Monday, November 8, 2010

First Impressions Last

Are you sometimes concerned about how people perceive you..? I know I am. This perception is especially crucial when in the company of strangers. People I am interacting with for the first time. It is important to me that I project the right image to people. Never denying my true self or who I am, by the way. I also try not to confuse a good image with the right image. What may be a good image, may not necessarily, be the right image, for me.

It is with this notion in mind that I was taken aback a few weeks ago when I met a particular gentleman to engage in a business transaction. Said gentleman was way older than I am. We were both casually dressed, but from the moment he opened his mouth, his speech was riddled with expletives. Seriously, his speech caught me off guard. And what he spoke about most of the time bordered on complaints, about life in general, and accentuated by foul language. Here is where I had a problem, he didn't even know me, was meeting me for the first time. Shouldn't there be a certain level of respect? I'm sure it is warranted, and that it goes both ways. Now I'm not saying that I have a consistently clean mouth, however I don't think you will find me amongst strangers letting off curse words just because I want to add something to my personality or even worse, trying to blend in. But I do mind my language because words go a long way. I like to think that based on my speech people would be interested in interacting with me on many more occasions. Just as much as a gentleman needs a clean and polished look. He should also strive for his character to be of the same quality. And yes, words can make or break, therefore by choosing them carefully you are saying that you are an individual who thinks before he speaks.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.


David said...

This is so true, a gentleman is not made so not only by his image but by his character. You can wear the finest suits, yet without class, dignity and tact, it means nothing. I also find that the more educated and intellectual an individual is, the less likely he is to use improper language.

While I think it is important to make sure people get the right impression of oneself, I think that a gentleman will show himself as such through and through no matter the situation or environment.

And as always, that outfit is very well done. The gray DB jacket works perfectly with navy pants and a white shirt and blue accessories.

spoozyliciouzz said...

David is absolutely right in everything he says.

As for your outfit, you´re looking very good!

Mxolisi Ngonelo said...

Thanks gents. David you're right, by all accounts, when you have character and class, no matter the situation, they will always chine through.

Of all things, I didn't want to come off as being judgemental.

Thank you for the vote of confidence.

Anonymous said...

i just found your blog, and it is pleasing to see a south african with so much style and refinement. i lived in south africa from 2007 -2009, so it always has a special place in my heart.

anyway, i think using foul language is simply a sign of stupidity. it shows that they lack the sophistication and vocabulary to choose a word appropriate to the situation.

Jonathan said...

I'm with you there, man. I recently started a new job, and I was genuinely surprised by my bosses' use of profanity, even in the workplace. While I can be as potty-mouthed as any other person, it really does grate in certain situations.

It shows a lack of respect for the listener, I think, because it says to the listener "I don't care if you think that I am crass," or more shortened, "I don't care what you think about me," or, even more shortened, "I don't care what you think."

I'm working in an office not in my native country, and there's an officemate of mine for whom English is a second language. To try to practice his slang, he occasionally uses profanity during business hours. I think it's my obligation to let him know what signal he's sending out.