The Truth about Perception

Whenever we get rejected by someone, we tend to assume that something is wrong with ourselves, that we were not good enough for that person, that we are inadequate in some way. The truth is that most of the time, this is not true at all. People usually judge others based on our their own personal experiences and values, which are not always a true reflection of other people.

For example, say growing up your parents taught you that calling someone persistently is a sign of real interest and confidence, then you may think that anyone who does that to you really wants to talk to you and is not afraid to let you know that. However, if on the other hand, your older brother always told you that calling someone persistently shows that you have nothing better to do and no one else to call, then in this case, you may actually think that anyone who does that to you is desperate. This example shows how our personal experiences shape our beliefs, which then influences how we interpret the actions of other people.

In a different example, say your atheist friend might think that your coworker Mike is a very funny guy because he tells great jokes about popes. You on the other hand, a staunch Catholic, might think that Mike is very rude person because you find Mike’s jokes about popes offensive towards your religious beliefs. In this situation, you and your friend, both with very different beliefs interpreted your coworker’s actions very differently. Neither of you is really right or wrong, it is all a matter of perception.

Therefore, people generally see things from their own perspective, a reflection of who they are as people, which again not always a true reflection of how things and other people actually are. Thus, when someone rejects you, they are not really rejecting who you actually are, they are rejecting their own idea of who they think you are.

Image: Aerial view of Southern Maalhosmadulu Atoll, Maldives in Asia (© Sakis Papadopoulos, Getty Images) from Bing Images

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