Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The First Five Minutes


MARY KENNEDY, writing as Dr. Maggie Walsh from STAY TUNED for MURDER.


My producer, Vera Mae, says she can tell in the first thirty seconds whether or not someone is going to be a scintillating guest on my radio show, or dull as dirt. Vera Mae even has a T-shirt that says, "I always make snap judgments. It saves time."


I asked her what her secret was. She says it's a combination of observing their body language, their smile, their eye contact and their handshake. And of course her "gut instinct" which is legendary around WYME. This is an idea that's been around for a long time. Remember Julius Fast and his book on body language, How to Read a Person like a Book? And now we have Malcolm Gladwell and BLINK, explaining that we instinctively sum up a person and decide whether or not they are likable, trustworthy, someone we would want to know.


Do you find yourself doing this? Do you feel an immediate attraction (or aversion) to someone and you're not even sure where it comes from? Sometimes it all happens on an unconscious level, and as Malcom Gladwell says, "in the blink of an eye." Are you usually right or wrong?

12 comments:

  1. I have often become friends with someone I thought was annoying at first.

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  2. I find that I am a 'gut instinct' type of person. One of the people I love most in this world, my boss, is not. So she relies on me to be that person for her. She always shepherds interviewees past me in a calculatedly casual fashion (we know but they have no idea) for a "gut check."

    The few times she's ignored my advice the person has been gone in less than 6 months citing that they didn't feel like they fit for our team.

    I think this is a very real skill people possess and that other people can learn/train in themselves.

    I am wrong occasionally but right more often that not to chalk it up to statistics (which I do for a living so I would know) or coincidence.

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  3. I'm slowly learning from experience (and from my best friend, Willow and her I-told-you-so's) that handsome men are not necessarily good. Or even nice.

    Big sigh.

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  4. I tend to like everybody I meet right away, although I've occasionally had an instant gut-dislike for a person. Doesn't happen often, though. I have a best friend who is like Aimee. She's is spot-on with people right off the bat. Amazing how well she reads people - and how quickly.

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  5. Haylee, my creator, Mary Kennedy, has a piece she wrote for The Heartline Herald posted on her website (www.marykennedy.net) about "Bad Boys"--you might like to read it. They can be charming devils...Aimee and Betty, it sounds like your instincts are good and right on target. I always wonder why Madoff got away with what he did, for as long as he did!

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  6. I did not trust my sister's fiance, Craig, from the moment I met him. I try not to make snap judgments, but his behavior did nothing to change my mind. Turned out I was right about him.

    ~ Sophie Winston
    Domestic Diva Mysteries

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  7. Sophie, I hope your sister took your intuition seriously! (in time to stop the wedding, I mean.) Sometimes love is blind, to coin a cliche.

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  8. Maggie - I need someone like you or Vera Mae around. I'm one of those 'trust everyone' kind of people and it does not always work in my best interest.

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  9. I do sometimes make snap judgments about people. A lot of times I end up being wrong about them.

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  10. I'm almost always right. Almost. :)

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  11. I can sense a person's intent and when I get a bad vibe, I walk away.

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  12. Yes, vibes are really important, Dru, I know what you mean!Thank you so much, everybody, for visiting!

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