What is truth? Is there any truth? Well, all I can vouch for is that there is no truth there is only perception, your perception, my perception the third person’s perception. But what is perception? Perception is how we see things, our view of the world.
I remember about 6 months ago I went for an eye checkup and the doctor put my face in a machine and changed lenses to see which one was better. There were so many variations, so many lenses, sharper or blurrier and in just about one minute my view of the world changed ‘8 times!’ That’s when I realized how everyone sees their lives through different lenses, different perspectives – each perceiving things in ways that best suit them.
Let’s take a look at the factors influencing perception. Amongst the various factors, our perceptions are largely influenced by our interests, experience, expectations, values and beliefs that are inculcated in us by our families
To help understand the influencing factors better, here are some examples:
Interests: I like presenting myself well in terms of outfits therefore my perception on how much I should spend on outfits is often different from others.
Values: one of my core values is honesty if I observe a person being dishonest my perception about that person and my attitude towards that person won’t be positive.
Beliefs: I believe that the better looking the food, the tastier it will be. Due to this belief a perception is automatically formed is that restaurants that present their food well must have tastier food than the restaurants who don’t.
Expectations: Our expectations, also play a role on our perception, once you expect something from a person and they live up to that expectation you perceive that person very favorably and may always perceive the person positively (halo effect), similarly if a person doesn’t live up to the expectation your perception about that person may not be favorable. This can apply to oneself as well.
Experience: once I had a bad experience when I tried a particular cocktail, after which, I have always perceived that particular cocktail as bad and therefore have formed a negative attitude towards it.
Our attitudes are our favorable or unfavorable opinions towards people, things or situations. Many things affect our attitude including our perceptions, values and beliefs, which in turn, shape our personality. My attitude towards boxing was initially negative, because I viewed it from the same lens as my mother, who disliked boxing. My attitude however, changed when I gained more knowledge and experience about it. Therefore, our attitudes can change despite long held beliefs, when we gain more knowledge and expand our world view..
Perceptions hold a lot of power because these perceptions shaped by our values and beliefs, further translate into attitudes, which in turn shape our personality. Our personality is defined as a set of traits that can predict and explain an individual’s behavior (be it habitual or not) and emotional patterns in a variety of instances and situations. It is a set of characteristics that reflect the way we think or act in a situation.
Personalities can be shaped because of our biological factors as well as the environmental factors. Sometimes others perceptions of us also form our personalities, people may have a perception of you that you are very outgoing and fun which starts showing in our behavior, which in turn changes your belief about yourself and your behavior towards others also becomes very outgoing and it goes on cyclically. This phenomenon is also known as the Pygmalion effect or more commonly known as ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.
Our personalities are the reasons for the way we interact with others, if used it wisely at the right time it can open doors with tremendous opportunities for you, help you build relationships. Our perceptions also play a role in forming our personalities, because we perceive things a particular way (due to our values, beliefs, experiences) our attitude towards those things also changes and when attitude persists for a longing period of time it becomes a part of our personality without us even realizing it. It comes in our behavior subconsciously and it takes a very deep level of reflection, understanding and self-awareness to understand as to why we are the way we are and why we behave the way we do.
Our behavior, a direct reflection of our personality and its influences, is vital to forming and sustaining human relations. If human relations is the tree that bears fruits then our personality, attitudes, perceptions, values and beliefs are the roots, soil, sunlight, air and water that helps the tree grow and sustain itself in the forest/ garden (being the organization or a social setting). Once we understand more about ourselves and thereby our personalities we can make the desired changes we want which are beneficial for our personal wellbeing, our prosperity and of those around us.
My name, Riddhi Salla, got an elastic heart with the tastebuds of a food enthusiast, the mind of a corporate strategist and the soul of an altruist. I have a humongous deal of interest in the way our minds function and how each one of us thinks differently.