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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Misperception of ME…Yours or Mine?

“It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good heart whatever they might have to say.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

“You can be SUPER mean!”…
There were only four people in the kitchen. And although his stare was directed towards me, it just couldn’t be… I looked over my shoulder because he COULDN’T have been talking about me… but… no one was behind me…
Was he talking about his wife??? I guess not, as she was laughing at my baffled expression… Maybe he was talking about my hubby. I turned and looked towards him but his eyes quickly looked down, avoiding mine, but the jerking of his shoulder clearly gave away the silent laugh he was trying to hold in…
“What are you talking about? Me? Mean? I am NOT a mean person… EVER!”
And while we went back and forth, my brother standing strong about what he had just stated and me rebutting all his reasons, I was wondering if he had just suffered a head injury. Maybe I had gotten hit by a soccer ball during one of his referee’s games... That must of have been it.
So I had to “agree to disagree” and hope he would come to some sort of sense or just finally look at me and say “I was kidding!”

While (that day) I brushed it off, I couldn’t let the conversation disappear completely from my “offended” brain. So a few weeks later, I brought it up again. Same milieu, same usual suspects…
“I can’t believe you told me that I could be SUPER mean!!!!” I blurred out.
I will spare you of the conversation that followed and just summarized by saying… Not a good outcome for me, so ultimately I had to really give his words some weight… Could it be?
However, the reality of what he was saying; that I “sometimes was,” stubbornly refuses to fit in with who I know myself to be…

My store staff nicknamed me “Sandstorm.” I occasionally heard from some of them that I was hard and yes …mean. But while I found humor to the nickname, I realized some were serious about how they perceived me and I was okay with it, as I charged it to them being intimidated by my assertiveness, not me actually being mean. After all, aren’t you supposed to show a level of authority in the work area? Aren’t you supposed to create a certain level of fear, separation, so your authority can undoubtedly be recognized?
The Hubby calls me mean every other day… I don’t scratch the right spot between his shoulder blades, so clearly I’m mean… so really when he does, I give the side eye treatment and move on…
But this was different… This was coming from my brother and if anyone knows me, they know I’m very sensitive when it comes to these 10 individuals with whom I share the bloodline with J

So I started to think… How Do You See Yourself?

Many of us have this dismissive attitude towards others, feeling as though, “What you think of me is yours to deal with because I know who I am.” We like to think we are self-aware and any view of ourselves that is totally outside of our perception of self is with no question, wrong and absurd… But the person giving their POV on you may have a legitimate point if the perception is positive (duhhhhh). But really… I would be lying if I say, “I don’t care about how others think about me!” At the end of the day, something in us yearns for that acceptance, the need to fit in and be part of this big social driven world.
To be able to understand how people see us is what allows us to connect with our surrounding and the people in them.
Perhaps the delicate balance between the reality of who we know we are and what others perceive us to be, is maintained by the ones closest to us; the people who will keep you on your toes but appreciate and love you for who and how you are, not just for the impression you leave.

So I reflected and I can admit there are many things about me that are ugly. A workaholic, at times a neglectful wife (sorry babyJ), at times an absent mom (sorry babiesJ), at times a neglectful friend and at times a disconnected leader. There are also many things about me that are not open to compromise, like my values (although I keep an open mind), my beliefs, and mostly my family which may have me perceived as uncompassionate, and unloving... at times. I always had this idea of myself (which I thought was exactly the same of how the world perceived me) of being friendly, likable and loving, big hearted, helpful, spoiled but not obnoxious, intelligent, opinionated but not self-righteous, approachable and respectable… And while I write down this wonderful list of adjectives about me, I realize that I see myself from a place of purpose and intention while the receiving end sees me from my actions…

While my intention is never to be mean (definitely not SUPER mean), I do see why my actions could have me perceived as such… at times, of course! I also understand that other’s perception and misconception of me does not, and has not defined me but needs to be considered!
SO I pledge to try not to be dismissive of other’s opinions of me but in turn, work at seeing myself through their POV’s so any misconceptions, false impressions can be dismantled right away and my self-awareness be based on accurate feedback and not my “unbiased” ego J J J

As I tried to put a bit of humor into this “Lesson Learned” message, it truly pains me to know that I did step away from a situation leaving someone to deal with an unintentional hurtful attitude from me. So for my own sanity, I need to promise myself to be real with regard to my own perception!

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