How Does Your Perception Colour Your World?

What is perception?  According to the dictionary, “it is a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.”  We each perceive every moment of our lives through our lens of understanding according to our life experiences, memories, beliefs and personality.  Each experience “colours” our world,  bringing in different strokes that paint a unique picture.  What one person perceives as an insult another may find funny or endearing.  These differences in perception can cause great communication breakdowns, hurt feelings, relationship challenges and even breakups. 

Over the years I have observed the different reactions people have had over the statement, “you look tired today.”  It seems pretty straight forward and easy to interpret? No, not so much.   I have seen individuals say, “yes I am really tired today, thanks for noticing, it was a rough night” and I have seen individuals feeling slighted and/or insulted, to visibly being upset thinking the other person is putting them down or judging their looks.  To flat out saying, “no I’m not,” indignantly as if looking tired is a sign of weakness or failure.  I have actually witness an ending of a friendship over this statement…  Interesting yes, but what does this say about human perception? 

I believe each interaction with another human is an opportunity to grow, and to really listen and observe not just the other person but ourselves.   Ask yourself, why does a comment or a conversation cause a reaction within me positively or negatively?  A positive reaction can have just as big an impact as a negative one.  What is motivating you to react at all?  Are you looking for validation, acceptance, inclusion, approval?  How much weight do you give an others perception of you?  How much weight do you give your perception of yourself or others?  If you come from a place of judgement, dishonesty, and distrust isn’t that what you will perceive in others?  If you give pause and come from a place of kindness, compassion and love, it is likely, that is what you will perceive.   The choice is yours.  What is your perception?

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