“I can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to see in me.” By unknown

Hmmm… I have a gut feeling this one might need a warning label. Something like: “Don’t ask people what they see in you; observe how they react to you and ask yourself what you see in yourself through their eyes.”

Most of us seek approval from others, or disapproval, if you are always able to be really honest with yourself. That comes in subtle or overt behaviours to get attention. When we are hungry to get feedback, be it validation, guidance, or something else, we are looking for external input. Ie: we are not taking full responsibility for our own behaviours and our own growth. We all have to learn how to listen to ourselves first, especially on emotional concepts. 

I’m sure we’ve all heard sayings similar to “it’s none of your business what other people think of you”, and Mark Mason’s book on not giving a F*** has really pushed mindsets forward on self-listening and self-esteem. However, there seems to be a human imperative to hear what others thunk of us. Perhaps it is a survival behaviour. Perhaps it’s a necessary part of spiritual growth. Whatever it is, we all seem to do it often. Why?

Turn this quote from a statement to a directive with an intention for greater self-awareness. Start with the reminder that if you don’t want to be judged, you cannot judge back. Whatever someone thinks of you, you mustn’t judge them for it. An no, what they think is not their problem; it’s a gift. See everyone as an angel with tunnel vision. They are making judgements on a behaviour you have, not the entirety of who you are. You can choose to change the behaviours, if you don’t like them, or don’t, if you like them. 

If you are actively and positively seeking to understand another person, then by all means find a way to invite them to say what they see in you. Perception is absolutely subjective and it will give you some insight into them. However, remember that your interpretation of what they see in you is also absolutely subjective, so it will only give you your perception of them. 

In a nutshell, look into yourself for who you are and you will see who you are; look to other only when you want to see who they are. 

What do you hope to learn in how others see you?


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