Differing Perceptions

Julie's drawing of me

Julie drew this pic­ture of me. The details betray her per­spi­cac­i­ty.

Such as the way my shirt tails dan­gle insou­ciant­ly from the sweater. How the pant bot­toms are slight­ly bunched up. And while I don’t wear a tie that often, the prep­py top + skater bot­toms style is accu­rate. Even the length of chain and the shape of my glass­es. All the lit­tle details I think about when I dress myself. The only thing that isn’t me is the hair, which falls flat in the win­ter, due to the fact that it’s toque wear­ing sea­son.

Also, I have no eyes, nose or mouth is this pic­ture. Only my wide-arm glass­es, which I’ve said before is a large part of my iden­ti­ty. Obviously, her exclu­sion of my facial fea­tures has put even more empha­sis on this.

I won­der: why are my arms drawn behind my back? Posture says a lot about a per­son. Maybe this was done with­out any con­sid­er­a­tion, but maybe there was sub­con­scious intent.

It’s always inter­est­ing to find out how oth­er peo­ple see you. A self-image is often biased.

So which image is more accu­rate; yours or theirs?


  1. Interesting por­trait.

    I have more scope of con­text for inter­pret­ing myself and I have more time to con­sid­er. But oth­ers can thin-slice and pick up on aspects that are uncom­mon that are ubiq­ui­tous and unno­ticed. There is no holis­tic accu­ra­cy only aspects, peo­ple and moments which are more clear-eyed, head rooms cleared of more bag­gage.

  2. Well, my self-image has been skewed by 20 years of “being inad­e­quate, not up to par, not liv­ing up to expec­ta­tions” get­ting ingrained into my psy­che by par­ents who thought they were “encour­ag­ing” me.

    I’m in ther­a­py now to bash those neg­a­tive self-per­cep­tions and build a bet­ter pic­ture of myself.

    So I’m going to say oth­er peo­ple’s per­cep­tions of me are prob­a­bly much more on key than mine are.

  3. I would say that less force­ful and per­haps some­what shy peo­ple often stand this way, but the way she’s drawn it is real­ly more over­ly cute than that. I think it’s a fond­ness for your soft nature that gets con­veyed here.

    Or, she just may not like draw­ing hands. They’re a real pain when you’re work­ing small. : )

  4. P.S., what’s a toque?

  5. @Pearl — There is the odd occa­sion that some­one picks up a small detail of me of which even I’m not aware, and, as you put it so well, there is no holis­tic accu­ra­cy.

    @mae — I still occa­sion­al­ly suf­fer from the same issues of self-dep­re­ca­tion brought on by my par­ents, so in this regard, I under­stand exact­ly how you feel. To get over all the men­tal abuse is to tru­ly under­stand one­self.

    @xibee — Less force­ful and shy I’d say is pret­ty accu­rate. I did­n’t even think of that when I saw the pic­ture. How inter­est­ing that we add anoth­er lev­el of per­cep­tion to some­one else’s per­cep­tion.

    And a toque is a warm, brim­less hat, some­thing that’s almost char­ac­ter­is­tic of Canadian win­ters.

  6. Oiye.

    RYC: see my blog response com­ment to yours.

    Did you ever seek inter­ven­tion for this self-dep­re­ca­tion? I was med­icat­ed for awhile… At moments it gets so bad I some­times think of leav­ing my boyfriend before he leaves me, but I’m work­ing through this right now. Power of Positive Attitude.

    PS. I have wide arm glass­es, too.
    See here: my flicks, and here.

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