This weekend while reading my friend Robyn’s blog, I came across a post she wrote about the movie Black Swan. The post was called, ‘Are you a Black Swan or a White Swan?’ and included a “personality” type of test you could complete online. I joked with her that I was a “white swan trapped in a black swan’s body” but I wasn’t being funny when I said it—I truly feel that I am perceived by others as being bold, headstrong, opinionated, and bossy, qualities that the Black Swan definitely holds.
For me, I know I am all these things, but I also have plenty of White Swan qualities as well. I am very giving and generous and loyal to my friends. I can also be quiet and shy and introverted—most people don’t see me this way because I am usually the loud one at the party, but there are parts of me that are reserved and to myself.
All of this got me to thinking how we are perceived by others isn’t always how we perceive ourselves. Of course our judgment of ourselves can be a bit cloudy and convoluted because many of us don’t like to point out our less than stellar qualities. But I also think that the way you carry yourself can cause others to judge you quickly before they even get to really know you.
When I walk into a room, my head is held high. I am strong with my eye contact and handshakes. I am not a wallflower—people perceive this to be a brash, no nonsense woman, but I am far from that. I am not always sure of myself but you would never see that in public. I come from the school where you never let ’em see you sweat—I will never let anyone know they’ve gotten the best of me even when they have.
I hate to use the word swag so I will say this—-my aura is quite dominant; but I’m a softy!
If people went by their perceptions of me instead of really getting to know me, my assertiveness could turn them off. But at the end of the day, I can only be me.
I can’t water me down.
How do others perceive you? And are their perceptions on point or are they incorrect in your eyes? Can you change the way you are perceived by others? Let’s discuss!
Photo credit: Happy Black Woman
TS Redmond Mize says
Man, I don’t know how others perceive me! LOL
I do however find myself quite often, sitting at my computer, reading things people say about me thinking, “Who? Me? Why..I just..that’s just what you’re supposed to do, isn’t it?” 😀
The Cubicle Chick says
Tori, from what I see, I perceive you as sharp lady that knows how to speak your mind 🙂
Robyn Wright says
This sort of touches on what I was talking about with my therapist today actually. There is a part of me that has this logical wall that goes up when I feel the need to be protected. Generally I talk really fast when this happens. The wall goes up because I want to stay in control of feelings. However, I am at the point in my life now that I want to feel those feelings. It is all very odd and complicated. I know that I apparently used to come across as a rich bitch in high school (I have NO idea why honestly), but apparently I have mellowed because I don’t get that these days. Even though I may be very nervous someplace though I do walk up to others or join in, etc. and can be quite loud – it’s just all me though.
Ok – now I’m rambling just like I did at therapy today LOL
Tammy Matthews says
Great points. I’m pretty sure people don’t persieve me as who I really am. I picture myself walking into a store – My head is high and I walk in like I know I belong. But on the inside I’m scared to death that someone is going to find a way to hurt me.
The real me is a beautiful person who loves other people deeply and I love helping others.
Never thought of it like this. I’d say I probably come off an unapproachable and that’s NOT what I want.
Thanks for the post – gives me something to definately think about.
TS Redmond Mize says
Oh, I hope I’m as smart as everyone seems to think. LOL Like I said, sometimes it is a bit hard to get used to the compliments- as the above poster said, that’s an issue for the ol’ talky couch. The way I grew up…man, well, I think I can get used to the praise.
Great topic! It is really interesting to get to know someone especially when you have one idea of what they are like and then when you get to know them you find out what they are really like or what they see themselves as. I have been told that I am intimidating,(I stand over 5′ 10″ and hold myself tall becasue I love being tall), I don’t feel I am really like that, on certain subjects perhaps. I have been at workshops where we get to tell others about ourselves and one time I was so emotional that I cried as I spoke, you have no idea how many people came up to me afterwards and told me they had no idea I was like that! We can fool people and perhpas we can fool ourselves, but in the end it really is so much a part of the journey to see what we do become.
Mike D says
I am perceived as arrogant…..But guess what…..I DON’T CARE…lol