The Way People Perceive You: Here’s What You Should Understand
Don't Judge Me
Ah yes, sounds like a Wayne Dyer or Tony Robbins intro to another motivating and uplifting lecture. No disrespect to either of those fine gentlemen as I admire their work, but I’m not in that business. There are plenty of professionals who are much more suited for that craft. I enjoy giving a positive message with a sarcastic twist. Although less like the elegant twist in a martini and more like the twist your friend gave you in elementary school from a gut wrenching Indian burn. Oh no, I just said “Indian instead of Native American”, now I’ve really done it. Folks, this may be the last article I write after the pcp (politically correct police) track me down. Okay, so what the hell is it that I want you to understand so badly?
Chit-chat is over, let’s talk
You’ve all heard that perception is everything, from the way you perceive unfortunate events to a bad day at work. Perhaps more impactful events like global terrorist attacks and then back to small things like your children coloring the walls with a purple marker (I’ll take the fight against Jihadists over a 4 and 2-year-old). But what about the most commonly thought of notion: how others view us?
I can hear it now no, I can’t bare idea of a person judging me, they probably think I smell like pork rinds and football practice. Well, you’re right, they probably do, or they might hold a slightly different view. We ascribe more to believing in negative things we think people believe about us than positive. Now, who the dickens was surprised by that fun fact? I’ll tell you….3 people. When someone tells you, they don’t think your business idea is sound or will make any money, that tends to hold a lot of weight in our ultimate decision. But when a compliment such as, ya know, you’re really smart swings by us, we think that person is totally insane.
Bottom line: most of us think we just come off as Homer Simpson instead of Bradley cooper from Limitless.
Let’s dig a little deeper
Now like most people these days, this can go both ways (yes, I’ve realized that you are no match for my zingers and that I am responsible for the paralysis I’ve caused you from laughing too hard). A lot of people just think they are as popular as a hashtag trending with thousands of viewers. Well, you’re not. Chances are in that case, you’re more like they guy with flies orbiting around him and you treat people as bad as you smell.
Story time you 5-year old’s
There’s a gentleman (although he’s far from one) at my job who portrays himself as a cross between the King of England and the Dos Equis guy (the former one, not the new guy, he makes me want to give a donation to my lavatory). Back to King Balding, which I’ve nicknamed him since he’s got the most magnificent bald spot reflecting the office lights from the back of his stupid head. This turd even has the strut of a guy that just looks like he’s going to ruin your day. He walks with his legs flared out like a duck who needs a diaper change. He’s a married man with kids that hits on all the women at the office; so much so, I can’t see when he finds time to work. You can see it in his squinty eyes, he really believes people just think the best of him. He does excel at one thing besides sexual harassment: questioning if your work is done. Since he spends so much time traversing the office inadvertently showing off his groin in spandex like khakis, he’s always making appearances. This guy will constantly check to see if your work is done, despite not really having anyone directly reporting to him. King Balding just thinks that being in a vice president role grants him the right to stick is brown nose into everything. Yes, of course he kisses the boss’ rear, what else would you expect? So just try not to be like that guy and you’ll probably seem nice to most people.
What’s the best approach?
Here’s the dilemma: you don’t want to think too highly of yourself and believe you’re cooler than Vin Diesel in Furious 8. You also don’t want to have everyone think that you’re going to play on the train tracks any minute because of how poorly you see yourself. So, what in tarnation are you supposed to do? Nothing, not damn thing. Why are you so concerned with what people think of you in the first place? STOP IT! I’m only kidding, but like 45% not. It’s like this, as long as you have some sort of awareness for the way you come off to people, you probably are perceived better than you believe. We always judge ourselves the worst, so that’s just logical. It’s simple, try not to be King Balding and tell that voice in your head to dip his/her head in hot liquid metal, because ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’.
Now, don’t you feel better? Hopefully you’re more confident with the way people perceive you…. or maybe I just made you ten times more self-conscious and paranoid. In that case, whoops, I made a boo-boo and I’ll put myself in the corner. I think I’ll now draw a warm bath, sit in my own filth and eat a bowl of mac’n’cheese with hotdogs.
Till next ride