Experience vs memory in creating impression

people talking

When creating an impression, an image of ourselves in the eyes of others, we should be very conscious of the distinction between the experiencing self and memorizing self.

Let me explain the difference. Classic case – guy meets girl in a club. They are both attracted to each other. Guy sees the opportunity to escalate more than usual, and he does it – he goes for the experience. The night is over, and on the next day she does not pick up the phone… Experience was brilliant to him and to her, but her memory of that night contains not only the record of what happened, but all sort of stuff attached to it – presumptions, judgments, social-barriers (the shoulds and should nots), etc. that did not occur to her while experiencing. As you can see, guys image creation failed in strategic department.

If you’re in situation when you need to create best, most attractive impression – go all in for the “memory self”. Most of long term and important decisions are based on this kind of consciousness. One of the best ways to reach great memory is to end the experience in its peak. We could name it “the cliffhanger” technique. When talking to a person – end conversation before it gets dull. When going off the stage – do it before the ovation ends. Next great “method” is stacking. Say one interesting thing and they will respond that it was, in fact, an interesting thing to say. Say 3 or 5 interesting things in short amount of time and they will recall that you’re interesting. This does miracles.

My personal favorite is more of advice than a technique or tactic. Consider if emotional intensity is working on your advantage while escalating connection with anyone (future partner, potential business associate, a client – it doesn’t matter). In case you overdo escalating you can get a “buyers remorse” syndrome firing back in your face (just like the guy from my little example above). Slow down things if you need to, take a step back. Say “we should slow this down” in a matter of fact. “Capitalize” on such experience surplus by investing into account of what they will think about you tomorrow. Don’t let it ruin your image and future interaction.

What do you think about this experiencing and memory selves? Share your thought 😀
Take care
– Przemek Kucia

P.S. Underneath I post a great talk by Daniel Kahneman on the difference between experiencing and memory selves.

2 thoughts on “Experience vs memory in creating impression

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