Thesis: The individual will have to act so that he intentionally or unintentionally expresses himself, and the others will in turn have to be impressed in some way by him.
Summary:
When you first meet somebody most people will quickly try to figure out what to make of that person. Generally, they will do the same back to you. Using various means for making an assumption is normal because most social encounters are too brief to get a good idea of the person.
A person gives and gives off information about themselves. Giving is generally larger gestures, including verbal and other actions that are made on purpose. Giving off are the smaller gestures that are usually accidental, like eye movement or body language. You can give an impression that you want to give, to act in a way that would make people see you in a specific light. But because people know this, they may try to read your giving off signals to see if you are acting or genuine. This can turn into an informational cat and mouse game, but ultimately it is easier to observe than it is to act, giving the observer the upper hand.
Making a good first impression using this information can be critical. First impressions are very important, and can allow you to maintain a situation that would otherwise be out of your control. But society dictates that if you claim to be such a person, you have the right to expect others to view you as such, but they also have the right to expect you to act as such a person. If you show a person how to view you, you had better actually be that person.
People implement defensive and protective practices to maintain projected selves. Defensive for defending your impression that you are giving, and protective to protect another persons impression that they are giving. Despite these practices being widely used and rather critical to maintain a social status, practical jokes are used to disrupt a persons image, although in a jesting way.

  • Take a few word notes for every paragraph
  1. When you meet people, they want to know what to expect from you
  2. People can make assumptions based on the social setting about you, and take clues from actions or rely on previous experience with you
  3. Sometimes the interaction may be too brief to discover your true attitude. They may be forced to accept some events to gain information about you.
  4. Expressions that you give, verbal or action based signs, used very purposefully. Expressions that you give off, subtle actions or body language, usually non-intentional
  5. You can control the social situation by giving what you want them to see, acting to give an impression.
  6. Giving off is presumably unintentional, contextual and nonverbal
  7. Acting can give a particular impression, but others may read the acting
  8. People know that you will act to present yourself in a favorable light and may start reading into the harder to control, giving off, cues. May observe an unobserved observer to see if give cues disappear.
  9. Knowing the above, the actor may control their cues even more to try to make this type of observation work in their favor
  10. The observer always has a step up. Our observational skills are better than our acting skills as a general rule.
  11. A good first impression will allow you to control the social situation, even when you are of lower status
  12. Teachers: It is easy to start tough and ease up, almost impossible to start easy and toughen up
  13. Society dictates that a person who claims to be somebody has the right to expect others to treat him as such a person and others have the right to expect him to actually be such a person.
  14. Defensive and protective practices are employed to either defend your impression or protect the impression somebody else is projecting, respectively.
  15. Practical jokes and other embarrassing things are used to disrupt somebodies projected impression, in an non-serious manner.
  16. Individuals have many motives to control the impression of a situation

1-3. When first meeting someone you want to know what to expect from them, just as they want to know what to expect from you. You can make assumptions based on their appearance, a past experience, or the kind of social situation you are in. But because these encounters may be brief, there usually isn't time to get conclusive evidence of a persons character.
4. Give and give off are introduced. Give means probably intentional information, like gestures or verbal cues. They are generally known symbols to all parties involved. Give off means the lesser gestures that are not easily controlled. Subtle eye movements or body language included.
5. An example of giving, making conscious attempts to have other people view you in a specific way by acting a specific way.
6-7. Giving off, presumably unintentional and possibly more important that giving.
8-10. The information game between giving and giving off begins. If a person knows that you may act differently to show yourself in a positive light, they may observe your giving off signs over your giving signs. In doing so, they can observe the unobserved observer to determine whether you are acting or not. But knowing they may do this, a person could try to control their giving off signs leading to and endless game of trying to catch one another. The witness, however, generally has the advantage over the actor, because it is easier to observe than to act.
11-13. First impressions are important in today's world. They help you control a situation, even if the others are higher than you socially. These first impressions are based on society. Society dictates that if you present yourself as someone, then you deserve to be treated as that someone, but others have the right to expect you to act as that someone, and it to be true.
14-16. People employ defensive and offensive practices to maintain their definition of their selves. Defensive practices are used to protect your own projections of yourself while offensive practices are used to save the projection of somebody else. While a lot of time and effort goes into protecting ones projections, practical jokes and such are used to playfully destroy these projections.
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