Friday, July 08, 2011

Of First Impressions

Actually, there's not much to say today. It's an in between day, if you know what I mean, although we'll be heading over to Hobbit Cottage this afternoon for its inspection which I'm expecting to go well, what with nearly everything having been gutted then redone up to code and all.

We'll meet Cher, our oft-mentioned real estate agent over there, too. Did I ever tell you how we first met? No, I'm thinking not. Way back in 2005 I took a typical Sunday afternoon stroll there in the 'burbs and discovered an open house upon my very favorite whisk-you-back-in-Time street. Well, usually I don't do open houses alone since real estate agents, generally, intimidate me, especially tall ones who--rather than bend toward you when speaking--stand upright, peering down their noses at we short folks.

I hate that.

But there before me was a chance to see the inside of yet one more old house so I took a deep breath and stepped inside. And Cher was there. Though speaking to another agent (it appeared) she stopped, greeted me warmly and encouraged me to walk around upstairs and anywhere else I wished. So I did what I love best--strolled around time-softened rooms while imagining families who'd lived and loved there in the past century.

Returning downstairs, I wandered into the kitchen and was instantly charmed by the back part of it which resembled more a butler's pantry (many of you would have adored all those tall white cabinets and the large window looking out upon the backyard). Then as I stepped toward the front door, I told Cher I loved kitchens like those and she said she did, too. In fact, the more we talked, the more it appeared we had in common and how nice that Cher was just a bit taller than me and did none of the talking-down-your-nose stuff. No, Cher was a rare agent--warm, personable, human. And as we later discovered, the best darn agent in our whole area.

And when I told her that Tom and I often considered moving out-of-state, she gave me a 'ticket' type thing which would entitle us to a free evaluation of our home by her. I told her I'd hold onto it and would call her if we ever decided to sell our house.

Two years later, that's what I did. And when, over the phone, I explained where I'd met her, she said she did, in fact, remember me. Which was sweet, because really, I'm an extremely forgettable person when you first meet me. So average. Honestly. But I loved how Cher said she remembered me (whether she did or not, it was sweet to say she had). She soon came to our house there in the suburbs and proceeded to rather-quickly sell it for us. Later when we found our farmhouse, we asked her to work with us and she proved to be a big help, even giving us a bird feeder for finches upon the finalization of the sale.

And throughout these last three years we've often exchanged notes and cards by way of snail mail. Since that first day back in 2005 at the open house I recognized a kindred spirit in Cher and she's been that and a blessing ever since.

And because I nearly always include a lesson with these posts, here is today's: What kind of first impression do we give? Do we intimidate others or do we make them feel at ease? Do we do the looking-down-the-nose thing or do we ask questions, making others feel we're interested in knowing them better? Or are we so shy that we say nothing, ask nothing, causing people to feel uncomfortable, as though we disapprove of them?

Are we more concerned with our own appearance than the other person's comfort?

This is one of those 'little things' which I feel is huge, actually. And trust me, God still works on me often in this area, being a recovering I'm-shy-and-it's-all-about-me addict. How we treat others is extremely important to Him and He still whispers it should be equally important to me, as well.


"Shyness is pride in disguise."  ... copied

(For a more detailed explanation of that, go here.)


"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."  ... from Philippians 2


Anonymous said...

Shyness can also be from fear...

I still find it hard in ways...though I am not as I used to be...and I think my kids wish I was silent...I do enjoy talking to folks is hard to know what kind of reception one will receive too.

I do not know if I would have been shy by nature from birth, but in my home growing up, it was best and safest to be silent and quiet. You are right about first impressions based on how someone looks never know when you will meet a gem! One needs to watch for opportunities to reach out and encourage other people...those come in the most unexpected places I have found.

Blessings on all the house doings,
Elizabeth in NC

Debra said...

Elizabeth--yes, exactly! Shyness can be from fear and what matters most is just *what* are we afraid of? Are we afraid of looking foolish, not-as-smart-as? Of coming-up blank and not knowing what to say? Of exposing something about ourselves we'd rather others not know?

The bad news? Each of those is a form of pride.

There's so much more to this when you spend a lot of time looking into it. One day I just decided I was sick of being shy and missing-out on the best things in life so I asked God to help me in this area.

And well, He began with my pride and years later is still chipping away at it. Ouch!

Thanks for commenting....Debra

Anonymous said...

I agree with each of the situations described above, dear Debra...but there is more...much more...but each life has different experiences and we are all influenced by that.

Elizabeth in NC

Debra said...

Elizabeth-- That's what I stated:

"There's so much more to this when you spend a lot of time looking into it."

The main thing? That we don't make excuses for our shyness or for any of our shortcomings/attitudes/sins. That we don't blame other people or our past, for that's how we get stuck and never grow beyond where we are. Always, God has something better for us, but only when we line-up our way of thinking and believing with His.

At least, that's how I see it. :)

Blessings, Debra