Never Take Your Appearance for Granted Any Day Anytime

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

A close friend used to be a sloppy dresser. He never liked that he had to dress a certain way to get the respect he thought he deserved or to get people to listen to him. But then he experienced something that changed his mind completely.

Years ago, he was on a bus headed to another friend’s house. He knew the neighborhood but wasn’t sure which stop to get off at.

The gentleman sitting next to him noticed him looking out of the window every few seconds trying to get his bearings and asked if he needed help. My friend told him his predicament, and the gentleman confidently told him he should exit in two stops.

My friend thanked him for the advice.

A moment later, another man standing in the aisle who’d heard their conversation leaned in and said, “Actually, you should get off at the next stop.”

My friend thanked him, hopped up, and exited just like the second person told him to, ignoring the advice of the first guy.

What was the difference between the two men? And why did my friend choose to listen to one and not the other? My friend asked himself the same question as he walked the last few blocks to his destination, and in an instant, he realized why he listened to one guy and not the other.

The second man in the aisle was dressed sharply. He looked like he was on his way home from work in a fancy office downtown. Meanwhile, the first man was wearing sweatpants, had a dark stain on his t-shirt, and looked like he might have skipped showering that day.

In that moment, my friend realized just how many preconceived notions and stereotypes were built into his own assumptions of other people. There he was, complaining how people judged him by his clothes while he did the same to them—could he trust the instructions of someone who can’t be trusted to even keep food off his clothes?

If you want people to listen to you, there’s an important lesson here:

The clothes you wear and the way you groom yourself will change the way other people hear what you say. It will subconsciously tell them if you’re like them or if you’re different. It will determine whether they listen or ignore. Trust or distrust.

It’s why some mothers choose color-coded clothing for their babies. It’s hard to tell what sex a newborn is. But if you see one rolling around in blue, you know it’s a boy and pink for girls.

How you dress yourself changes who you are. It changes the value of what you have to say. At least to the people who are looking and listening. And how you are perceived by others before you open your mouth depends mostly on the physical signals you send with your appearance.

Appearances matter in real and fundamental ways that affect our daily lives – from how we are greeted when meeting others for the first time to whether or not you may be harassed while traveling.

As a matter of fact, you don’t need to stay on top of every passing trend; however you should think about your basic appearance every day. This is because your clothing is going to have a direct effect on people’s default assumptions of you — the better you’re dressed, the more respect and attention they’re going to automatically give you.

Society is very visually-biased, and better-dressed people routinely experience better treatment and service than their sloppier counterparts.

The unfortunate reality is, how you dress serves as a substitute for character in the eyes of people who don’t know you well enough to judge you by anything else. That may sound superficial, but it’s true. Your appearance may not mean much to you, but it does to the people who see you every day, making it worth caring about.

People tend to perform better in life when they feel that they deserve to perform better. The automatic assumption is that a well-dressed person should be treated with respect, works when it’s your reflection in the mirror, too. A few minutes spent spiffing yourself in the mirror before you leave home reinforces the idea that you deserve success and good treatment in your own mind and helps with your confidence

The requirements of dressing sharp teaches responsibility.

As mundane as it may sound, caring for your appearance will make you a more responsible person. You wind up keeping track of details like which shoes need to be shined and which shirts need to be ironed, and (unless you live with someone who loves you very much) you usually have to do those things yourself. It reinforces mental habits of attention to detail and planning ahead that translates usefully into any career or skill.

Whatever message you’re trying to send to the world, never forget that the clothes you put that message in, will determine the way it’s received. So, dress it carefully.

When all is said and done, the best reason to take time with your clothing and appearance is to take charge of your life.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Support The Peak Performer Africa

Curating these articles costs a lot of money. It is our pleasure to bring you more. If you have derived some value from our work, kindly encourage our team with a voluntary donation. You can decide the frequency of your donation.