Saturday, April 4, 2020

I had read a while ago that the reason people tend to dislike photographs of themselves is because they're used to seeing themselves in the mirror, which is reversed. When they see themselves as others see them, it doesn't seem right. Seeing your side profile can be surprising because it's not an angle that you often see. Most people don't like hearing recordings of their voice because it sounds different than when they're talking. I learned recently that the reason behind this is called the mere-exposure effect, which basically states that people develop a preference for things only because they are familiar. You prefer to see yourself the way you see your reflection because you see it every day. I think it's similar to how we form our own perception of who we are.

You have your own perception of yourself, and whether it's real or not, it's what you're comfortable with. It's the person that you intend to be and project outwardly. It's easy to assume that people see you in a similar way. That's why the truth can be really hard to hear sometimes, especially when it's about you.

Sometimes people see things in you that are different than your reality. Most of the time you would never know. When others see the flaws we don't see, it doesn't seem real. When it's pointed out to you, it can clash hard with your view. It can be jarring. It can feel like a punch in the stomach. For some reason it can be too easy to see the good in ourselves and the flaws in others and not the other way around.

There are a lot of things I wish I could be and try to be. Things that I would hope others can see. Does everyone want to view themselves as the hero in their story? Sure. I do.

Which one is real then? You in your head or the you everyone else sees? I think I know myself pretty well, but I'm still wrestling with answering that honestly. I also have to be open to the possibility that maybe I'm not the person that I perceive myself to be. To deny that would be an ego issue. Maybe the people closest to me see someone else. Someone that I wouldn't like. It's one thing to be vulnerable enough to let someone get to know you, but when someone sees things in you that you can't even see, you have to be willing to accept that perspective. Hopefully it's more good than bad.

This quest to understand myself might be more difficult than I thought. How can I do that when I have only my own limited perspective? How does one get the full picture? Do I really want to see it?

There's a reason I'm pretty open about my opinions of others. I try to see the positive things in others like I would want them to see in me. I can probably see the best parts of you better than you can. Ask me about them sometime. I'll show them to you.