Monday, October 03, 2011

in the eye of the beholder

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.


julochka said...

we are on the same wavelength...i've been thinking thoughts like these lately....and my baggage (which i think i called shadows that day, mostly because i had a nice photo of some shadows) about the small town can also manifest a "you think you're better" way, so i definitely get what you're saying.

i've been pondering the uncomfortable thought that what i most dislike in some of the behavior i've seen around me of late (righteousness) is something within me as well...either that, or i'm catching that righteousness from my surroundings. and i so, so hate that at the same time as i don't really know how to combat it.

but as for someone who doesn't get blogging? what-evah. how does she know she even exists? ;-)

Unknown said...

As the daughter of a policeman in a small town with a high crime rate, I can relate to this. My parents told me to ignore the jibes, to rise above it. So I quickly became known as aloof and a snob.

Other people's perceptions are such funny things. Part of me still wants people to think well of me though and I hate that need to be liked feeling. I wish I could say what-evah more often.

Molly said...

@eggdipdip sometimes I think I say what-evah TOO often and @julochka sometimes I think that smacks of righteousness which I also dislike in others ... it's tough when you're perfect hahahahahahahaha

Chloƫ said...

A point well made, & I think that I agree.

I feel I swing between being overly concerned with pleasing people I don't know yet occassionally coming across as being a bit of a snobbish dickhead. What can I say? I work in hospitality? I have good days & bad days..

Thank you for a little bit of something today.

Possum said...

Here's the's my opinion of what the thing is...we all have ye olde baggage and shadows etc and the folk that make us feel shite about ourselves and needy and wanting to be accepted are the ones with the big issues that have nothing to do with us. NOTHING
The fab folk who love us as we are - righteousness, warts and all - are the ones we should take care with; are the ones who are worthy of us and ironically are the ones we never have to worry about needing to be liked or be accepted by.
Definitely what-evah to the naysayers!!
Just saying...:)

DB Stewart said...

Smart post from a smart person. (And I'm pretty sure I'm reading you right.)

Molly said...

Thanks dbs, and Gwin & Possum - yup, this is one of those issues I think we all ponder, and probably our POV's on it will change a couple of times in our lives - keeps it interesting!