Written by Renee L Richardson

Do You See the Real Me? Using the Objective Eye

When we become attracted to someone, do we really see them or are we seeing what we perceive? When dealing with perceptions, we must keep in mind that such is based on a variety of processes of which are connected to our surrounding world as well as our past experiences/belief systems. In addition, the process of our perceptions is often confusing in that we can sometimes struggle with differentiating perception versus reality. For instance, if one perceives something as truth is this not their truth of which can become their reality?

Through personal experiences, within intimate relationships, I have noticed times when my partner has confused his perceptions with what was actually occurring within our relationship. For example, have you ever heard someone state: “Every time a woman/man behaves as such, the outcome is _________” At some point, I think that we are all guilty of such thinking. However, it becomes dangerous when we feel as if our belief systems are hard cold facts.

See, whenever we use words such as always, every man/woman does…., we are automatically assuming that we actually know EVERY man/woman. Further, by assuming such, we are unconsciously assessing our beliefs systems that may have similar characteristics but are not exactly the same. By lumping together what we experienced in our past encounters, we formulate a bias outlook on the present relationship/occurring situation; all of which has absolutely no factual foundation except that both situations have similar content.

I further observed how we may notice that a man has given his mother flowers on every Sunday morning; we automatically characterize him as one who has a loving personality. Once we associate how he buys flowers for his with him having an all-around caring nature, we assume that he will treat all women kindly with flowers in his attempt to show his love/appreciation. Is this perception of this man accurate/factual? No, the only thing that is based in fact is that we know that he buys flowers for his mom every Sunday. Do we know his reasoning for sending his mother the flowers every Sunday? Is he sending the flowers simply because she is his mother or is his sending the flowers to her because she allowed him to use her credit to finance the BMW that he recently purchased? Now if in fact he is sending the flowers because she is his mother and he loves and appreciates her then it is safe to say that he does possess appreciation for his MOTHER not ALL women.

On the other hand, if he is sending the flowers to his mother because she allowed him to use her credit to finance his brand new luxury car, that sort of sends up a red flag for me, how about you? For me, based on my past relationships, I will become alerted because I would ponder if his displays of appreciation for me are based solely on my ability to do something for him or does he simply appreciate me for being me. In a different sense, if the men in my past have given me flowers simply because they like/love me, then of course I would assume by seeing this man sending flowers to his mom that he was solely a man of care, concern and appreciation. However, does this mean that he would treat me with the same care, concern and appreciation that he has for his mother?

See, we tend to see everything through skewed lenses in that we base what we are actually seeing on what we have already seen or experienced at some point in life. Is this process healthy? Well, I would have to say that at times it can be a useful tool. For instance, if we once observed a bear in the wilderness behave in a manner to a human, we had better know that if we see a bear in real life within the wilderness, up close and personal that the bear’s behaviors will be similar. A bear will behave as a bear in MOST cases but what if we were to see a bear at the circus? Should we take off running? Do you see how you have to use your awareness of deciphering the difference of a bear’s behavior in the wilderness versus the behaviors of a bear in the circus?

Now, when viewing the bear at the circus, in the back of our minds, we know that there exist the possibilities of this bear behaving viciously but we look for the signs of which will allow us to know that the bear is going to attack. Such should still apply when we are viewing human beings within our surrounding environment. Look at the man and see him as a man. Keep in mind that we did observe him exempting loving behaviors to his mother/others but understand that because we observed such, do not mean that he will necessarily extend those appreciative behaviors to us. In addition, keep in the forefront of your mind that although we observed him purchasing the flowers for his mother, we do not know the reasons behind what we may perceive as his act of kindness /appreciation. See the man as a man first and such will afford you the opportunity to observe the stimuli objectively- free of bias.

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Author's Bio: 

Author's Bio:

Renee L. Richardson has always possessed a passion for learning and attempting to understand people. In addition, she has a profound respect for utilizing every experience whether positive or negative as teachable moments.

Growing up in a low socio economic environment, she has defied physics so to speak with her dynamic approaches to wellness as she reflects on her past experiences as a tool of guidance. In addition, Renee has a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology, a MA in Education and is currently seeking a Phd in Counseling Psychology; all of which are considered bonuses to her natural talent when interacting with individuals as she assists them in appraoches and methods to foster psycholgical growth.

Renee has also written two books of which is scheduled to be published in 2012. The first book written is a semi-autobiography of which explains the childhood abuse that she endured. The book reveals the tools and methods of which concluded as successful as she encountered and balanced her extremely toxic relationships throughout childhood and well into her adult life.

As a full time teacher, adjunct professor, and motivational speaker, Renee welcomes the challenges of speaking out at public events in the attempt to touch at least one person. Her relentless efforts to spread a positive word whether in person or via the written word, she welcomes the challenges in regard to promoting change.