Finding Love and Acceptance with Positive Perception
In a recent class I attended, we engaged in an exercise that discussed personal perception and how it impacts our relationships with others. We were separated into two groups, one consisting of all women and the other all men. The groups were allotted 15 minutes and instructed to write down their thoughts around three topics. How they viewed themselves? How they viewed the people in the other group? How they thought the other group viewed them? Not knowing that the other group would be critiquing their comments, the men were giddy with anticipation to be free from female scrutiny, and the women easily fell into a comfortable collaborative sisterhood.
At the end of the exercise, we were given the opportunity to compare the findings between both groups. The men exuded a very positive self-image and thought that the women viewed them as positively. The women did have positive things to say about the men, but not as positive as what they said about themselves. Interestingly, the women’s results were very different. Their self-image was relatively positive and the men viewed them very positively, but the women’s perception of how the men viewed them was significantly less positive. The women thought the men viewed them as followers, indecisive, too emotional, etc. when in fact, they did not.
So, how does this affect us? If we don’t think others find us worthy, how can we think we are worthy? This negative projected image may prevent us from applying for our dream job because we don’t think we are good enough, when in fact, the job is ours for the taking. We are in an unhealthy relationship that erodes our self-esteem, and we begin to believe that we deserve it. Perhaps, we meet the love of our lives and we don’t think they see us in an equally positive light.
We may never ask for that first date, or give the eye contact necessary to make that connection. We just missed Mr./Mrs. Right. It can also affect us in the bedroom. If we are always worried about not being thin or pretty enough to the person we are with because we are afraid they don’t think we are, we aren’t engaged, and we won’t experience maximum pleasure. If we are distracted by negative thoughts, how can we truly be in the moment? The risk for an unpleasant experience for both parties is tremendously high? If our partner is at all intuitive, they are left wondering what they did wrong, and we are left unsatisfied.
What can we do differently? Be positive. Believe in yourself. Don’t assume that others think any less of you. Be choosy about the people you interact with. I think we become the best people we can be when we are with others that accept us for who we are and see us in a positive light. If we surround ourselves with people that believe in us, we will believe in ourselves.
– Jasmine Jones
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