Perception is reality. The truth hurts when we are perceived differently from how we see ourselves. We aren’t always objective when it comes to ourselves, and it doesn’t matter when we don’t agree with others’ opinions of us. While we may have a favorable impression of ourselves, our true perception is determined by those who we come in contact and interact with.
For instance, it doesn’t matter if a perceived racist thinks he/she is racist; other people determine that person to be racist. Paula Deen’s defiance is evidence of this. It may have been second nature for her to throw around so freely the n-word, like it was nothing; this could have been because of her upbringing and/or her surroundings. Even, she could have been taught that it was ok. Because of this, she may have known all her life only one way of doing things; she may not have known or thought that what she says and does is wrong, or that she’s a racist. This is not to excuse Paula Deen, but an example of the way she views herself is different from how she is perceived by others, particularly by those who are offended by her actions.
Have you ever had your bubble popped, or your ego bruised? You may have thought that you were the perfect co-worker, a complimentary piece to a puzzle who gets the job done. When in all actuality, everyone around you views you as the pushy jerk, who comes in and tries to take over while telling everybody what to do. As a result, you may have felt that your co-workers are just hating on you because of the way you get things done. To some, this may seem delusional but the truth is, sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves or stuck on ourselves (depending on how you look at it) to notice, or care, how others think of us.
This isn’t to say that other people’s perception of us is law, or always right. Sometimes, our perception is based off our personal prejudices or feelings. The way that people have been treated in the past can shape the way they see the world; that’s why there are some men and women who think all men and women are the same. They may have had one bad experience and will attach that feeling and emotion to the next person that they meet, all because they failed to separate the past from the future. So while perception is reality, it all depends on the perception as well as the reality.
What do you think? Do you think perception is reality, or does it even matter?