How to figure out everything about a person from a first impression

First impressions are always critical—mostly because it’s the absolute earliest you can start making subjectively biased assessment about others! Think about it, it’s way easier for me to generalize based on initial appearances than it is for me to actually talk to someone. I’m a true paradigm of efficiency—I weed out the ones I perceive as boring, pretentious, or ugly without ever wasting a single breath. If my strategy were a new product, it’d be lauded for its effectiveness, but, ironically, quickly stereotyping still carries a negative stigma in our counterintuitive society.

Sure, workplace inclusiveness seminars and college orientation lectures on diversity preach keeping an open mind and getting to know everyone you possibly can. But, really, if I spent my days small talking with likely-forgettable people, when would I find the time to lie on my couch in the dark for hours, home alone, eating leftover pizza and watching Netflix?

It boils down to being able to make broad, sweeping statements about an entire individual off as little information as possible. Say you spot a guy wearing ripped sweatpants and sandals sitting outside of your building. Immediately, and solely based off his appearance, you’re suspecting he’s a hippie-type, a homeless-type, or some sort of unemployable hybrid. You, on the other hand, are an individual with precious time and no desire to hear a longwinded retelling of his life story, which is a non-consensual approach frequently utilized by both hippies and homeless. So, rationally, you swiftly saunter past, now knowing your day is richer for having avoided that potential exchange.

Of course there’s a slim chance that overly-comfortable stranger was the World’s Most Interesting Man out and about on his laundry day, but if you’re one who likes ridiculous odds like that, well, you’re going to waste a lot of time regrettably conversing with regrettable people and waste a metric-butt-ton of money on scratch-off lottery tickets.

Take this snap judgment tactic anywhere. Really, everyone does it on some level, even if they won’t admit it. A guy notices a girl’s sorority letters and instinctually applies any house reputations to her and adds the fact that she almost-certainly has a penchant for teen TV dramas set in beach communities. Attracted, he walks over, gets her attention, and delivers a flawless pickup line that contains not one but two Laguna Beach references.

The girl laughs, but she turns him away and immediately thinks, “Yeah, you know, he was cute, funny, and I would let him buy me a drink, but he’s got kinda fucked up teeth. I’m guessing he doesn’t come from money, or at least a family with the money to afford braces. Seriously, you know, even if he’s rich now, I’m totally more into old money guys these days.”

With these methods, it’s a given you’ll effectively remove most of a population from consideration upon first glace. When I walk in and scan a new locale, my mind will just race with thoughts like, “Oh, that guy’s wearing a fedora and a bolo tie? I’m suspecting his personality just isn’t interesting enough by itself,” or “Is that gross girl vomiting into a purse?” or “Wait, who the shit just spoke ill about the movie Good Burger? There’s some disgusting fuck here who can’t appreciate the finer things, like fun-filled, Sinbad-tastic, action comedies that show the perils of big business.”

In the end, embrace it; there’s a whole world out there waiting to be judged.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most Thursdays. Look for more of his writing, his archive, and his updates at or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.