Perception Really is Everything

The Kijiji responder this week who accused me of behaving in a way I did not behave, irked me.

It’s my belief that many, if not most people, don’t realize that their perception of a conversation is coloured by the way it’s taken in.  In other words, they are perceiving to be – whatever – because of  THEIR personality, not mine or yours.

There is another person in my sphere of acquaintance who takes nearly everything you say as a negative comment.  The most benign mention of something, just to acknowledge it, is met with a “But” and a reason why that thing is good, as if you have just said it was crap, which you have not.  Their incoming filter has decided on a negative connotation to even the most harmless and emotionless thing.  This puts you on the defensive and you could find yourself arguing for something that didn’t exist in the first place! 

This is draining.

This particular person (who would never, ever visit here or I wouldn’t even broach this topic) doesn’t realize that it’s their own personality that’s infusing the conversation with incoming negativity.  In most cases a person has a choice of how to react.  But many just go with the first thing they think of and assume that’s correct.  Like amoebas or elk.  So this person’s first thought is “whatever is coming is negative” and they don’t even take a breath or a moment to decide whether that’s really true. 

I should have been a psychologist. 

Doctor Phil McGraw

I’ve decided that it’s a waste of my breath and my time to explain myself in these situations.  Why should I have to defend myself against someone else’s inherent perception?  I shouldn’t.  I don’t care if I’m misunderstood.  Based on the way they behave with me they must go through their lives with deflector shields on, believing they’re defending themselves against Debbie Downer slings and arrows all day.  And they will likely never, ever learn that they are the problem, not everyone else.  There’s a good rule of thumb for us all; if everyone is being a jerk to you it’s time to look at the common denominator and realize there’s no conspiracy.  It’s you!

3 thoughts on “Perception Really is Everything”

  1. Why don’t you just say, “Wow, once again, you misunderstood what I said” instead of responding to their reaction and put that person on the defensive. I went most of my life fending off people like that. Now I throw their behaviour back in their face. It feels good. What have you got to lose and maybe you’ll be doing them a favour. I am growing more and more intolerant of idiots, the older I get.

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