This is a phrase I’ve heard several people tell me and honestly, I wish it were true. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m a mess, but I’m definitely not as put together as people think, and sometimes I even feel like my life is a mess. I may look put together a lot of the time, but I guess that’s my way of manifesting that reality into my life. There are several things in my life that I’m still figuring out and trying to remain on top of and I am certainly not where I want to be.
The more people would tell me this, the more it got me thinking: if those that are close to me can have a misperception of me, how much more do we misperceive those that we don’t know.
When we don’t know everything about someone, we tend to fill the gaps in our knowledge with fantasies. We use what we already know to ascertain what we do not know, whether or not this is correct.
Perception refers to the way in which we view and understand something or someone. Misperception can have several consequences, one being that we often use these to compare ourselves to others. We believe that other people have certain characteristics that we desire which can either lead to inspiration or self-doubt. The gag is, the person you are looking up to may not even have that thing that you desire, so don’t put yourself down for not having it either.
Another consequence of misperception is that it leads to disappointment. When we believe someone to be a certain way and they turn out not to be that way, we get angry at them and start tweeting about how there are no real ones in the world. We create a person in our minds and attribute the features of this fictional person to a real person and when they act like themselves, we become disappointed. The reality is that we created our own disappointment by having such high expectations that were perhaps not based on hard facts.
Don’t get me wrong, it is necessary to look up to people, but we must also recognise that these people are human and have flaws. We should also be aware that the way we perceive them is very personal, and they and others may not see them in that same way.
My challenge for 2019 and beyond, both for myself and for you guys, is to stop needlessly putting people on a pedestal.