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Friday, January 21, 2011

Do People See You the Way You Think They See You?

I think there might be a slight discrepancy in the way I think people see me--and the way they actually do.

Here's how I want people to see me: Witty, nice, outgoing, reliable, nice, compassionate, stylish, nice, clean, organized, nice. 

Reality is, however, I'm not exactly all of these things. Sometimes I fake it--because I want to perceive me a certain way. Like being outgoing. I'm not. Like most people, I prefer to sit on my couch and wait for everyone to come to me, include me. I learned a few years ago, though, that everyone else is waiting for the same thing. So I decided to be the outgoing one. I'm the one sitting by strangers, making phone calls, commenting on everyone's Facebook post. I hope people think I'm outgoing, because I'm trying really hard to appear that way.

Other times, I try to be a certain way, but people see something else. For example, witty. I think I'm funny. I crack jokes, I make people laugh, I'm very sarcastic. But do other people really see me this way? Sometimes, after I've been somewhere, making people laugh, I get home and panic seizes me: Did I cross the line? Did I offend anyone? Did I make fun of anyone on accident? Did I look like a total attention-hog?

I hope that people know they can rely on me. I want to be that person that gets called whenever there's a need, a crisis, a new baby, a sick friend.

And some of these things I simply want to be. Like organized. If I clean my house enough, put things away enough, perhaps it will become second nature. Perhaps one day I will even enjoy it.

Here's the real me, the one I hope nobody really sees: self-conscious, sarcastic, insecure, desperate for friends, messy. And there are good things, too. I really am nice.

13 comments:

Elisa said...

lol. I care WAY too much about what other people think of me. Most of the time it just causes anxiety. So I try not to even think about it.

I think the only thing I have no fear of accidentally being thought of is: mistakenly thought of as a patient person. No chance anyone who knows me at all could make that error. :)

Ann Best said...

You ARE nice!

I'm old enough now that I don't worry how people see me or what they think about me. I had seen this in "older" people, and now it's me! It's really a peaceful place to be.

M Pax said...

I'm reaching Ann's phase. It's liberating.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

really? I don't know. I don't think it's a bad thing to care what people think about you. It means I'm always trying to be better!

Kasey said...

'Fake it 'til you make it' -- I think we all do to some extent.

I know what you mean about trying to be witty, then panicking that you took it too far and it was received as mean. I typically do this in a work setting, I.e. Make fun of my boss in front of HIS boss and take it just ONE step too far...like far enough that the next day I send an email, making sure he knows I was just teasing.

And I've always wanted to be more outgoing than I am. Every time we've moved to a new city/state, I've made a genuine effort to move out of my comfort zone, be the girl who starts conversations and invites friends to hang out, etc. Baby steps!

So, hey....wanna hang out some time? ;p

Stephanie Faris said...

I see myself as a hard worker but I have a feeling my co-workers just think I'm obnoxious!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

lol, Kasey! Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about! Sure, let's hang!

Stephanie, I know I've definitely had coworkers resent me for being hard working.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I sometimes fake happiness when I'm not feeling on top of the world and I know I've made a bad judgment call before on whether something was funny or offensive. But nobody's perfect, right? Sometimes, hard as we try, we just don't do things right!

DL Hammons said...

Everybody...I spent two days with Tamara at a writers conference. SHE IS WITTY, CONFIDENT, and above all, NICE! Of course I was a blog follower before I met her, so I got to know her a little before we met. But some things, you just can't fake. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I think we all feel that way some days that we wish people would see the real us! You sound SOOOOO Normal:))

RaShelle said...

Hi Tamara - I so understand where you're coming from. You know, at one point, I used to be KNOWN for my clean, organized house. Now, ugh, it's a constant mess. I try to stay on top of it, but ... NOPE. You seem really nice to me. =D

I have an award for you on my blog. =D

banananutmeg said...

One of my favorite quotes is "comfort arrests progress" We have challenges to gain strength and perseverence. It seems like the times when we are too comfortable that we also become idle because we want to stay wrapped in our comfort. But leaving the box is what will make us better people, and bless the lives of others. You are lucky that you blessed with bravery and can reach out to meet new friends. Imagine how much longer it would have taken to cultivate a circle of friends in a new town, without that gift of courage!
I hate moving. I feel like I'm being scrutinized and interviewed and ignored all at the same time.

I don't think I see myself the same way people see me AT ALL.

I see you as a nice, busy, tiny, motivated, strong, outgoing, thoughtful, happy etrovert.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

@Solvang--I so do that. I kind of feel bad about it b/c I know when I'm faking it. I won't be chipper at home but as soon as someone else comes along, I'm faking a smile.

@DL--you're sweet! And yay! You think I'm witty and confident! I try really hard to be!

@Terri--thank you for that. It feels good sometimes to know what I feel is normal.

@Rashelle--ha! Organization is never something I'll be known for! On my way over to your blog!

@Meg--I live in a fantastic area with a group of girls very willing to let a new girl into their lives. I love you ladies so much!

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