5 Nov

per•cep•tion/pərˈsepSHən/ the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through senses. The state of being or process of being aware of something.

A couple of people I know had an argument a few weeks ago, and it’s got me thinking about perception and the way we perceive other people’s behaviour and words. As normal, it had taken something very small to plant a seed of thought in my mind, and now I am going off on a tangent.

So I thought I would enlist Emmy to take part in a bit of a game with me. I asked her to think of three words to describe me, and then three words to describe herself. Before she responded, so I wouldn’t be influenced by what she said, I did the same thing. Three about me, three about her.

As a teenager I was very different to the person I am now, and my family might give you three different words, but this girl lives with me and has been a massive part of my life for the best part of ten years. We are like chalk and cheese; she is blonde and calm and a party girl, I am brunette, my emotions bubble really close to the surface and I am a lot more likely to favour dinner out with the girls to a rave. I have mellowed out and although I still have a bit of a short fuse, I’m not troubled like I used to be. The trail or gunpowder has got a lot longer and I feel that I have developed the ability to be able to look at a situation from both perspectives rather than just throwing my opinion around. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but I think my feet are firmly on the ladder of this one.

So I thought about the words that I would use to describe me to someone, and I came up with these. Honest. Fiery. Impulsive. It is totally possible to be all three, and it’s a really interesting mix. I hate liars with a passion as I don’t think it is necessary and I feel it is far more stressful that telling the truth, I blow up and cool down with a lightning speed making me very clearly fiery, and if asked to do something my answer is normally “sure, why not?” as long as I’m not putting myself in any danger.

The ones I used to describe her were measured, dippy and loyal. She is all three of these in equal measures. She is the calmest person I know and the most level. If I am the fire element then she is water, and I think that’s why we live together so harmoniously and rarely fall out over insignificant things. She is dippy (as you will know from my Life According To Emma posts) and she is a really loyal friend. I think a lot of the time it’s because she thinks like a boy, and therefore doesn’t get bitchy or unpleasant.

She obviously didn’t take it seriously the first time and came back with “Me= Massive. Slut. Bag. You = Big. Boob. Face. Oooh, I like this game!”

The three words she came back with eventually for me were confident, organised and caring. Her justifications were that I am very sure of myself, good at holding my own and speaking my mind. I’m organised as I am always organising her/reminding her of stuff and caring as when someone is ill, having family or boyfriend trouble I’m always there to listen and pick them up.

The three words she came back for herself were awkward, funny and emotional. She felt that she is awkward as she is always putting her foot in it, funny as she always has a story to tell and emotional because she stresses herself out over silly things.

Isn’t it funny how different people perceive you? The three words I used to describe myself were a far cry from the ones that Emma used, and of the words she chose, only one of ours matched up (dippy/funny). I found it really interesting that the ones she chose for herself were slightly negative (emotional and awkward) whereas the two others I selected for her were far more positive. I think its human nature to talk yourself down, but the question is which ones are the most accurate, and can you be all of the ones that people describe you as?

So I thought I would take it a step further and ask someone who sees a different side of me. I asked LouLouBelle to play the same game with me. She sees me at my most emotional, but also my most serious when I am playing with the rugrats and helping her out. She has also worked with me, so she has seen my no nonsense, get the job done side too, and is lucky enough to not live with me, so doesn’t see the tension and irritation of all the things that come up when sharing a house. As for her, she is the most selfless person I know. She would give you her last fiver if she thought you needed it, and she is one of the kindest and most loving people around.

The three she came back for me were loveable, amazing, and best friend. This just goes to show what I mean about Lou; she is the sweetest person I know!

The words I had written to describe her were selfless, dependable and calm. Sometimes when she tells me she was up all night with the baby I don’t know how she is still so level and cheery and I’m always amazed by how good she is with the girls.

The adjectives she came back with for herself were loving, kind and trustworthy, all are which are true.

This baffled me a bit; Lou was pretty much bang on the money with her description of herself, whereas my and Emma’s responses were totally different about ourselves than how other people saw us. So what affects how we see ourselves in comparison to how others see us?

All in all it was a fun game, and I think that all the adjectives used to describe me and my two friends are accurate. I think that we can be a ball of differing things depending on when you catch us. I guess it’s like all the faces of a diamond; catch us in one light and we might twinkle dimly, but see us in a ray of sun and we sparkle like the brightest of stars.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?


21 Responses to “Perception”

  1. Jim Brickett November 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Coo insights and reasoning

  2. Jade November 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Love it! I’m going to play this game with my husband 😉

  3. Redneckprincess November 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Very interesting!!

  4. zendictive November 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    intrusive (I’ve been told, but you must consider my job duties)
    honorable (if I say I will do something you can count on it)
    and peaceful (I’ve been told I have a calm demenor that radiates to others)


  5. underwhelmer November 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    I love this question. Interviewers love to ask it. Here’s my favorite response.

    #1 Danger
    #2 Fast
    #3 Go

    This started a conversation or two. 😛 I think Mr. Dwight Schrute takes the cake on this one though…

  6. Bluejellybeans November 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Good listener

  7. Team Oyeniyi November 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Tenacious, romantic, resiliant. Very perceptive article! 🙂

  8. gojulesgo November 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    This was a very neat experiment! I think you’re right that we tend to be more negative when describing ourselves, and that it’s possible to be a lot of different things – even if they seem in direct opposition. I would describe myself as sensitive, loving and reliable. (I WISH I could describe myself as smart, funny and sexy. And rich. LOL)

  9. prenin November 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Honest, Kind, Gentle.

    All that I have tried so hard to be over the years…

    Love and hugs sweety!


  10. Ape No. 1 November 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    My first thought was obviously

    Handsome, Wealthy, Dishonest

    But maybe funny, random, emotional

  11. lifeinthefarcelane November 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Great post!

    To describe me I’d say: Funny, Kind (lame adjective, but the world needs more kind) and .. I can only think of 2.

    Friends would agree with the 1st one and then the fight would commence on the other 2 lol

  12. jannatwrites November 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Interesting thoughts. I have also noticed that we often have more negative descritpions of ourselves. (The ones who don’t are perceived as ‘obnoxious’, aren’t they?)

    I would say I’m introverted, loyal and funny. I’ve heard from friends that my shyness comes off as being ‘stuck up’, which disappoints me 😦

  13. 57andrew November 6, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    A very thoughtful post. Nicely crafted and written.

  14. The Hook November 6, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    1. Reflective.
    2. Loyal.
    3. Tightly-wound!
    I’m sure I’m off the mark – we’re our own worst critics, after all – but I gave it a shot!

  15. rommel November 6, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    What I gathered from your intelligent experiment is, something that shouldn’t come as a shock but worth highlighting nonetheless, that a person’s personality largely affects the way a person perceive others’.

  16. robpixaday November 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    So true!
    We’re always seeing and being seen differently. Your results were fascinating.

  17. An Observant Mind November 7, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Love this post, you’re right it is easier to think of (positive) things to say about our friends than it is for ourselves. I liked this idea I’m going to try it with my hubby tonight (batten down the hatches when I hear the answers!)

    For me the 3 would be: loyal, impatient, honest – no question, top three traits of mine (in my opinion anyway)!

  18. Sunshine November 7, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    Excellent way to get to know oneself from another point of view!
    My 3 words: cheerful, pleasant and of course, beautiful! Haha….

  19. sojournwithstacey November 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Smart. Dramatic. Cheerful 🙂

  20. goldcoastlocal November 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    I have been thinking about this a lot, How do others perceive me, How do I perceive myself. How do others perceive themselves and how do I perceive them. It is valuable to know ourselves, and sometimes to act and move forward in the way others perceive you. My work mates were laughing at me the other day because I described myself as tense. The good man who works at the same place and he was laughing at them, because he lives with me. It’s all very interesting. Anyway enough seriousness I am going to do this with my best friend.

  21. therealsharon November 10, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    I think I am honest, forgiving to a fault, and overly emotional

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