Someone's personality, current situation, or the way they present themselves all influence the way someone thinks about another when meeting them for the first time. Due to some of these contributing factors, judgments can be wrong.
If all friendships were based upon first impressions, there would be a lot less of them in the world. First impressions are often the worst means of judging a person because it's not until you get to really know a person, that you are better equipped to understand what kind person they truly are, and really know the individual based on real values, rather than their first impression, or "book cover".
My parents always said "never judge a book by its cover, especially regarding people", and it's true.
In my case, the cover is not necessarily meaning the appearance, but the first impression of another person. Like the cover of a book, first impressions are not always as appealing as what is really there. It's not until after you start "reading", or get to know someone, that you really find out that what you see is not always what you get. Different situations and presentations of a person make first impressions often the worst means of judging people.
Your first impression of someone is not suitable because you do not know of the situation they may be in. When seeing or meeting someone new, you have no idea the kind of day, difficulties or kind of disappointments that person may be experiencing. They may have had a rough morning, may have recently lost someone, or could be somewhere new and yet still have to deal with the routines and stresses of going throughout their day.
All of these situations can create a barrier between themselves and others, and setting off a good impression is probably not at the top of their list of important things to do. The way someone presents themselves doesn't always suit their personality and show who they are.
Judging by impressions
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;" (Luke 6:37)
I feel like as Christians, we are bad at saying, "I'm not trying to judge, but..." When you see someone with full body tattoos and piercings, whats the first thing you think of? When you see a lady with rainbow hair, what do you say to yourself? Or what do you whisper to your friend next to you? Why is it so hard for one to train their mind not to rush to rash judgments about one another? Heck, I do it on a daily.
We look and study those around us because we live in a society where danger is literally everywhere. On the news daily there's another shooting, another rape case, another robbery. When will it all stop? And I feel as though, especially because I am a women we are taught to always be on the lookout, to never ride in an uber alone, to take self defense classes, and to not dress in a way that will capture others attention. We are constantly studying those around us for a danger factor.
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
I think this generation is bad at judging based off of appearances, as the media is always promoting "beauty is success."
First impressions matter, but so does finding out what's within. The man walking towards you decked out in tattoos and piercings that you instantly judged, could be a Christian, just like you, yet because of his outward appearance you were quick to judge.
We are all different and none of us are perfect, remember the famous, "Do unto others as you would have them do you?"