Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Others Generally See Me As I See Myself

Someone once asked me how others at church see me, since I'm kind of hard to pin down and categorize online.  The following was my response: 

Most people don't see me as crazy, because I don't rant and challenge and act crazy. I act like a fully-believing member (which I am, just on my own terms), so they see me as such. I'm calm and usually gentle and smile all the time and am happy and act in a friendly manner, so that's how they see me. I'm not a threat in any way to anyone at church, so they don't see me as one.

I really do think that others tend to see us as we see ourselves - and the real issue is that the manner in which they view themselves reacts to and interacts with how I see myself. To some who are insecure, my confidence can come across as arrogance; to those who are assured of something different than I am (and whose assurance depends on not being challenged by a different assurance), I can come across as a foe - but that almost never happens at church, since our foundation assurance is the same; to others who are insecure (and especially who feel unloved or lonely), my smiles and hugs make them gravitate to me for more of that; etc.; etc.; etc.

Too few people really understand exactly how much power we can have over the perceptions of others, and too many people blame others for how they are perceived and treated. Do we have total control over these things? Absolutely not. Should we have total control in this regard? Absolutely not. Do we have the ultimate responsibility for how we are viewed and treated **generally**? Yes, in my opinion.

No comments: