Sunday, January 31, 2010

When is a smile not a smile?

I checked with a casual friend about their perception of me and my persona. They stated that I smile a lot and talk to people easily. They also stated that because of my "extroverted" personality my persona might sometimes be misinterpreted as arrogance or conceit.

My initial conclusion is that we all make initial judgments about behaviors we see in passing. I am sure this is because we need to label and categorize things as human creatures. So when someone is friendly or smiles at you, how do you interpret that? Are they being courteous? Do they want something? Do they like you? Are they "hitting on you"?
Then based on the situation, do you form an opinion about that person and their behavior?

These are all questions we process and internalize individually based on our life experiences. I realize the environment we are familiar with must effect the way we perceive these things tremendously. It made me reflect and compare how 20 or 30 years ago people "greeted" each other more frequently, nodding, smiling even saying; "How are you today?" I believe today we are more cautious, detached, and become suspicious when we perceive someone is "overtly friendly", thus we categorize or label them. This may be a reason our self perception may differ from others perception of us, especially as times change.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How others see me (or you)?

Could others perception of me assist me in my examination of my self- awareness?
I am pretty self-aware and continue to examine who I am, what I want and if I am happy with me.
Once in college I stopped to rest between classes in a common area and started talking to 3 people about everyday things. At the end of the conversation two of the people said to me; "Wow, you are a nice guy, and pretty darn funny. I always thought you were "stuck up" and kind of an ass"! I was shocked and we talked about why they had perceived me that way. It really screamed to me that others perception and our self-awareness can be quite different. (often for silly reasons that are not truly valid).

Anyway, I was wondering what insights I might achieve if I was able to capture and evaluate how others perceive me? Then I wondered how that might be accomplished? Simply to ask is one way, but then I wonder; will they be completely honest? Since most people don't want to be rude or hurt a persons feelings, probably not. Then I thought maybe a survey or a web site?

So I would like others thoughts on the subject. Please give me your feedback and ideas and Thanks.