I've been thinking a lot lately about perception...and how people seem to perceive me to be someone that I, quite plainly, am not. I hear people tell me things like "You're so nice", "You're so laid back", or "You're just so confident"....and I wonder who in the world they are talking about...cause it certainly ain't me! I'm not that nice of a person...I tend to be more of a control freak than "laid back"... and most days I am just as insecure as the next girl....so how is it that people come to these perceptions of me?!?! Am I being fake with the world?!?! Putting on the face that I know they want to see...acting only in a way that is socially acceptable?!?! And if that's true, is it such a bad thing....I mean, people seem to think better of me than I tend to think of myself...so how bad can it be?!?!
For example, I make a strategic effort to not mingle my personal life with my work life. So when I am dealing with family issues at home I might share the brief, tip of the iceberg, important but not really the main point of the issue with my co-workers, but I don't go into details about it...and I honestly probably never will. Yet the fact that I don't share these things has lead to the belief that my family life is perfect....okay well not perfect, cause lets face it, nobodies life is perfect, but people certainly have a much more pleasant idea of what life is like for me, then what is reality.
Or for another example, I am an emotional person...and although I let people see some of those emotions, I prefer not to cry in front of people or punch the wall when people are looking. I would rather people not see me struggling, or depressed, or mad or just plain old broken. Yet that leads people to believe that I am so much stronger than I actually am....and it gives them this picture of me that just doesn't match up with reality.
Not that I am saying we should all go out and lay every inch of ourselves bare in front of the whole world (I mean obviously we need to walk in wisdom), but if how people perceive us is different than how we actually are...doesn't that say something about us?!?! How much pressure could we release ourselves from if we were just real with who we are?!?! But that's not socially acceptable....people don't like seeing other peoples junk....it's uncomfortable and awkward. So where do you draw the line?!?!?! These are the kind of questions that keep me awake at night....