Do you ever wish that you could step outside yourself and see you how other people see you? I mean, it’s impossible to really see yourself as others see you. You can only have one point of view – your own. And that is influenced by everything you have experienced in your life. So there is no way to do it. But at some point in time everyone worries about it. Whether it’s as a little kid or a self-conscious teenager. Even as adults many people worry about what other people think about them.
So yeah, often times I wonder about how others see me. I have had some surprising moments where people tell me that they think something about me – like what an extrovert I am (I’m not!). Another time someone told me I was too intimidating?? I was amazed at that one since I think I’m very easy going and friendly. But, I have no way of knowing what they are seeing in me. Maybe somewhere in their life they had someone who looked like me or sounded like me and they were intimidated by them, so when they see me they are intimidated.
And you never know when something about you is going to strike a cord in someone else. It doesn’t even really have to be something you say or do. I had one child that seemed to warm up to me very quickly. They wanted to sit by me, hold my hand and came to me when they were upset. Then one day they told me that I reminded them of their mother. I asked if I looked like her and they shook their head no and seemed to think about it for a minute. Then they responded “You smell like her”. Hm, okay. I guess that’s a good thing. Saying I smell doesn’t have to be a bad thing LOL. Perhaps I wore the same perfume or used the same deodorant. But for whatever reason, I reminded him of his mother. You never know what is going to trigger something in someone else. Have you ever met someone who had the same name as someone you hated in your past? You don’t want to associate them with that person – but in some ways you do. Even if it is to not trust them right away. Associations in your brain is how we learn. So your brain is constantly trying to make those associations. But it can also reason, so while it may first associate the person with the one you hated – as you get to know the person, if they are a good person, your brain will reason that this association isn’t valid.
Wanting to understand how people see you and where you fit into the world is something everyone wants to do at some point. Understanding yourself and your own self image is something many people struggle with. I know I use to worry all the time about what people thought or how I came across to other people. I was very self-conscious. It was very stressful worrying about what other people thought. So, I gave up doing it. I really just kind of stopped caring what other people thought. I adopted the saying I use often – those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. I dyed my hair blue. I started speaking up at meetings. I stopped apologizing for everything I said and did. I stopped living as if I was an inconvenience to people. I started living like my opinions and thoughts mattered.
Now maybe sometimes I go a bit over board. I can now be a little loud, a bit pushy, and if some are to be believed – I can be loud and obnoxious. But. Honestly, after living over half my life as a scared door mat, I think I’d vote for loud and obnoxious. It’s more fun.