Increasingly I realise that what most people think of you comes 98% from who they are. When someone considers you, they are doing so with the full weight of themselves behind the conclusions they draw.
This is why one never really knows what people think of you. Because every person who's ever met you has a different opinion.
Example: two women I met recently.
One (apparently) thinks I'm hilarious. A breath of fresh air. She asked if I was just naturally good at everything I do. There was an edge to the question.
The other thinks I'm a bit of a ditz. I think she thinks that blogging is really silly, I'm not saving lives or changing policy so really, what's the point?
I'm long past the stage where either opinion really impacted on me. This is not because I'm so sure of who I am that I shrug off others opinions, more because I actually never really know who I am anyway so how should anyone else?
But I did spend some time thinking about these two women, and working out what it was about them that made them think that about me.
It was an interesting process, and I came to some conclusions, but I guess I was just doing the same - viewing them through my eyes - so I'll never really know will I?
Julie wrote recently that growing up in a small town has made her overly concerned with wanting to please, wanting people to like her.
I too grew up in a small town but my experience was completely different. When one's family is singled out as the social pariahs, the liberal outcasts, the 'commies', one learns from pretty young not to give a fuck what others think.
And to compensate for that, for isolation is not something any human being really craves, its easy to nurture feelings of superiority, or at least, defensive self-confidence.
There's been a number of occasions in my life where someone has accused me of 'thinking I'm better than them'. I can be pretty judgmental, or maybe I should say unapologetic with my opinions, and I have often been criticised for it - even here - but I have always, always backed those thoughts or actions with the knowledge that they're mine, they come from me.
You may think I think I'm better than you, but if you're clever you'll realise that my thinking that is just that. My thinking, my eyes, carrying my baggage.
It's weight depends on how much of it you can see.