Who to believe?

Some people think I’m brilliant. Some assume I’m stupid or of average intelligence at best. Some people think I’m funny. Some don’t get my humor at all. Some people are obsessed with me. Some don’t know I exist. Some people think I’m very talented and some don’t see anything special about me. Some people think I’m sexy and some look right past me. Some people think I’m difficult and some find me agreeable.

So what’s my point? If I look to other people to figure out how to see myself I’m screwed. Sure, I could just believe what’s positive or flattering but how genuine would that be? Not to mention that the way other people see YOU is often tied into how they seeĀ themselves. It’sĀ commonly suggested that people respond to others’ perceived traits in relation to those same traits in themselves. If someone doesn’t like a particular trait in themselves chances are they won’t like it in you either (and the opposite as well). ThenĀ again, their perception of you could be basedĀ in their own histories; maybe you remind them of someone and they consciously or not attribute the other person’s characteristics to you.Ā 

I guess you could opt to believe the things you hear most often, that is, from the most people. And there’s probably something to that, assuming those people come from various backgrounds or maybe just interact with you in various ways. If you have a tight clique and everyone in it agrees you have great style say, or are very honest, that’s not going to be as reliable information as the same feedback coming from a more diverse population. Still, while hearing the same things from a broad base of people is probably helpful or marginally indicative of your traits, it’s still not a sure thing. Maybe they’re all wrong!

This is an idea I’ve been chewing on for a little while and I’m sure I’m not done with it.

10 thoughts on “Who to believe?

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Yes, I get that. Then again, we don’t live in a vacuum and it’s kind of instinctive, I think, to take cues from others, which starts very young: You’re pretty, you’re lazy, you’re helpful, you’re a nuisance….

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  1. Pistachios

    Hmm.. definitely some food for thought here. Peopleā€™s perceptions of you also depend on what parts of yourself you present to them, and what stays hidden (intentionally or otherwise).
    And then things change over time too…

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Two – no, three! – excellent points. And the parts we present may depend on how we think we’re being perceived or our own biases. (I tend to be funny around people I like or feel comfortable with for instance and can be decidedly humor-less with others). You’re right; there’s a certain degree of “tailoring” that probably occurs even below consciousness.Time would have to be a factor now that you’ve mentioned it. I don’t present myself the way I did 20 years ago; there are distinct alterations (ones I think are better). Thanks for adding to the ideas.

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  2. Carol Anne

    You should just do you! Be yourself never be scared to be yourself! That is a lesson I’ve learned, everyones going to have an opinion of you some you’ll like and some you wont, but as long as your being true to you that’s all that matters.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I think it is more nuanced in life; what people think of us, how they perceive our characteristics matters a great deal (and for nonsociopathic people) will undoubtedly influence our self-perception, not to mention status, income, and opportunities.. I’m not referencing self-esteem but more objective measuring sticks.

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