Perception. It's all in your head. | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Perception. It's all in your head.

The lovely Essentially Jess wrote a post the other day entitled Integrity. In it she wrote (and I hope she won't mind me directly quoting her)...

I’ve got a situation preying on my mind. I won’t go into details because I don’t think that’s right, but suffice to say it has got me thinking about character and what is really important. Even more, what do I want to be known for?...
...I  know that we’re not supposed to care what people think of us, and I agree wholeheartedly in that concept....
...Having said that, I also believe that peoples perceptions about us are incredibly important, and can inhibit or encourage us. And those perceptions generally come from our actions, or whatever they are perceived to be.

Jess' post got me thinking and of course, as usual, I left a long rambling comment on her post.

I've always said perception is all in your head. And I don't mean that it's not real or anything like that, but it's something that is unique to you. No-one else is going to perceive things in the same way that you do, about everything, all of the time. How you perceive something comes down to your own personal story. Your life experiences. Your emotional state at any given time.

Perception is something that can screw with the best of intentions. Or be completely spot-on. But it is almost always subjective, and is more often than not different to what the actual person you're perceiving is thinking and feeling.

We often do things with the best of intentions, but particularly with the written word, its very easy for people to misconstrue what we are trying to convey or mean. I've gotten in to trouble many times in my life because of it.

It's why now, I tend to write very fence-sitterish posts unless its something I'm seriously passionate about, I shy away from talking about anything hugely controversial with people I don't know very well, and will often keep my opinions on certain things to myself until I have sussed a person and their situation out enough to be able to determine whether or not its worth my time to voice my opinion and potentially get in to an argument.

If you know me well you know that I am not normally one to shy away from an argument or sharing my opinion. But that is because I know you. I know your situation, and, I hope, I know you well enough that I can voice said opinion without offending you too much and can have a meaningful dialogue about it, rather than incite a knee-jerk reaction or unintentionally hurt the person I'm speaking with.

One of the things I've come to love about blogs and blogging is the way it has opened me up to different ideas and opinions on things. I love to learn. I love to hear people's perspective on something, especially if it's different to mine, as I find I learn a lot from the experience, and quite often my opinion or perception will be changed or softened, simply because I had never thought about something in that particular way because, as I said above, my life experiences or emotional state is different to everyone else's.

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I like to say that I don't care what people think of me but if I'm to be totally honest, I do. I think everyone does, to a certain extent. And it's not totally a bad thing. Caring about what people think of me is what allows me to grow, change and mature. It allows me to think about parts of my personality and life that perhaps aren't that great and need to be worked on. It's a bit of double-edged sword though, because if you worry or think about it too much it can hold you back and stop you from letting your true self shine through. Whatever your true self is.

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I don't think anyone other than you will ever really know your true self. Even with those we are closest to, there is still always a part of us that only we will truly know. How's that for a philosophical sentence!

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What is the point of this post? Honestly, I don't really know. It's just some thoughts that I've had lately, over the last few months or so, due to things going on in my life and the lives of people I know, thoughts that have been sparked by blog posts like Jess'.

Most of the time I think my posts come out a lot like how I speak in offline life (do they Kel, Belinda? You'll have to tell me based on your own perceptions) and I don't often blog 'heavier' or more philosophical stuff because those are the thoughts I keep for myself and those I am closest to, those who know me best.

I  wonder how those who read this blog perceive me, do I come across as split-personality to you as it seems to me, as lame and shallow as I seem to myself? And do I really want to know? I don't think it would change how I blog, the things I post or the way I write, so does it really matter? Do you wonder these things too or I am just rambling nonsensically as usual? Just with less swear words!

Linking this post up with Jess, because it's Tuesday and I Blog on Tuesday. Do you?

25 comments:

  1. I think everyone cares what people think of them, even the ones who say they don't! I also love that you can put 10 people through an experience and quite possibly get 10 different recounts of what happened! It's the very best thing about mankind. We are all SO intricately different. x

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  2. Yes I believe people care. How can you not when you have a mind and a heart of your own? The world is made up of many different people, culture and thoughts and I think we should always have an open mind to keep learning and experiencing... Even if it's not exactly what we like. At least we tried it and know we don't like it instead of wondering.

    I do like your "rambles" :p makes you very relatable on the blog and feels like I'm listening to an old friend talk ;)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  3. love that C.S Lewis quote. Being honest and true to yourself is what matters. We will never please everyone. And this is okay too xx

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  4. I have been thinking about perception and what people see as "me" and what really is "me" lately
    Maybe we all go through this?
    I think it is just the way life is - hmmmmm - I'm still thinking about this one (as you can see!)
    xx

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  5. Fabulous post. You know that I've hard trouble with people's perceptions of me. It's a daily struggle. In fact, just today, someone told me I was opinionated, judgemental and self centred. I've taken it in, bounced around in my mind for a while, and I really can see where that perception comes from. I get it. And the thing is, some people love me for it, but some can't stand me for it. Is that my problem or theirs? I'm not sure. But I seem to have a pattern of stepping on toes. I'm wondering if I need to start considering being more careful where I'm walking.
    And I couldn't agree more - there will ALWAYS be a part of you that only you will know. I was thinking about that today, part of my self-centeredness I guess...
    I don't think your posts come across as shallow or lame, I think it comes across as you ranting and raving like you do. The problem I have is, you talk quite fast, so when I read, because it sounds like you, I try and read quite fast, and I think to myself "Slow down Kyles, take a breath!" but I'm pretty sure that's only because I'm imagining you saying it, and not because you type too fast.

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  6. Housewife in Heels22 January 2013 at 14:20

    Such a thought provoking post and so true. I don't think you come across as split-personality AT ALL... You are multi-dimensional! I think you come across as real, funny, loving, talented photographer and a great judge of character ;). Ps. Congrats on the daycare/ work thing- sounds like it went smoothly x

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  7. I totally agree Grace, I am definitely much more concerned with how people that are close to me perceive me rather than those that are just acquaintances. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Oooo, multi-dimensional, I love that!


    Thanks, it certainly did go well, I'm actually really interested to see how we go this week. There is definitely a blog post about it brewing I think!

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  9. I think it's definitely something we do as we get older, well I have been, that's for sure!

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  10. I love that quote too. When I found it I knew it was prefect for this post.

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  11. It truly is amazing how vastly different we can all perceive the same event! It definitely is the best thing, the world would be so boring otherwise.

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  12. I love this post because I understand it. I think you got it across better than I did, though I was thinking similar thoughts. I was just too emotional and mind cluttered to say it.
    It is important to know how people think of us, so we can improve, but we do need that balance of not caring as well. You've put it perfectly in saying that it's a double edged sword.

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  13. I worry so much what people think of me so it's a great wonder why I blog. You can never please everyone. I wish I wasn't so sensitive to other's perceptions of me. But you are right, other people's perceptions shouldn't be ignored entirely. We learn much about ourselves from others. Maybe that's what bloggers have in common - they are prepared to learn and grow.

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  14. Kirsty @ My Home Truths22 January 2013 at 18:48

    I'm nodding my head furiously (in a good way!) as I read this post - I so get what you are laying down. I don't offer an opinion on many topics on my blog as I'm not a fan of confrontation and in real life I'm pretty easy going and laidback and, I'll confess, passive. You come across as a person that I would like to meet in real life - genuine, funny, passionate about a whole host of things and real. Perception is unique to everyone - while it can be frustrating sometimes overcoming it, it certainly makes life more interesting!

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  15. Hmmm calling me out on the blog is a very sneaky way to get me to comment!! Haha :-) In all honesty, I think your blog is a pretty accurate representation of your real life self! Your posts definitely come across similar to your IRL conversations and neither they nor you are shallow or lame at all. They are interesting and articulate, just like you. Some are a little toned down but then again sometimes I think you are more open on the blog than your are face to face when it comes to some things. That's the nature of the written word though I think. One of the things I adore about you is that you ARE opinionated. You ARE passionate. You are fantastic to debate with and we have had a few of those over the years.. I would love to see a little more of those opinions on the blog and I wish you wouldn't doubt yourself so much. You're awesome. (Here ends the love-fest ok? Now look who's lame...haha!)

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  16. Good points you make, Kylz. Perception is subjective and it's all based on one's own experiences, ideas, thoughts etc.
    Which is why I'm trying to learn to hold back judgement. Whether it be a world wide story like Lance Armstrong's or someone much closer to home. The more often we learn how to see a situation, any situation, with an open mind, the more chance that we'll eventually have one.

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  17. Totally insightful post, I think we all perceive things differently and therefore at times offense can be taken even if it wasn't meant to be given. I am quite opinionated but unless I think my opinions are asked for, or needed to help someone then I won't volunteer them just to shit stir (okay sometimes I do but not often). I am the same person I am online as I am in person, I don't pretend to be anything I'm not, and from what I can tell neither do you. As for worrying about what people think of me, it annoys me when people that don't know me or try to know me judge me, but I don't care what they think, because of those reasons. Great post! Emily @ Have a laugh on me!

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  18. I agree, I would like to say that I totally don't care about what people think but this won't be the truth. I do talk to myself and say if people don't like what I write, they have the choice of not reading and finally write what I want. I always write with my heart. I think this is the only way I can blog. I do keep away from controversial subjects,not because I'm afraid about what people would say or think but more because I don't feel comfortable writing about them and do avoid these subjects in real life too. It is true too that people can interpret differently what we are writing and jump to false conclusions... By the way, through your writing, I can perceive you are true to yourself and honest with your readers.

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  19. It's funny that you talk about "fence sitting" posts. I for one, have never thought of what you say as fence sitting, more I see someone who tends to think before publishing - not a bad habit to have.

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  20. Lovely thoughts. I think way too much about what others think of me. To the point where I have to tell myself to let things go.

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  21. Perception is all about the individual. I know I am constantly thinking about other people's perception, which is stupid because as if you can just assume someone's perception. I wouldn't say worry about their perception as such but I am always conscious of how it often feels like no one can see where I am coming from

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  22. I love blogging for the same reason - the different perspectives. But I'm the complete opposite of you in that I started my blog precisely because I wanted a forum to discuss heavier stuff. Often those things are controversial because any time you voice a strong opinion, there are going to be people who disagree. I enjoy a good debate as long as people are respectful and try to stick to ideas rather than personal attacks.


    Visiting from IBOT.

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  23. I feel the same way in regard to the things I post, because many of my readers are family I just can't say what I feel sometimes. This is fine, as I am blogging primarily for the boys to have a record of our lives later on, and I don't want them to feel weird about any posts I may right. The carseat one was probably the only one I felt a bit weird about posting. I like having that little part of me, that no one will ever know. Would probably scare them anyway!

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  24. I definitely was thinking about you and the 'stuff' at times while writing this, its certainly been in my thoughts since it all went down and was, truth be told, also a little inspiring for this post. I think what matters most though is how you use others perceptions of you, and the negative ones are not always negative though, they can definitely be good things! And its not self-centredness, it's introspection, totally a good thing!
    Lol, I definitely do talk too fast don't I! And I think I do type too fast sometimes, it's why there are so many mistakes all the time!

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  25. I think I mostly do a good job at not worrying how most people perceive me, unless they are close. When that goes wrong it often hurts a lot!

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