Snap Judgments

I have a tendency to make some snap judgments based on face and body language, especially when it comes to men – a sort of active threat assessment.

Today while out for my early morning walk I passed a ruddy, middle-aged jogger twice my size and he greeted me with a hearty good morning and in those few seconds my brain had assessed
but I said ‘good morning’ in response and kept going. I settled by the creek to watch the water, which is something of a meditative experience, and a couple of minutes after I’d arrived the same jogger appeared and made a point of talking to me as he jogged past.

I was left feeling glad that my early morning walks are done for the time being anyway, due to the children returning to school tomorrow, otherwise I’d have had to stop going to my favorite spot. Not because I felt he would ever be an active threat to me, but because his potential presence during my walk would always leave a bad taste in my mouth.

I don’t feel bad about reactions like this. I feel like I actually have pretty good intuition and I do believe sometimes you can tell personality traits based on something as simple as micro expressions and attendant body language. If someone’s presence is making me feel uncomfortable, I don’t feel the need to try and overcome that reaction.

I’m perfectly willing to revise my opinion should I be thrown in with someone and get a chance to see what they’re actually like. But when it comes to interactions with strangers, I’m fine going with my gut.

One thought on “Snap Judgments

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