I came across this link yesterday, and it reminded me of something my school (therapist) friend Sarah said last week about a mutual acquaintance. She sort of…guessed…that a certain affliction might be plaguing this person, and I asked her how the heck she could make such a bold statement – it was kind of a biggie.
“Oh, I have a sixth sense. I’m always right about these things.”
Now, Sarah isn’t usually arrogant, but she’s confident in her ability to empathize with folks, and she’s quite an excellent counselor. About this particular thing she may very well be right, though it’s not the kind of thing we might ever know for sure.
I thought about that conversation when I took the quiz yesterday, and thankfully I did really well. Sometimes (every day of my damn life) as counseling students we second guess our ability to be any good at this at all, and I felt very comforted knowing that the internet thinks I have a good ability to read others’ emotions.
People have all sorts of reactions when someone says “you seem XX,” or “you look YY,” don’t they? Here are some three common ones that I experience all the time:
- They’re right. “Crap, I need to hide this better.”
- They’re right. “I love feeling understood.”
- They’re wrong. “You don’t understand me in the slightest. Stop projecting.”
I think we go back and forth between reactions on folks “guessing” how we are perceiving situations, depending on a thousand factors, the least of which being HOW WE FEEL RIGHT IN THAT VERY INSTANT. My personal favorite is, when you deny something, the person who’s guessed your feelings wrong informs you that, in fact, you are wrong about how you feel.
right, because people ALWAYS look that grumpy when they’re totally fine on the inside. it’s fine. you don’t have to talk to me if you’re not ready to admit it.
Glory. Everyone loves to be accused of feeling something they’re not, don’t they?
I think that sometimes, more than concern with how YOU perceive OTHERS, analyses like this can indicate things about YOU. Example: You perceive someone as judging, they’re really self-identified as pensive. Is it you? Do you assume wrongly for whatever reason that things are about you based on personal insecurities or past experiences? We all bring some kind of bias to every situation we encounter, but being aware of those biases can be hugely helpful in NOT BEING SO EFFING SENSITIVE ALL THE DANG TIME.
Got any pet peeves on folks who try to tell you how you’re feeling? One that gets me is folks who generalize how I feel about a whole person or situation based on one comment. Ie, I say “one time she ran out of wine,” and the person listening says “I THOUGHT you hated her!” Um, not quite. Maybe I need to tone myself down? Maybe you’re trying to create drama? Maybe I just wanted to vent about something non-important and you generalized my comment to an extreme?
Talk to me. I love stuff like this. And, Take the quiz! It’s fun and thought provoking.