SITE: Aphorism looong list

◆ Understanding How Words Work“(Scroll to ‘Language’)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
REVIEW Intro in Part 1 

11. “First impressions are the most important.”
❤️ YES – It’s necessary – in business, in social settings & in casual public situation. It matters when we need to convince someone of our value in order to get something we need from them. Or, it matters when we want someone new to get to know us, so they won’t be scared off. It can be good for our self-esteem to put our best foot forward….
ARTICLE: “A second chance to make the Right Impression”

AND Yes, a bad first impression can potentially cause a permanent loss.
EXP: What if you meet me for the first time – say on a job, at a party or other group – when I’m having a bad week, am ill or going thru a painful time, when I’m frantic, angry, down…. so I sound like a lunatic – but it’s not who I really am most of the time?

You’ll go away thinking “They’re a crazy person / how obnoxious / I don’t want to be around that!!!” That’s sad but understandable. It’s an unfortunate interaction that can’t be salvaged. So you will miss out on my ‘normal’ wonderful, interesting self – just like it’s happened to some of us in our family, who may never have gotten to know our best Recovering Self.  Oh well. Others do.
💜 NO – If we’re presenting a fake facade or a ‘too good’ version of ourselves – which will become too hard to keep up – whether in a new job or new relationship. And when we no longer want to or just can’t keep it up – then we’re likely to disappoint people who bought the facade. And we’ll feel bad about ourselves.
Except if you’re a narcissist or sociopath who needs to keep the mask in place all the time, then you’ll never feel shame.

And NO – We can’t always go by our 1st impressions of others, especially for ACoAs, since the WIC will always react to them from the unconscious IMAGO modeled on our family.
a. Idealizing: When we ACoAs first meet people we have a habit of making up who they are, based on how they treat us. If they show an interest then we over-estimate them & therefore assume they’re going to provide everything we’ve been longing for. If they’re not interested or unpleasant, we take it personally & either slink away or try to win them over.

One result – the big problem is that without doing FoO work we tend to be most attracted to unhealthy people & then proceed – sometimes deliberately – to ignore all the red flags they wave at us! in order to stay with them. All the while expecting them to be the good parents we never had. Ridiculous!
Then when all the WIC’s hopes & needs get disappointed, we turn those same people into monsters (over-value then under-value). Either way – it’s harmful to us – & unfair to them.

Another result – we cheat ourselves of real ‘nourishment’ by not seeking out people who have a healthier sense of self, which allows them to connect with us, but without enmeshment.
They will not want to take on the missing-parent-role, but will be able to see & value us for our True Self, even when we can’t.

b. Over-disclosing: If we first meet a new friend or lover who’s willing to listen to us – we tend to immediately tell our life’s story, with all our sorrows & self-hate. This is he WIC’s desperation to be heard & comforted, but also to get a jump on inevitable’ abandonment.

Unfortunately, when we pour our heart out to non-professionals, it only makes us more vulnerable & seem foolish or weak. Of course we do this with others too, but that kind of ‘sharing’ belongs in Al-Anon, therapy, & spiritual counseling. Developing healthy boundaries lets us be more balanced in our presentation of ourselves.

NEXT: Serenity Prayer backwards

2 thoughts on “SAYINGS that MISREPRESENT (Part 4)

  1. Hi Donna,

    I love your posts. They are always so well done and illustrated! I would like to send you a signed copy of my new book, The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are, in which I quote your definition of acceptance. Please provide me with the address I should mail it to.

    Best Regards,



    Author: Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go (ISBN 978-0-9828930-0-5), Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award Finalist and Amazon Self-Help and Co-dependency Best Seller Six Years in a Row, and The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People And Things as They Are (ISBN 978-0-9828930-5-0).

    Download free chapters and read control and acceptance articles at

    T: 818-506-9925 F: 818-506-9679



    • That’s wonderful! I’d be happy to have one. I look forwards to reading it, & I’ll list it as one of my SITE references. Thank you for reading & for the work you do too.

      Donna M Torbico HEAL & GROW for ACoA


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