Your Perception Is Interfering With My Perception

Since communication these days is steeped in texting, email, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, article responses and so on, I decided to share my observation over the years of the breakdown in communication because of all this technology.

Perception seems to be the key in creating tension and stress throughout the dialogs in posts and within conversations in the various social media platforms.

If a hundred-people read my post or my comment, not everyone will agree with what I have said. Some will understand what my points are, others will totally misinterpret, twisting and turning the information in a way that creates heated discussions.

This is freedom of speech. Or so we believe.

What I have discovered:

  • In the written word, we are not capable of hearing intonation, seeing body language, or feeling the emotional resonance associated with the conversation.
  • When there are multiple comments in a thread, what shows up may not be directed towards me. It could have been directed towards someone else’s statement. Most people do not indicate who they are “talking” to; therefore, I can incorrectly assume it was intended for me.
  • If someone is living life from a foundation of pessimism, doom & gloom, victimhood or the world is out to get them; my comments or statements can be interpreted in a negative way. Versus, someone who is living life from a foundation of optimism, positive outlook or personal development for growth and transformation; their perception will be totally different.
  • My response to the various reactions to what is written is key to how I proceed in my own daily experiences. Not allowing other’s perceptions to get in the way of my own.

I recently had an experience where I read an excellent article about being consistent in doing things to be successful. I found the article to be in alignment with how I think and believe in what it takes for us to reach our highest potential.

I mentioned some success I’ve had using the principles mentioned in the article and thanked the author for sharing his insights, letting him know I enjoyed reading what he had written. After my post was a negative comment, with no mention of who it was meant for.

This caused me to go through a mini-process of sorting through core thinking while wondering if it was directed towards me or not. The following are the stages my mind flipped through ultimately settling into peace realizing I was allowing this person’s perception to interfere with my perception.

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Stage 1: My heart skipped a beat, because I don’t like negativity in my life. When it comes into my experience, I must step back and assess the situation.

Stage 2: I re-read my post and the comment. Affirming to myself that in all that I do my intention is always for the best outcome, the best interest of all involved, for inspiration or uplifting, and for helping others learn, grow, or expand. I took time to pause and allow my mind to sort through all that it was collecting and processing.

Stage 3: As an observer now of the experience, rather than a participator, I could get it out of my head; letting go of wondering why, if it was targeted at me, there was such a negative response. A knowing started to wash over me that there will be some people who will see things in a way not intended.

Stage 4: I then considered what I would have preferred the response to have been. Something like this would have been encouraging rather than dis-empowering (which it is was for me, just for a few moments). “That is wonderful you are having success and what he has shared is working for you in addition to what you bring to your clients.”

Stage 5: I resolved within me all feelings attached to the statement, whether it was meant for me or not, and focused on the fact that even if someone cannot be happy for other’s success, misinterpret what I share and choose to attack, I need to stay on my path. [/message] [su_spacer]

This mini-process lasted about 15-20 minutes, but has had a tremendous effect on how I will now view conversations with others and when I feel “attacked,” how I will respond both internally and externally. We deal daily with written communication and this process can be applied in social media and in the work environment.

As many people believe, “don’t get mad, get even.” I suggest, “don’t get mad, rise above.” Decide to alter how you perceive the circumstance, and your experience will change for the better.

“People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.”

~Robert Bolano


Eileen Bild
Eileen Bild
EILEEN is Founder of The Core Thinking Blueprint Method, CEO of Ordinary to Extraordinary Life, Executive Producer of OTELproductions, and talk show host for OTEL TALK. She holds a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology and is a published author, Internationally Syndicated Columnist, contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Breakthrough S.P.A.R.K. Coach. Eileen and her husband Trevor are a power couple whose foundation is a 360 view of the world through inspiring, uplifting, and empowering others. Maximizing performance, communication, and drive for growth for your highest achievement is what you will experience working with Eileen and Trevor. They are owners and producers for ROKU channels KNOB TV, OTEL TALK, and OTEL MUSIC VIDEOS; and develop channels for professionals and businesses. They collaborate with companies, such as 360° Nation/Dennis Pitocco, musicians, entrepreneurs, and many more. Go from Ordinary to Extraordinary!

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  1. Thank you for sharing such a thought-provoking article, Eileen! In our contemporary world of relying so much on the written word (void of non-verbal inflections, as mentioned in your bullet points) can certainly be cause for misinterpretation. I believe that our perception is our reality and in further support of your assertion about where a reader’s core comes from – whether it’s rooted in pessimism or positivity, is also foundational to ‘one’s perception’.

    We all come from a lifetime of unique experiences and that is also why our perceptions are oftentimes different from another person’s perceptions. Another key point here is in our contemporary world and relying on the written word – we’re forced to strive to hone our writing to be delivered or received the way we intended. …and that comment is intended for authors, insomuch as those who leave comments!

    How it’s received though, is still dependent upon the core reality that ‘our perception is our reality’. The negative comment received, but directed to no one in particular, are those that I agree are best ignored, as they likely come from someone with inherent biases….

    • Jennifer, you are most welcome! I agree with you 100% regarding our being forced to hone our writing to be delivered. I often find myself re-reading a post 3,4,5 or more times before I hit “send.” My mind goes through all the different “possibilities” of how the person or people may perceive what I have put in writing. Even then, sometimes it is not taken in the context I have intended. This does not happen very often, as I have practiced this skill diligently.

      Yes! Ignoring those who have negative responses can be the best action. If there is an opportunity to converse with the person, there are strategies in presentation that reduce the “drama” and create a more fluid communication. Takes practice, but can be achieved. I pick and choose those with whom I want to spend the time and energy shifting. Some people are too rigid and stuck in the “I am always right” attitude and can be draining to converse with.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights!

    • You are most welcome Larry! It always amazes me how distorted things can get online….and I am guilty sometimes of wanting to react, but when I take the time to go through the stages I outlined, whatever my initial thinking was gets tempered. I have become more of an observer of conversation(s), learning more each day about people and how we are as humans….much of which is based on feelings and emotions, wanting to be heard & understood and the desire to have a voice.

  2. A while back, I said some things about team work. I talked about how I dont like how business uses the metaphor because a lot of sports teamwork doesnt apply to the majority of business. The metaphor is good only up to a point.

    Well, one gentleman that has been building teams as his bread and butter for almost forty years read what I wrote. He didnt appreciate it at all. He felt that teams are always the way to go for all situations. Further, he said that he is no longer going to reply to any of the idiotic things that I am saying.

    So, after venting for a couple of hours, I marched on saying my idiotic things online. Its very odd though. Those that say I`m stupid never rebuttal the points I make. Not even once. So I now just ignore them.

    • Chris, it seems people have their own perspectives and opinions regarding teamwork. Speaking what we feel is right for us can be taken as an attack by others and finding common ground can be beneficial. Venting can bring inner peace and allowing others to be where they are without engagement saves a lot of aggravation and frustration. Glad you found what works for you!

    • Great reply Chris. Even if I disagreed with you I would defend your right to say what you feel. Often your comment cause me to expand my view and I learn. Thank you for all your comments. They hold great value.

    • I remember when the idea of what we call teams today started becoming popular in the early ’80s. It started with pushing responsibilities downward the corporate hierarchy to reduce costs. Because of the added complexity, project management as a separate position became more predominant in businesses. Then this team concept worked its way into leadership and leadership development.

      But, when these things happened, most companies mismanaged it so team are not really teams, but more like organizational units and treated as such. I strongly advocate teams because with them there is cohesion and trust. I only advocate the use of the sports team metaphor when it helps teams establish this trust.

      Here’s where I don’t feel sports teams is not a good metaphor for business. It’s around doing drills. In sports, you do repetitive exercises to get better at working together as a team. Rarely in business do teams do this. The other aspect of sports teams is that all members of the team are expected to pull their own weight. Though this happens in business, the consistency of this happening is not steady throughout the organization.

      There are times too when having a team and building it can be a poor investment, especially in highly political initiatives. Often in this environment where everyone is attempting to gain control of the team and its direction. Setting up a team can actually foster more competition and mistrust than not having one. It really depends on the organization.

      I find that we can use any concept and ideology we wish. But no matter what we use or believe, people will be people and they will act as such. Some people work well in teams like Captain America, some work best alone like Batman, and others work best when like Frank Underwood from House of Cards.

    • Chris, you always have interesting and thought provoking input. I can agree that more often than not teams in business will have a few pulling the weight for the whole. It can be true as well where there is strong politics, whereby the weak may get squeezed out, it becomes a battle of the wills that determines who gains control. Sometimes this can be the downfall of a company or organization.

      Yes…people will be people and it seems we have developed all the various personality and characteristics tests so as to have a tool by which the individual, manager and/or leader/CEO can create a cohesive and viable organization/company. Not an easy task but when developed appropriately, can result in amazing success!

      I love your analogy of Captain America, Batman and House of Cards. Some people do work better alone, while others shine in a team environment. BTW: I am currently watching House of Cards and find Frank to be an interesting character to observe; which I believe we can find many like him in the “real world.” A scary thought at times…lol.

      On a side note, I find for myself, the more I refine my perceptions of others, their thinking, perceived beliefs and how they respond to situations, the more I am able to accept them without judgment. It becomes an observers view and seeing where I fit in the equation. Along with this, I can implement ways to communicate in which no matter their stance we are able to work together and/or have a dialog that becomes a win-win.