So yesterday I realized--yet again--that I should trust my subconscious a lot more than I do. Basically, my subconscious said, "I told you so, moron...if you had only trusted me enough to listen the first time...!" All my first impressions of a certain situation that I've gathered over the past couple years were finally confirmed by a collection of facts. If only I had trusted my first impressions more...
It's like Malcolm Gladwell illustrates with story after story in his nonfiction book Blink: our "blink" first impressions are often more accurate than decisions or judgments made after long, deliberate thought. After reading Gladwell's book, I've been more aware of how many times I decide to just turn off that inner voice--the red-headed stepchild of my identity--and decide to weigh all considerations, coming to the less-worthy outcome.
Gladwell often shows how many times we see these first impressions as less valuable because we can't identify why we feel that way--only that we do. He gives the example of food critics who are experts in their field and can taste a cookie or cracker and can tell you which factory it was baked at, what ingredients were used, whether the ingredients were castoffs of another product... There's no hesitation for them to be able to identify why they feel certain ways about the cookie/cracker. Likewise, as an editor, I can identify why I don't think a book would do well or why I think it would, whereas a reader who hasn't had to verbalize or consider all the minute elements of story would just say that the story was slow or unengaging and that "I didn't like it."
Regardless of whether we can pin down why we get first impressions, I've realized more and more that the subconscious is sometimes more street-savvy than our conscious self. It's not afraid to say it how it is.