Is there a disparity between who you are and who you present yourself as?
I’ve been wondering that a lot lately.
It’s interesting. I’ve recently become close with a girl whom I was introduced to by a mutual friend. We share the same group of friends, for the most part. People often ask her why she’s friends with me. She’s confused by that question.
I’m confused as well.
And it’s been making me wonder what the perception of me is in the social circles that I run in.
Of course, I try to follow the golden rules: acting to others as I’d like to be treated, trying not to do a terrible amount of gossip, kindness, respect, loyalty, etc.
But that’s where things get gray.
Everyone thinks that what they’re doing is correct.
Of course, I was watching reality television when I came to that conclusion. The Real Housewives series is a showcase of points of view. Since you see the drama unfold and then hear interviews that reflect the opinions of the participants, you get a glimpse of the ways that conflict operates. Of course, there’s great truth in the idea that there are always three sides to the truth: yours, theirs, and the real truth. And I’ve come to the conclusion that no one knows the real truth about anything. Watching the housewives talk about their dramas, I find my sympathies rarely change but that sometimes, I’m not even sure who I want to sympathize with. Instead, I watch their impending arguments with fascination. Each is convinced that her opinion is correct.
One was lauding the fact that her son was in law school, yet I read in a law blog yesterday that he’d been kicked out for being unable to pass. Her reaction? To criticize the school for being unable to handle his learning disabilities. The blog’s response? “And given that the practice of law involves lots of learning, maybe it’s best that those with JDs not have LDs.” I can see both sides of that argument. Who can’t? There are things I’d like to do with my life, but won’t because I know I lack the skill set. Doing crime scene investigation and evidence-analysis? My dream job. But I can’t because I lack the mathematical prowess.
I’d like to merge the truths that I feel about myself with the truths that people feel about me. I know that everyone feels differently about everyone based on their situational relevance and proximity, but I would hope that someday I may merge all thoughts about me as a person in order to create a singular image of a composed, classy (but still fun), irreverent, intelligent, feisty woman. However, if anything, this has served as a wake up call to me that I need to reach out to the people around me and work on revealing my inner self rather than working on projecting something that may be an inaccurate reflection of myself.
My blog the other day received some criticism that I welcomed, although I was unsure as to how it fit into the scheme of the thought process. I had been intending for that particular post to be a contrite look at a past situation by analyzing and comparing it to a more recent situation. I wanted to show personal growth and make amends, even though those amends won’t be heard by those who need to hear them.
However, rather than let the commentary do anything other than annoy me, I will say one thing: when you’re going to call someone stupid on the internet, please make sure you do so after correcting your grammatical errors. It increases the power of your argument tenfold.
Think about whether or not your actions support the outward image that you wish to present. Obviously, that image might be different based on different situations, but if the end goal is respect, then hopefully even your less savory experiences (such as Friday nights out) might reflect your ability to support friends.
Today I was a better listener. That’s been a big goal for me. Listening is really hard for me, because I’m always brimming with information that I want to share. Today, I was quiet and I supported my friend while she talked.
See? Working on it.