A new study has found that people almost always underestimate how much of a good first impression they've made on someone. Erica Boothby, first author of the study said, “Our research suggests that accurately estimating how much a new conversation partner likes us-even though this a fundamental part of social life and something we have ample practice with- is a much more difficult task than we imagine.” “We call this a ‘liking gap,’ and it can hinder our ability to develop new relationships,” Margaret S. Clark, co-author of the study explained.
“The liking gap works very differently. When it comes to social interaction and conversation, people are often hesitant, uncertain about the impression they’re leaving on others, and overly critical of their own performance,” said one of the researchers. “In light of people’s vast optimism in other domains, people’s pessimism about their conversations is surprising,” he added. “They seem to be too wrapped up in their own worries about what they should say or did say to see signals of others’ liking for them, which observers of the conservations see right away,” Clark noted.
“We’re self-protectively pessimistic and do not want to assume the other like us before we find out if that’s really true,” Clark said. Stay tuned for more updates.