Reddit user Dizzy-Effort-1375 asked: 'What was the worst first impression you ever had with someone?'
We can all agree that first impressions are important. No matter what may happen after that first encounter, the first impression has a way of lingering.
But some bad first impressions are absolute deal-breakers. No matter how kind or awesome a person might seem, there's really no coming back from that...
Redditor Dizzy-Effort-1375 asked:
"What was the worst first impression you ever had with someone?"
Know Your Place
"When I went before the Judge, I was drunk and argued with him."
"That earned me 10 extra days for contempt of court."
"Fortunately, I'm now six years sober."
Cruelty Is Unattractive
"I met a girl at work. I thought she was cute until she bragged about purposefully hitting a bird with her truck because 'birds are stupid.'"
"There's nothing quite like some animal cruelty to kill your attraction level."
Know-It-Alls Not Welcome
"A family friend wanted to introduce her new boyfriend to her friend group."
"The dude was a know-it-all. He talked over everybody, was very condescending, and was just a rude jerk."
"We gave him a do-over and he was even worse the second time."
"That was over 15 years ago and they're still together. I don't see my friend much anymore."
How Rude, Indeed
"I went into a dealership to support my wife as she shopped for her car. A skeezy salesman came up, introduced himself to me, and immediately acted all buddy-buddy with me, and started calling me by my first name. He never acknowledged my wife."
"I told him she was actually the one car shopping, and he barely batted an eye and kept trying to sell to me."
"I politely reminded him, and he still refused to deal with her."
"We walked right out without a word. F**k that guy. And f**k Bob HowardToyota in North Oklahoma City."
"More like 'Bob Howrude Toyota in North Oklahoma City'!"
Stop Micro-Managing Me
"I was 19 years old and just starting my first real full-time job. I was taken around by the foreman and introduced to my new co-workers."
"All was well until I was introduced to Walter, the resident old pr*ck, who was to be my supervisor. He took one look at me and said, 'When are you quitting?'"
"I never even got a chance. He rode my a** every day. He repeatedly told the boss I was no good and I should find another job."
"He got fired two months later for being a d**k to everyone. I lasted 36 years."
He Probably Thinks The Moon Landing Was a Hoax, Too.
"I had to pick up a new coworker to drive to the location we'd be working for the week. After talking about the job for about 25 minutes, he asked, 'So what do you think about 9/11?'"
"I knew it was going to be a long week."
"I said the most non-committal thing I could imagine because we still had hours in the car. 'It was a thing that happened.'"
"He rolled his eyes and said, 'Oh, so you think it happened.'"
The Impression That Sticks
"I was dating this girl in another town and I was there visiting her. We were walking around downtown and these six or seven guys cornered me in a dark parking lot."
"This one guy started shoving me, going on about how I was 'in his town' and he should kick my face in for being where I shouldn't."
"I was so p**sed. If he didn't have six other guys with him, it would've gone down very differently. He really embarrassed me in front of my girl. Thankfully, the cops showed up before it escalated though, with those 6 other guys there... I might be dead."
"20 years later, he married my sister. He's actually a really great guy, a great husband, and a great father to my nieces and nephew... but I still have a hard time getting past that first encounter. I HATE the fact that I have to think of him as a decent person."
The Worst Priorities
"I'm a nurse and when I worked on a ward for the elderly, I had to call and ask the family of a very lovely lady who was dying to come and see her."
"They only lived a few miles away from the hospital but took seven hours to arrive. By that time, the lady had passed away."
"I had to tell the family as soon as they arrived. I expected tears and sadness, but the daughter only said, 'It's okay. Mum had a great life insurance policy.'"
"No tears. No upset. They were all smiling and trying to hide it. I hated them."
That Hidden Sense of Humor
"My best friend. We met in middle school and she’s blonde, gorgeous, and seemed super stuck up when I first met her. Obviously, I made assumptions about her."
"As it turns out, she’s super socially awkward, and once I got to know her, I found out that she has a super bizarre sense of humor (which I love), but she doesn’t show it to strangers."
"20 years later and we’re still best friends."
The Entitled Parker
"I came to work one day when I knew a new person was starting. In the employee parking area was a car I'd never seen before using up two spaces."
"My first thought was, 'She's one of THOSE people.'"
"And she was."
Troubling At Best
"I met a woman who went on to defend torture at length. Even when her arguments were debunked, she was still in favor of it."
Just So Humble
"A new hire I was supposed to train, let's call him Chad, because that's his name, came in on day one and said during introductions, 'Some people say they're a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none; not me, I'm a master at everything I touch.'"
"And that was that, instant dislike. He was gone the next day, lol (laughing out loud)."
The Teen Cringe Is Real
"For me? I was 13, my brother brought home some college roommates with no warning, and I was (apparently) having a bad enough hair day to literally dive behind our couch to hide from them."
"My mom called me to come introduce myself, and I continued to hide, but when my mom sent my little sisters to find me, I was worried I’d get found, so I popped up out of nowhere and said hi, still standing behind the couch."
"To this day, my brother's roommates said that was one of the funniest things they’d ever experienced, lol (laughing out loud), and one of my cringiest memories. Haha!"
No Point of Reference
"I guess it wasn't really bad, but it was weird."
"I was getting ready for work, went outside for a smoke, and my upstairs neighbor said 'Hey,' from her balcony."
"She wanted to introduce me to her visiting sister, so I said 'Hey there, how's it going,' and pointed at my name tag while saying, 'I'm Bob, of course.'"
"The sister looked at me a bit weird, but I didn't think much of it."
"Then I went back in to finish getting ready and realized I did not in fact have my work shirt on yet, so there was no name tag. So... as far as that lady knew, I just said my name and randomly pointed at my manboob. Like, 'Hey, I'm Bob... check THIS out.'"
"I mean, you can't go back and explain at that point. I have no idea what she thought of me but I am guessing it was somewhere between moron and weirdo, and I never tried to find out."
The Lie of First Impressions
"It was an old school friend's partner I'd never met before. My friend's parents emigrated in the late 1960s and we were penpals after she went to New Zealand."
"Her partner was coming over alone for three weeks for some research to do with his MA at Otago University in Dunedin, and I said he could stay with us. This was back in the 90s."
"When he turned up at our door, he was in shorts and a vest and waving a bottle of spirits in one hand and a skateboard under the other arm. He was heavily tattooed (including his face) and dreadlocked."
"I maintained a friendly smile, but my heart did sink, I can't lie."
"I was so very, very wrong. He's a brilliant bloke. I didn't know he was half Maori and had never encountered Maori tattoos before. The spirits were for us (he's teetotal) and he was a great house guest."
"He always cleaned the bath after he used it, bought food and cooked really brilliant meals, very funny, the cats loved him, he took the dog for walks (who spent about three weeks gazing adoringly at him and slept at his feet) the kids and my husband loved him."
"He taught my kids the Haka. My kids got major kudos because the cool Maori skateboarder was staying at their house."
"When he left, he gave us a beautiful framed drawing he'd done of a native NZ bird on a Manuka shrub as a thank-you present."
"It taught me an important lesson. First impressions can be very misleading. I wish he'd been here for more than three weeks (although he's visited since)."
For the first impressions that were genuinely terrible, it's clear why these Redditors would not want to continue interacting with the people involved, or how they would not be surprised by people not wanting to interact with them.
But there are also reminders here of how first impressions, however lasting, can be wrong, and the relationship beyond the first impression can be wonderful if we manage to look past it.