In the Eye of the Beholder

We often say the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

This clichéd phrase basically means that favorableness is in whomever perceives or experiences whatever is being viewed/touched/listened to/tasted.

It’s all about perspective.

I’m an excellent reader. I have three books currently taking up residence in my purpose right now that will all likely be finished by month’s end. I can usually read a situation and easily asses it, except when other humans are involved.

People are the hardest books to read.

Maybe it’s the social anxiety or past experiences in my youth, but I have the hardest time reading people, more specifically, people’s perception of me.

What’s worse is that I’m awkward.  Anyone who is awkward, and believe me you know if  you’re that type of person, knows the panic and anxiety of people being aware or becoming aware of your awkward status. This fear only creates a horrid cycle of awkwardness for all involved.

You feel awkward. You act awkward. You look awkward. You are awkward. People then see and perceive you as awkward.

To add to this awkward cycle, you don’t even know if people see you at all, let alone perceive your awkwardness.

I really wish I could read minds for a day, just to get an honest understanding of what people think of me. It’s one of those instances where knowing the truth, good or bad, might be better than trying to move in the dark.

Ignorance is not bliss in this case, at least in my humble opinion.

Though in truth, I shouldn’t care about anyone’s perspective of me. No one should care what other’s think of them, but we do. We all, deep down at least, want to be perceived as favorable to our chosen group of people we want around us. Every social choice is made in the hopes that people perceive us in the way we would like them to see us, but the problem with that is the fact that we will never truly know about what other people’s honest idea of us is.

Knowing how we are and not knowing what people think of that, what do we do? Do we carve ourselves and our characters to try and fit a mold we don’t know if we will ever actually fit into, or do we disregard everyone else’s assumed opinion of us and strive for our perception of self? Maybe we should just throw perception aside and just exist as we are? Do we want to seem to be nice or should we just be nice? Which honestly matters more?

Is it like Shakespeare wrote in sonnet 121?”Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed.”?

I’m honestly not sure what the right choice should be, if there is a right choice at all.

Maybe the answer is both. We should be nice/bad and seem nice/bad. Maybe it’s just one or the other. Maybe its neither. Other’s perceptions of us is something we will never be able to have control over.

The answer lies in the perception of the beholder.


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