How Your Personal Style Impacts How Others Perceive You

By Ange Fonce

It is common and commendable to be curious about how others see you in general or in specific situations. 

The more insight you have in this area the less time you are apt to lie awake at night wondering and even when you may have acted differently in a specific situation... upon review this insight generally provides the best answer for moving forward.

It is quite possible to see yourself exactly as other people see you and this takes courage and the development of some insight... so if you dare have a peek in the mirror.

Understand That Other People Are Your Mirror

A simple concept yet one that many people are either unwilling or unable to grasp... summed up it is simply that other people reflect you... your emotions... your traits and your feelings are reflected back at you from other people either through in kind responses or through predictable reactions to the emotions or feelings that you are issuing.

Perhaps even more surprising is the reality that the reflection is very accurate even if the reflector is almost invariably not.

For example...

You might feel condescension... irritability or dismissiveness toward another person which lowers your estimation of them and causes you to treat them less seriously... yet in doing so you ignore the fact that they reflect your negative appraisal of them.

Intellectually challenged people can provide the highest quality reflections for others behaviour while being personally oblivious that a mirror exists... this has to do with their lack of inhibition and their inability to dissemble... such people more innately reflect the signals and body language you are sending them... until they have learned to mask themselves then they wonder why they cannot feel anything and have no passion... so you are looking for a more subtle signal. 

Usually they are clearly sending it and you have just seen it for so long every time a certain situation arises and you respond that certain way that you either are unconsciously ignoring the correct interpretation and have most likely developed your own not wholly correct one.

You Are Making Assumptions About Them

It is quite easy to go through your entire life and never develop the innate skill of spotting yourself being reflected in other people... any development in this area will improve you personal awareness and your relations with others.

This mirror gazing skill is more developed of necessity in people of diminished means who need to learn quickly how to read people well in order to survive and, just because you have never been hungry... left alone or impoverished does not mean you have to be clueless about yourself.

See that a big part of seeing yourself is recognizing that some little behaviour of someone elses witnessed by you is in fact exactly what you look like when exhibiting that same behaviour and that your rationalization of it as different from yourself is what is incorrect about your interpretation.

You say...

"Oh she really gets on my nerves."

She replies...

"And you get on mine." 

Recognize that people say things to you or about you for a reason... while it can be easy and in fact it is human nature to dismiss anything not felt to be relevant or not seen to be complimentary and to see it rather as a reflection of the person saying or commenting about things you are not comfortable with and to an extent it is about them... yet that is not the whole story and for the most part it probably has a grain of truth in it for you... even if it is painful and you and tempted to reject it out of hand be alert to this probability.

It is less important that you identify with what may have been actually said here... rather what matters is connecting it with the times that you say the same things to another... it is perilously easy to con yourself into thinking that those times were different.

They invariably are not or were not.

Given enough personal development in identifying the source of comments about you... you will begin to see when someone is sniping at you simply because they are envious or jealous and you can then react accordingly instead of adopting the normal knee jerk reaction you had most likely planned and they, quite possibly, hoped to incite so they can show you up.

I Wonder Why I Said That? 

Recognize that this person to person mirror is a two way mirror... just as people say things to or about you for various  possibly obscure and knowable reasons... recognize when you do the same thing.

Examine why you may have said a certain thing... usually this self examination will occur after the fact... do not be afraid to ask someone you trust to help you work through the reasoning.

For example,..

If your best friend heard you they almost surely already know why you said something and what personal motivations... quirks and needs lie behind it... asking your friend with open honesty and a willingness to reflect together can take a friendship to a whole new level... asking another how your words and demeanor come across to another can get you started in more effective self examination and personal development.

People who are unwilling to reflect on how their words and actions appear to others can end up not caring about how they are viewed and in turn this shows up as not caring about others either... this can make them seem selfish... aloof and perhaps even vacant and after an initial enthusiastic encounter with such a character... you may have initially felt they were attractive or interesting, only to quickly realize that they are blinded to their effect on others and have little to share because they hide within themselves.


They Are Like You

Consider that a person whom you detest is invariably your mirror.

While this may seem strange or even offensive to you experience often bears it out... the reason is that you invariably overlook behaviours in yourself that you cannot tolerate in another... by allowing the other person to carry the burden of your own disliked inner quirks or weaknesses... you shield yourself from having to meet your less likeable aspects head on and choose instead to view the unlikeable traits as the fault of the other person.

Often you see this as insurmountable because you choose to think that the other person is the one generating the unwanted behaviour, and this blinds you to realizing that you are just locking horns with traits you have not yet learned to deal with well inside of ourselves.

It is generally not even necessary to get as far as the "observation of behaviours" stage... people who are very much alike often detest each other on sight... because behaviour patterns are ingrained and similar if not universal... meaning that behavioural twins can sense each other in the merest gesture.

Most of us have experienced the trip home with a friend or relative from some gathering with the friend or relative sniping about someone they just met who has essentially exhibited no untoward behaviours... when pressed the friend or relative is hard pressed to explain exactly what they mean... in this case it is most probable that they have just encountered a mirror of themselves.

As humans even though we tend to assume that two of our very similar friends unknown to each other would really like each other... experience will show you that this is very often not the case.

Stop Sparring With The Other

Start looking within the opportunities in a relationship when you are challenged by your intense dislike of one another... while you may never learn to like each other... opportunities exist here for personal behavioural modification... indeed often the most rewarding of outcomes can result when you push yourself to cope with people whom challenge you in this respect because you ultimately learn to manage if not learn to tolerate a part of yourself that you did not even want to face before.

Experience dictates that even if you initially do not communicate any of your intentions to modify your own behaviour to your mirror... being that they invariably feel the same about you as you do about them... they will eventually and usually pretty quickly notice that they are not able to push your buttons.

If you are using this experience for personal development instead of what you have been using it for?

It will be clear that you are not taking advantage of opportunities to push their buttons... this is going to be noticed and not just by your mirror and credited to you as maturity and bonus points for having the courage to come clean with your mirror and tell them about your insight into this matter leading to future mutual progression

And even more kudos to you if you do this personal development in the public sphere as it is no easy task... it impresses people to see such maturit, and rest assured that anyone within earshot will be enthralled.

Seek Balance Rather Than Control

Controlling behaviour is a negative behaviour and can lead to perfectionism... unreal expectations and can easily transfer to wanting to control others to make them stop reflecting the part of ourselves you are not liking. 

Instead try to balance your negative self with your strengths and positive self... you cannot be whole until you embrace the parts of yourself you do not always like and you do best when you acknowledge your shortcomings and learn to treat them with humour and openness rather than attempting to stifle them or blame their existence on someone or something else.  

This can be a powerful tool for expression... who among us has not expressed something expecting a certain response and then got a somewhat different response maybe only communicated by facial expression that you tend to just kind of ignore while ploughing ahead when the facial expression should be telling you that you have not communicated your thoughts fully for instance.

Seeing Yourself Reflected In Others Is A Lifelong Opportunity To Grow

Continue seeing yourself as others see you throughout life... this is not a one off exercise... it is something that will benefit you and your relationships for all time and as such it is essential that you continue to remain alert and willing to see yourself reflected in others around you. 

And all this takes is constant self examination... self honesty... personal development and a willingness to step outside yourself regularly.

Once you have refined seeing yourself exactly as others see you by witnessing the reflections in and from others... you will find yourself more forgiving of others... more willing to reach out and pull people through awkward moments and difficult times because you see not only your own struggles... your grow in empathy to theirs too... all intertwined as one. 

Have you any thoughts or comments you would like to share with me on what I have written?

I would love to hear from you.

Thank you and may you enjoy a Loving... Prosperous and Dynamic day!

Yours Sincerely

Intellectual Badass... noun

1... A person with a penchant for Science... creativity... books... writing... communication... fitness... women... sexing... sexuality... human relationships... psychology... physiology and any other area involving heavy use of the Intellect.

2... A bright kick arse person and glamorously Intelligent!

3... Ange is an Author... Speaker and Dynamic Peak Performance Personal Development Consultant... and Humanistic Counselling Psychologist... Sexologist and Multipreneur!... who works with those men and women who desire to personally develop themselves and their relationships to become Dynamic Lifers... creators of their own life... relationships and wealth! 

4... If you are Happy and you Know it... you are becoming a Dynamic Lifer!

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