Frank wants to partner with me on some interesting projects. I’d like you to help me decide if I should work with him.

Rate him on a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being “absolutely yes” by using what I’m going to tell you about him.

I’ve checked Frank out thoroughly and I’ve discovered that he’s smart, influential, great with details, manipulative, articulate, and knows his way around finances.

So what’s your score for Frank?

If you’ve answered 4 or less, you’ve just experienced automatic vigilance. This is our innate tendency to notice negative social stimuli. I mentioned Frank was manipulative. Even if you didn’t consciously notice that particular word, you may respond to it in a negative way.

Action – What descriptive adjectives are negative for you? If you have a low opinion of someone, check to see how automatic vigilance may have influenced your judgment.

    4 replies to "Why Don’t I Like You?"

    • Leon

      It appears some of us have created historical negative patterns of automatic distrust which causes our automatic vigilance to grade people lower than others would, or lower than would be appropriate for the situation. This probably leads to missed opportunities

      • Nancy Morris

        Oh yes, this definitely leads to missed opportunities!

        These ‘gradings’ or impressions can become more conscious simply by questioning what it is we think we ‘believe’. Automatic vigilance is an innate tendency and not easily manipulated or influenced. However, by simply bringing awareness to how you may be ‘overestimating’ certain negative things, you can more consciously reduce its impact when it isn’t helpful.

        Thanks for your comment, Leon

    • Virginia

      Some Negative words are stronger than others, if Frank were lazy instead of manipulative I would give him a chance to prove he was not lazy but over-bearing or manipulative people are very difficult to work with in so many ways. I do believe in allowing people to prove what they are really like before I judge them, however, this is a reminder of how important it is to make a good first impression and strive to build a good reputation.

      • Nancy Morris

        Hi Virginia – your point is well made. Note that automatic vigilance is innate and we cannot stop it. We actually need automatic vigilance to help us spot potentially dangerous situations, so it’s a good thing. What happens though is that we do judge, unintentionally. Most people aren’t away of this innate tendency so hold judgments about others without ever questioning where it came from.

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