, like mannerisms in between some of the other observations.
     
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  12. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Boobs.
     
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  13. Ender612

    Ender612 Community Member

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    What if it's a baby...or a kid...or a really skinny dude...? Or...what if it's a walking, talking, flying horse...? (methinks i needs the sleep)
     
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  14. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    Hehehe. You're funny :becky:
     
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  15. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    They don't have boobs so I don't notice them. :thumb:
     
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  16. HolySmoke

    HolySmoke endeavoring to persevere

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    HA, Quin. My husband's answer was their hands ! He is so full of bullschmit ! :)

    I notice people's expressions first. How they react to the moment. If they are sending goodness vibes, I take in more expression and details unless I sense that I can't trust them on something. If not, I talk until we find some common ground, then I can bare eye lock. Eyes tell me everything and I don't always want to see what they have to say. I don't always want to tell them what am able to say either.

    Good question, though. No wonder socializing can be such a bear for me. It's like trying to dodge raindrops in a rainstorm.
     
  17. NaeturVindur

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    so... your world is one of blurs and breasts? interesting... though that must be every straight mans dream (or life) at least some of the time, if not all.
     
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  18. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Hah I wish!

    ...but seriously aside from certain attractive features on females I probably take in a rough image straight away, so nothing specific strikes me first. One thing that often catches my attention is contrast, light eyes with dark hair or dark eyes with light hair, that sort of thing.
     
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  19. Ender612

    Ender612 Community Member

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    I like trying to dodge raindrops in a storm...I don't do it in public, but sometimes, when it starts to sprinkle, I make believe I have superpowers and that I can move through slow-time and make the raindrops miss... Is that strange?
     
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  20. Lurker

    Lurker Has nothing to destroy
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    Remind us again why you used to think you were an INFJ? :D
     
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