Perception is said to become reality. And because of that, some people constantly review how others perceive them, and subsequently attempt to adjust their speech, actions, dress and tastes to reflect what they want others to believe to no avail.
Ultimately, people see what they “think” they understand, and almost always allow what they are unconsciously obsessed with or what they are attracted to serve as the primary influence to their interpretation.
So, how others perceive another often has little to do with whom that other person is or whatever they try to project. Basically, people’s prejudices, biases, prior experiences, personal agendas, and desires all dictate what someone sees, likes or thinks they don’t like about a person even if it’s not true.
To my point, people who live one-dimensional lives mostly observe people in one-dimensional terms regardless of who the other person is. People with complex, multi-dimensional personalities are easily and frequently misunderstood, stereotyped and usually labeled negatively. Therefore, easy going and party loving people are rarely perceived for their serious intelligence despite the fact that their professions, accomplishments, or prior academic record demonstrate it as such.
At times, perception for some also becomes an act of projection to avoid addressing issues within themselves. People who themselves are overly-introverted or fear people who look like the other person, see people who are ambitions, proactive and take initiative instead as bullying, conniving or aggressive. People, who are secretly sexually-obsessed, sexually-deprived or have an inflated self-image, often perceive or mistake flirtation, sexual interest and advances in their absence from others when engaged in merely friendly or collegial exchanges.
For most, it simply boils down to what’s easier for people to accept. People want other people to often be as superficial or simplistic as they are themselves. Labels are easier, stereotypes are easier, and ultimately, fitting into the lowest common denominators is also easier.
At the end of the day, people in the lens and under the microscope must be concerned less with influencing someone's perception of themselves, and be focused more on remaining true to one’s self, and steadfast to their own goals and plans. After all, one’s own truth is the only perception that really matters.
2016 © Eric Christopher Webb
The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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