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 see themselves. It’s 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). Then again, their perception of you could be based in their own histories; maybe you remind them of someone and they consciously or not attribute the other person’s characteristics to you.
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.