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Are you too hard to impress?

When I was in grad school I used to have an attitude about meeting people. It probably stemmed from feeling inferior, but it was a kind of "guilty until proven impressive" one. Until you show me you're impressive, I'll assume you're not.

This didn't work for me. It kept me from appreciating, connecting to, and learning from people. Now I actively look for things to be impressed about. Not the generic "That's great!" type, but genuine respect of people and their accomplishments. My thought is that we don't acknowledge these enough, and - if you look around your personal and professional circles - many people really are impressive!

So my tip is, Come prepared to be impressed. Show active interest in others. If you explore deeply enough, I bet you find something amazing in there.

What do you think? Are you too hard to impress? Are most people unimpressive? Does it change the nature of a relationship to be impressed? Do you feel you need to be acknowledged as impressive in return?

Reader Comments (7)

I love this positive approach you're describing. Everyone does have something valuable to offer so expecting to find that seems grounded in reality.

I have an opposite problem. I'm easily impressed by people because I'm so curious and I can easily find the gems in everyone.

So for me, I've had to work on holding myself back so that I can stay focused on what matters most at the moment. For instance, at a networking event, I can have a meaningful and interesting conversation with nearly anyone I meet, but I need to focus in more on why I came to the event. Good to think about.


March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVal Nelson

Thanks, Val. Good balance there.

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

Though setting high standards makes every day worth looking forward to, it sometimes prevents us from appreciating a situation or the people around us. Learning how to appreciate both exceptional and seemingly common situations/people is sometimes the key to increased fulfillment. http://budurl.com/jhcj helped put things in perspective.

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersugarchukri
I am a hard to impress guy. It's because I usually look with great excitement when going at different events, but many times I return disappointed as I learned almost nothing vital to my interest... I feel happy for others when they accomplish something important to them, but that doesn't necessarily mean I would burst in happiness if I were to achieve what they did.

There is an up-side to this: when I put my effort and skills into doing something, others are very impressed by my work! But it's a problem when looking for team-players into a common project... it goes by the saying "If you want a job done right, do it yourself!". My expectations are high and I demand the same from my co-workers; some will hate me, other will appreciate what they learn by working along with me.

In the end, I don't know what to conclude. I will try to do my best and hopefully others, which are as hard to impress, will notice me.
March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
Thanks for sharing your thinking, Alex.
March 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell
Sometimes people are thinking too much on how to impress someone. Don't act too much because you may look more stupid. Just be yourself, be polite and show respect to them for them to respect you too. Now you're impressive.
January 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersengehalmen.no
Well put, sengehalmen. Thank you.
January 27, 2015 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell

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