Monday, 3 September 2012
The Hardest Thing to try to do
...is to see yourself as others see you. I've given up on this exercise. It's impossible. Just look at a photograph of yourself: this is how others see you all the time. Look in a mirror and take stock of your facial expressions. Do they correspond with what comes out of your mouth - or are you mystified when people misinterpret what you say? We live inside our own heads: we talk to ourselves silently all the time - thank goodness, others are usually not privy to our most honest and private thoughts. We understand ourselves perfectly. How often though, have you been uncomprehending of compliments paid to yourself or conversely, been astonished by criticisms of your character that you did not recognise as part of your own self-image? We present different sides of our characters to different people so that should those people meet up and talk about us - they might think we were a split personality. I think my worst moment was during a classical music lesson at High School. Our teacher, whom I deeply respected and of whom I was terrified, picked on me one day after playing for us some beautiful music on her gramophone which I had enjoyed, entranced. "Wipe that insolent grin off your face or I will.....!" I forget what she threatened but I was devastated at the injustice. Today, I have a friend who seems to misinterpret my every utterance, so that I find myself always measuring my words carefully and trying to think the way she does. Can't do it. You can't win at this, but I suppose it makes sense to keep trying.