It’s interesting to find out how people perceive you. It’s also interesting to realize that how people perceive you is based on what is going on in their life at the time and not on what is going on in your life. I find this to be completely backwards. Let me explain…
You work with someone who always seems miserable. They complain about their workload, make loud sighs throughout the day, and just never seem to smile. Your perception is that they dislike their job (or maybe even life). You think this because of how they behave but not just how they behave in general but how their behavior makes YOU feel. You like work. Well maybe you don’t like work but you’re glad to have a job. You’re friendly and outgoing with your co-workers and you enjoy laughing. This person’s behavior bothers you because of how YOU view work not because of how they behave. If you knew more about what was going on with them you might understand better why they seem so miserable at work. It might not have anything to do with work. And really the only reason you even care at all is because of your views about work and not because you care about their feelings. If you really, really think about this you’ll realize it’s true.
So why would you know more about what was going on with their life?
You probably wouldn’t and it really isn’t necessary, this person is just a co-worker. But what if this story was about a friend of yours? A friend’s behavior is strange, bad, good, confusing, etc… and you make a perception (often known as jumping to a conclusion) about what their mood is all about. If you’re a good friend you’ll figure out what is going on with them to spark that change. You’ll try to figure it out FROM them and not just make assumptions. What you perceive to be true probably isn’t true if you just base your perception off of their behavior and how it fits into your day but rather the truth will come if you communicate with them and care enough to figure out the true cause of their mood based on what is going on in their life...period.
I sure wish more people knew how to be good friends. It would not only save me from hurt but them as well if they would only take the time to communicate and not just assume.