KOKOLOGY 101: Pictures at an exhibition

Every once in a while its nice to take a break from your busy schedule and experience the world of art firsthand. Some of us go to concerts or plays, some take up dance or a musical instrument, others try their hand at crafts.. And of course there’s always a trip to a museum…

You are standing in front of a painting, at an art museum, hands clasped behind your back as you try to take it in, when a total stranger comes up alongside you and says something to you. Which of the following does the stranger say?

1 ‘Isn’t that a beautiful picture?’
2 ‘What do you think of this painting?’
3 ‘Excuse me, do you have the time?’
4 ‘You know, I happen to be a painter myself.’

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Answer key:

When a stranger suddenly speaks to you there’s always a momentary mix of apprehension an expectancy. In this imaginary scenario, the words the stranger spoke actually reflect how you react in chance encounters and when meeting others. Your answer reveals what kind of impression you make when meeting someone for the first time.

1. ‘Isn’t that a beautiful picture?’
Your friendly and positive nature creates a great first impression on almost anyone you meet. Your only concern should be that people may not take you seriously at first.

2. ‘What do you think of this painting?’
You’re the type who likes to feel out the person’s temperament before committing yourself to anything. People can sense that hesitancy, and it may color their reactions to you. You won’t step on any toes with your cautious approach, but you may end up living on other people’s terms.

3. ‘Excuse me, do you have the time?’
To half the world you seem like an all right sort, but to the other half you just look a little strange. You create a first impression of living life at your own pace and maintaining an individuality that some would call eccentric. You don’t place much importance on what others may be thinking or feeling. For better or worse, therein lies the secret in you.

4. ‘You know, I happen to be a painter myself.’
On first meeting someone, you come across as a little bit nervous and overeager. Maybe you’re just trying too hard to be liked, but the harder you try, the worse an impression you make. Don’t worry so much about making people think you’re great – they’ll like you better if you just loosen up and relax.

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