If you were to ask 2 individuals about their opinions of a mutual friend, you might think you should obtain same, if not similar descriptions of the personality of this same friend. However, is this always the case? Different people may have different interactions with this individual due to various reasons. It could be perception formed when encountering different situations with this person, different way of processing information; or it might even be due to personal baggage one holds which tint perceptions.
What about the self-perception of this individual? If you were to ask your friends for some descriptions of your personality and compared them with your personal assessment, you might find some discrepancies. Now then, how is this impacting our lives? With perceptions, it comes with expectations. If one is unaware of how others think of us, we might not be able to meet the expectations of others. Many a time, it might lead to conflict in relationship or communication breakdown. And if one is on the opposite end of the spectrum of trying to fulfill others’ expectations, one will feel weary and unhappy.
How does this above insight going to help us? The important thing here is what can we do about these discrepancies. Instead of letting the discrepancies of self-perception and perception of others cripple us, a good start is to give ourselves a second chance, ie to re-discover ourselves and how others see us. Learning about ourselves, others and how they see us can be an interesting, fun and rewarding journey if we have a thinking partner with us.