A Difference of Perception

I hope my friends and family don’t stop sharing with me for fear of it turning up in a blog post. LOL!

Yesterday I was having a short Facebook chat with a friend from my final year of high school. I say  my final year because I traveled back to my home province of Saskatchewan for grade 12, attending the same school my father did 33 years before me. The reasons for this could (and probably will) make another post or two, but I won’t go into them here.

Anyway, when we were chatting I said I was surprised he remembered as much about me as he did. I explained that I felt very much like a wallflower there. To that, he said he remembered me as very much a part of his group of friends.  Then he said, “We all have such different perception of ourselves. Many times throughout my life people have pulled me aside and said, ‘I wish you saw yourself the way others see you’.”

What a profound statement. I think every one of us can relate to that at some point in our lives. We see ourselves as shy, ugly, loud, awkward, or a hundred other things; however others have a totally different perception.

All through my life, people have seen me as an outgoing people person; however, I am really very shy. I am always uncomfortable in social situations until I know the people I am with. Even then, I don’t like crowds. I just seem to feel alone while everyone else is chatting and having a great time. I think I tend to appear outgoing to hide the fact that I would really just rather crawl into a corner with a good book or be “doing something”.

This is not to say I am anti-social. That is very far from the truth. I love people and am always happy to get together….as long as it is on a small scale. I can handle things like church functions, parties or weddings by going and meeting with people I know at their tables (or them coming to me now that I am less mobile). It probably looks like I am a social butterfly; however, it is actually a survival tactic!

I think that is why I liked catering, especially events for people I know. I had my tasks to do and my socialization was limited by my duties. I could hide behind the chef jacket so to speak. People have always said to me throughout my life “just sit down and enjoy yourself” when I would start clearing dishes or helping in the kitchen at family or church gatherings. That IS how I was able to enjoy myself.

Now that I am unable to do as much I find I am “forced” to sit and be a part of “the group”. This sounds like it is a horrible thing but I have learned that it really isn’t!

Recently I went to a party for a very dear friend’s 50th birthday. I offered to make her a cake and really wanted to because like me (or more so) she has health issues that make getting together with friends difficult. She just lost her mother and we haven’t gotten together with them like we used to so I wanted to do something special so she knew how much she meant to me. Plan B and Plan D describe the cake fiasco quite well, LOL! I was feeling totally overwhelmed, tired and in pain. We were not going to stay; however, the host put a chair in the kitchen for me, while most of the crowd were in the living and family rooms. Hubby got me a plate of food and a few close friends stayed in the kitchen eating and catching up with the two of us. We left shortly after spending a little time with the birthday lady and her hubby. That I could handle very well. People are beginning to perceive my pain and fatigue and for that I am very thankful – maybe I am letting it show more, I am not sure.

I guess the moral of this story is that with people what you see is not always what you get. And that works both for the person and the beholder.


6 Replies to “A Difference of Perception”

  1. It is so odd that some of us cannot see ourselves as others do. I find I can sometimes need constant reassurance of my value so I understand this feeling of yours fully. I suppose it is why we seek our validation by being “valuable” to others.
    Ridiculous really because we are usually worth ten times as much as so many other people….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! It is strangely ironic that this friend who said he had to be told by others what his worth was, is someone I saw as being totally “together”. He saw me fitting in where I saw myself as hovering on the edge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess the moral of this story is that with people what you see is not always what you get. And that works both for the person and the beholder.

    I so completely agree with you on that. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Thanks for the follow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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