Friday, October 24, 2008

Really, Who Are You?

Have you ever had this strange realization that your perspective of yourself is totally different than how others see you?

For example: I tend to think of myself as fairly easy-going and laid back. However, I am quite certain that these are NOT the words my friends would use to describe me. Let's try high-strung, talkative, energetic, organized...and none of those words bring anything close to relaxed to mind.

I was discussing with a friend today another mutual acquaintance, and how I think she's too tightly-wound. And this Friend says, "You know, that's exactly what I thought about you when I first met you!" And then she used the word "spastic", as well. Yikes!

Time for a reality check. Maybe this mutual acquaintance is a lot like me (in other ways, too) so I should just cut her a break. She could be my best friend in 3 years. You just never know.

I will say, I do think I'm laid back with regard to hosting and my parenting. My house does not need to be perfect in order to entertain - good thing, too. Also, I wouldn't be able to list ignoring as a parenting technique if I was overly nervous in general.

Also, in my own defense, Aaron says I have chilled out in the last few years (maybe the 2 kids did it!) and I do tend to be most "spastic" when I first meet people, especially in groups. I am too much of an extrovert, and I get excited. Can't help it. I prefer to call it "animated" or "vivacious". Thankfully, so does my wonderful husband.

So, tell me about your experience - how and maybe when did you realize that others may have a different description of your personality than you yourself do?


Noel said...

Two points:

(1) People seem to put themselves at the midpoint of the evaluative spectrum and everyone else is either "more" or "less". For example, as an extreme introvert, I find a lot of other introverts as outgoing. It's not that they are outgoing, it's just that they are more outgoing than the normalized me. The nomalized me also seems to be getting more introverted with time.

(2) Kids and home ownership do a lot to mellow people out. After X dirty diapers/day for a few years, sewer back ups, leaks, rodents of various sizes, creepy crawlys of various leg counts, etc, a few papers or toys out of place isn't such as big deal.

Ruth said...

i remember when Tim informed me that I was a crabby person.

ouch. it hurt. but since i had just finished reading "how full is your bucket?" it was thoughtfully digested instead of thrown down the crapper in a three hour car argument.