I’ve been thinking lately of peoples perceptions of other people. You know how it is…you see someone and you immediately acquire an idea on who that person is. By their appearance, demeaner, personality, etc. Now if you don’t really know that person, you may never know if your “perception” of him was on target or not…
But what of our perceptions of the people we do know? Or we THINK we know….are our perceptions correct about them? Do we know their likes/dislikes? Do we know their political/religious views? Do we know all their favorites and non faves? Do we REALLY know if they are safe or unsafe characters? Are they responsible? Are they alcoholics? Thieves? BiPolar? Depressed? Happily married or just faking it well? Addicted to drugs? Sex?
How long of a relationship must you have with someone before you REALLY know them? Five minutes? A week? Month? Year? Many years? Do we ever REALLY know anyone? We percieve that we do. But then perhaps they will do something so out of character that we are taken aback. We are stunned and confused…we think “Well, why would she do that? That’s so unlike her”
How do others perceive us? We all change our “faces” …don’t we? I mean we have our family personality, our company personality, our work personality, our new acquaintance personality, our business personality, our best friend personality, ….you get the idea.
Does any of us REALLY know any of us? I’ve often wondered how I will be described after I pass away. Here’s is what I would say about ME: She was a tragic soul….who lead a rough life, but overcame it for the most part. She was strong and stubborn. She liked to do things well…and right. She was only affectionate with her children and her animals mostly. She was a free spirit in her younger years, but lost that along the way after life sort of beat her down. She did her best living with chronic pain…she really believed in using humor to heal the soul. Loved to laugh. Loved to read. Loved her children and family so much it consumed her at times. Was kind to children and animals. Put a brave face on most days and faced the world…all while gritting her teeth and wanting to get back to bed…lol. She wanted to feel useful, she wanted others to feel loved and cared for. She tried to guide her children, to give them useful advice. She prays constantly. She has a few good friends and has a couple online friends she feels even closer to…a sisterly bond thru pain. She likes for things to run smoothly and therefore tries to make it so. Believes in lists, lists and more lists!
So that would be MY perception of me. Someone else may say things completely different. May think I’m bitchy and controlling and moody. May think I am cold and indifferent. May think I am whiney. May think I milk my illness. May think I’m lazy and fat and ugly.
Point being…our perceptions of people….may be wrong or right. But we treat them the way we perceive them. Let’s say you treat this friend with utter respect, as he is a doctor, and you have always considered him an upstanding honest truthful person. Then you find out he is addicted to drugs or porn and cheats on his wife. How did you not SEE this side of him? How did he hide it so well? Or was it right under your nose and yet you chose NOT to see the signs? Being stabbed in the back is painful…but do we sometimes set ourselves up for it? By not seeing the forest for the trees?
Sometimes I know people who are so outwardly fake. Maybe they think no one else notices or knows. But it’s embarrassing watching them try to pretend to be someone they are not. Especially when everyone knows they aren’t really that way, or if they buy into the act, they then think that person is an idiot. When deep down that person is a scared and sad person, who is afraid to show their true selves to people for whatever reason. Maybe they are not proud of what they’ve become, so they choose to puff up their life story to make it seem more interesting…but all it does is drive people away.
We are a race of perceptions. I am usually pretty good at reading people. But I don’t think everyone is. Sometimes we get the wrong vibes from people…I say go with your gut. But I feel we all need to put away the masks. Let’s be who we are, imperfections and all. Stop trying to impress. Stop kicking ourselves for not being who we think others want us to be. We are who we are. Let’s not waste this life suffering because we perceive we are not who we should’ve been.
I will still wonder how others perceive me…hmmm.
“FAMILIAR ROUTINES BECOME BAD HABITS”