We all do it: you meet someone, and in the first few seconds you know if you like the person or not. But based on what do we make this decision?
The answer is projection. Based on our experiences we project what we know of other people how we want to feel about the person standing in front of us today.
We can’t help it. It’s the way our brain is wired – even to the core of our most inner and animalistic part of our brain: the amygdala (also known as the reptile brain).
But before we exclude ourselves as someone that is labeled as ‘helpless’ in the context of perception and projection, ask yourself what you CAN do to be open for meetings with new people.
Yes, what we perceive is based upon past experiences. But now that you know this, you can make a conscious decision to put aside the prejudice when acquainting with someone you’ve never met before, and start being curious. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat – it gave it more opportunities to explore the world.
If you find yourself projecting or judging someone you don’t know yet – or even someone you do know, and triggers you in their behavior or speech – make a conscious decision (after contacting your coach to work on that trigger) to be as curious as possible to find out more about that person.
Not only will you find that your judgement or projection is inaccurate, you also might find a person that is interesting and worth making a friend, colleague or business partner.
Thirdly, by being curious in an authentic way, the other person will feel you are willing to invest your time in them, and that results in them opening up even more, enabling your contact to be even higher in terms of quality and pleasure.
Whether you decide to feel great or bad about something or someone – you are right. How you perceive is how you project. Both towards yourself as well as to others. Ask yourself: Is this what I’m feeling about (…) really true?
So, perception is projection. Yes – but you always have a choice to decide whether you want to stick to your prejudice or to remain open for the person behind your projection. In the end, that becomes your new perception.
How do you remain open for new people you meet or what are your most common opinions when you meet someone for the first time? Share your comment below.
To your succes,
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