We all do it. We see someone for the first time and we make instant assumptions. We label. We categorize who we think a person is and what they are all about. They are pretty, plain, hot, intelligent, goofy, fun, depressed, rich, poor, uptight, lazy, Republican, Democrat, easy, prissy, pretentious, lazy, Type A, preppy, spoiled, or maybe simple-minded. They are a hick, hippy, snob, army brat, gay, straight, metro sexual, or maybe a vagabond. The list of adjectives could go on forever.
This is what humans do: try to instantly asses, label, and figure out who a person is based on their appearance. The problem with categorizing someone before we take the time to get to know them is that we are not taking into account who they really are, which may or may not have anything to do with the way they appear to be.
We may pass up the opportunity of getting to know an amazing person, who we may forge a great relationship with, if we quickly dismiss someone based on their looks. We could have instant chemistry with someone and it “appears” that they are our type, only to find out later that the relationship was all wrong. Who knows!?! The point is that it takes time to get to know someone fully. Sometimes months or sometimes years!
One of my friends, who I’ve known about six years, said that I say something that shocks her every time we are together. I asked what she meant, and she said that what I say doesn’t go along with the way I present myself. (We were talking about trying new food. I told her that when my husband & I were traveling through the Cook Islands, we went on a coral reef tour and the guide offered us fresh sea cucumbers, sea urchins, etc. to eat right then and there–raw. I tried it all!)
I love trying new things, travel, adventure, and getting dirty while playing soccer or football in the mud. Although I may not appear to be, I’m a tom boy at heart.
Another friend, who I’ve known for over 20 years, says I’m a chameleon. This is true. I don’t change for my surroundings though. A wonderful eclectic mix of friends and acquaintances gives me the opportunity to express different parts of myself. Some people even say I come across as shy or quiet, but be warned–once I feel comfortable around you, I will chit-chat with you for hours!
Humans are complicated and multidimensional.
We all have unique and sometimes contradictory traits.
We cannot assume someone is a certain way by the way they look.
The person we think we know, based on their appearance, may not really be who he or she appears to be at all!
Have you ever been misunderstood? Tell us about it!