Appearing as (put whatever you would like to appear as) does affect peoples minds. That’s obvious. What is rarely considered though, this affecting stuff includes mind of one who project a particular image as well.
For some of you what I’m going to tell could be obvious from the very first second of thinking about creating the image, but some (like me) learned their lesson hard way. There are some situations in life when we just can’t live up to what is expected of us. We could be in bad mood, tired or be affected by misunderstanding. Well, shit happens, let’s just deal with it next time – that’s normal and the attitude should be no other. But that’s so simple only when our image is super-consistent with our natural emotional responses. The big drama begins when we build character which is emotionally different from what we’re preprogrammed.
Quick recap on empathy – from its many definitions those are the most popular and in my opinion the most accurate: to experience emotions that match another person’s emotions, to blur the line between self and other. Mainly because our capacity of empathy only spending time with someone is one of the best connection making factors. Let’s go back to our little drama – as you can see we spend a lot of time with a character we create (in order to appear as such) so we know what are “his/her” responses and we try to align our emotionality to this particular image (well it’s a bit more complicated, but what you just read is essentially true and we have limited space so I won’t deliberate on it).
This way we can create a, usually mild, cognitive dissonance and ambivalence within ourselves (apart from the one others could experience). The problem is that it creates sense of frustration which will affect our created image, which needs a stronger response and adding layers to the character… As you can see one could end up in a little vicious circle.
So I’m not saying: let’s do not put our efforts to appear as we would want to. I’m saying: let’s do it professionally, with the most subtleties in mind we could think of and then some more, let’s not attach very much to our “characters”, and lastly, let’s amplify our strong points to distinguish ourselves – not cover our (supposed) “defects” at all cost.
Live long and prosper, share and comment
– Przemek Kucia