There are no presumptions made, no inferences drawn; a blank slate. Or tabula rasa, if you wanna get pretentious, though I'm probably already there.
I stare at them directly, eyes empty, waiting to be filled by their personality.
Admittedly, I draw judgment after the initial impression. But I provide a decent filter of skepticism, giving room for the person to break any assumptions.
This is the blueprint to my system of first impressions.
While this is all meticulously crafted for optimal objectivity, what I'm unsure of is the incentive. Whether or not this is absolutely sincere, or if it's because of an underlying condition.
I think it's the latter.
I have an unyielding thirst for approval. I'm a predator of attention, endlessly hunting through a winding forest of philosophical and psychological thought. And people are the prey.
This implies manipulation, and I'm well aware I'm capable of that. However, I've never intentionally practiced it. And while I do seek approval, it is not without some reciprocation if/when I do receive it.
My kindness and willingness to connect is not entirely generated by my propensity for attention-whoring, however. There is some choice being practiced here.
Why? Simple. I sometimes find myself being greatly annoyed at the ignorance of others. I can craft a drink with care and precision, then make eye contact and gently exclaim a sincere "Thanks" and "Nice day". And yet some of them can't scrounge for a few words to reply. No, this isn't all of them, and perhaps not even the majority of them, but it's enough to ingratiate some tumorous hatred of them in my calculated way of being.
I've made the choice not to encourage this side. At least, not ultimately.
There is a hole here, though. It's possible my said "choice" in the matter is still subject to my psychological shortcoming; that, in conjunction with the rules of approval-seeking, the optimal route is to be consistently kind and upstanding.
But ironically, as you'll read tomorrow, I find myself bitching in a way that's not so golden.