If you have read the book ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’ by Malcolm Gladwell, you know we have abilities to react to danger or read a stranger without realizing it.
In the course of 2 weeks I have had a few instances where I totally misread a person. My blink abilities are not working well. I have no intuitive or super powers to read a stranger!
I was shopping at a grand opening of a grocery store with lots of people, lots of great deals, and lots of sampling. I saw a man coming down the aisle in what appeared to be a very scruffy overcoat and his hair was disheveled. I used my blink and thought him a smart homeless man coming in for the freebies. I was in front of the jam aisle and he walked up and put 6 jars of this one brand in his basket. It was on sale but not being familiar with the Brand I asked him about it. He turned to me and told me rather eloquently that yes it was the best of the best and this sale was amazing. On closer inspection he was not a homeless guy but just lousy at personal grooming.
I was shopping at a Goodwill store. The Goodwill store employs people with disabilities. I found some cat wrapping paper. A clerk came to this section and put out more wrap. I registered her in my blink as disabled. She saw what I was buying and said to me” You must be a cat aficionado”. Obviously I was wrong about her abilities and I looked more closely at her to understand how I could be so wrong as she engaged me in conversation. DON’T KNOW!
I was at the doctor’s office and I had the new John Grisham book with me. I sat down to wait and a woman across from me asked me about the book. We chatted about his books and movies made from his books. When I came out over an hour later the woman was still sitting there. I thought poor thing, she seemed to be in her late 70’s and I said to her, “Boy you have been waiting a long time to see a doctor!” She replied to me, “Oh I am not seeing a doctor I just come and sit here.” Then I noticed she was wearing an apron over her coat. Where was my BLINK?? Did it matter?
Although my Blink Radar is off, I am not sure it is a bad thing. I have engaged in interesting conversations that perhaps I would have missed if I were in tune with accurate stranger reading. Do you have the power of Blink tuned in?