Friday, April 30, 2010

A matter of perception

How do you see things?
You most likely have heard the saying…
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
Or the question…
Is your glass half full or half empty?
(Or you could be like one of my friends who will reply, “overflowing”.)
I love that. I try to learn from my friends. I have really good people in my life and I think very highly of all of them (or they wouldn’t be in my life) I try to learn from them whenever I can.

You know how when a few women get together and start talking. It can easily lead into speculation about other people and what may or may not be going on in their life. Well, I have another really smart friend that will simply say, “You never know what is going on in someone’s life”. True. Are you peaking in their window? Do you read their mind? How can you really know what is going on?

I heard Oprah the other day say… “People think that pretty people don’t have problems”.
Do you read a book by its cover?

I tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor. But when I say things they don’t always get received in the way they were intended. In the past, I’ve tried to give up sarcasm for lent. It never goes well. I can give up Doritos or even wine (Ok, so that one is only when I’m pregnant but it counts) but I just can’t get the sarcasm out of me.

I do wonder sometime (after the fact and way too late to do anything about it) how people see me. I think maybe that’s why I try to play devil’s advocate when I can. (When I remember to) Attempt to give the benefit of doubt.

There is a part in the movie “Dead Poet Society” where Robin William’s character asks his students to stand up on the desk. He points out to them that sometimes you have to step out of the box or look at things differently to get a clear picture. See it in a different light. I’m reminded of this from time to time when I watch my 22 month old. Last week he couldn’t see what his sister was doing. So he climbed up on the table. I found him in the middle of the table on his knees and elbows with his nose about 2 inches from his sister’s craft project. He just wanted to get a better view.

Should I have yelled? Should I watch him every single second of the day and be two feet away at all times just in case??? Ten people will see it ten different ways. I just scooped him up, kissed his cheek and set him on the floor. Do I always handle things this way… sadly NO. All too often I react then I think.

Those who interpret body language will tell you that crossed arms is a sign of someone who is unapproachable, closed, someone who may be angry. I know when my arms are crossed, I’m cold or maybe I feel self-conscious. By no means am I trying to tell people to stay away from me. Go ahead, talk to me, I won’t bite.

Do you have an open mind? Do you give the benefit of doubt? How do you see the world around you? How do you express yourself? What do you want others to see?

Enjoy the day and look at things a little different. What do you see??????


Liz Mays said...

I cross my arms all the time too. It's more a sign of discomfort or protective mode for me too.

I really have been trying to look at things with a more positive spin lately too. My first reaction has always been negative for most of my life. Then I sit back and rethink it. I'm trying now to think first before I react in any way. I'm doing pretty well with it so far.

But sarcasm must live on!

Heather said...

Yes! I think about how I'm perceived a lot. Probably used to do that too much. I also try to think of how else someone might mean something. I know how misunderstood we can be with the written language - you miss out on gestures and inflections and things can mean almost the opposite when you're done. And I know at times, probably too often, I'm guilty of judgement and first impressions. Thanks for the inspiration to open up and rethink.


Teaching Heart Mom said...

I cross my arms because it is comfortable... but I start to think maybe people would think I am stand-offish, so I uncross. So I guess I care what other think.

I do think way too much into things and let my mind stretch out a thought to something it really should not be. Then I open my mouth...

I find I am one of those people that care more about what the people I care about think rather than what others think.

I do try to be more positive with my thoughts but there are a few people in your life that just get to you or that you can't help but try to figure out what is going on in their mind.

Good post.

Intense Guy said...

Sarcasm done right is a mighty fine art form - done wrong its just brutal.


I cross my arms now and then, sometimes it means my fingers are cold and I've got 'em stuck in my 'pits.

Perception is a tricky business. It takes a lot of practice and feedback. I usually give someone a coupel chances to prove themselves for what they are - before deciding if I want them "around" any longer.

...probably why I live alone.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Girl we are so the same except you find others ppl junk and turn it into and amazing piece of artwork, you rock!

My arm crossed means the same thing I'm cold or trying to hid my belly ;).

I'm way to sarcastic also, but darn it I can't help it :)

I always want ppl to like me and love me and sometimes try to hard.