I use to wonder how people made assumptions about someone character based on perception. I have often been a victim to the labeling game. Some would often call me vain, mean, bossy, conceited, unsympathetic, tough, hypersensitive, and the list goes on. I don't walk around carrying these characteristics as a part of my personality but I know that there has been times in my life that I had to use some of these labels in defense for myself. People opinions about me use to irritate me because I couldn't understand why people made a decision about someone that they didn't know. When I meet people, I don't share a lot about myself. I am an observer and I have to get to know someone before I can fully become comfortable with sharing information about myself. I value the people that I have in my life and I value myself and not everyone is trustworthy of knowing all your business. I like people. I learn so much from people and their cultures when I talk to them. We are all unique and learning about people helps me stay humble. I truly believe that there is good in everyone but some times the evil side tend to take over. Since it takes me a while to warm up to people, the perception can be perceived in a negative way. Once I start opening up and people get a chance to see the real side of me their opinions about me usually changes. I do this with everyone I meet including relatives or a new colleague. I have been this way as a child and I know it should be easy by now but I think some people just exhibit certain behaviors as a child that follows them into their adulthood. I know I can be tough, bossy, and mean.
As a woman in a leadership position dominated by men, I have to be tough so no one will run over me. As a mom I have to sometimes be mean when I put my children in time out or on punishments for bad behaviors. I know that if I allow them to make mistakes at a young age without consequences then they might carry the bad behavior into adulthood. I don't use these term in a disrespectful way, I use them as tools. As a woman we get a bad reputation for possessing attitudes. Men often think we are always angry. So when we decide to voice our opinion about something we are often perceived as being bossy. When I stood up for myself and decided to tell my colleague that I was no longer going to take his rude behavior towards me anymore he decided to tell other people that I got smart with him and that maybe I was on my period. I felt like that was the most disrespectful thing someone can say about a woman standing up for herself. It is hard living as a woman and working in a place dominated by men. It is a constant battle trying to prove to my male colleagues that I am capable and have the knowledge and experience that they possess. I have to be careful to not exhibit behaviors that would be perceived as being bossy, moody,or vain. These are all misrepresentations of women. When we decide to ignore a whistle, catcall, or a sexual remark, we are called stuck up, conceited, or other terms that I choose not to disclose. It is exhausting worry about if someone is going to perceive me in a negative way. I know who I am and I know my heart. It gets hard sometimes battling with the world and it causes me to shut down and not let people know the real me.
People are going to always talk about us and there is nothing we can do about it. They talk about you when you're doing good and they talk about you when you're doing bad. The good thing about all of this is that none of them live with us. If you do live at home with a negative person then try to talk about your feelings and if it doesn't work out then it might be time for you to move out. As I am getting older I have learned that sometimes its hard to let people go but its harder to hold on to people that are doing you wrong. Just always do your best to communicate your feelings first and if it don't work out then at least you tried. As you go about your day evaluate yourself so you will know your strengths and your weakness. Spend time improving yourself in the areas that needs improvements. Be honest with yourself always. This is the only way you'll be able to stop repeating the same cycles in life. I know I am not a bad person. I know I am not a perfect person either. I have done somethings that I am proud of and somethings that I am not proud of. I advise whoever is reading this to get to know the real version of someone before you judge them. I promise your perception of them would be the opposite.
"Perception is a guess or estimate of what is 'out there' depending on how we read the clues; therefore it can never be absolute and often is unreliable."