How Does The World See You

     We are unique human beings, each unalike in our personalities and behaviours. Our appearance, our opinions, our various character traits. These all combine to create the sum of who we are, how we perceive ourselves, and how others see us. Each of us projects an image of who we are into the world, radiating our dominant traits. But is that image who you really are?

"Be yourself" quote on colourful paint splatter background

     This person is restrained, almost unfeeling, as their emotions rarely reach the surface. This person is chaotic and reckless, brimming with energy as they catapult around. This person is calm and collected, a model of organisation, rationality, and control. This person is sweet and kind, to the point of naïvety. This person is closed-off, always angry and aggressive on the surface. This person is a beacon of warmth, a friendly face to open up to and receive advice from. This person oozes confidence, certain of their role in the world and all their best qualities.

     Whether or not the personas we radiate are accurate or not, is another story. The immature can have emotional depth. The calm and collected can be wracked with nerves. The aggressive can be hiding vulnerability. The confident can insecure and self-doubting. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves, and what you see is what you get. Some of us are who we appear to be, but also have hidden secrets, desires and depths that are less obvious. Some are projecting one image in attempt to disguise another truth. We’re all just trying to find our way in the world, and we often radiate the traits that we believe will help us do that. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.

     These different layers of persona can be an indicator of how well we know a person. Maybe they project confidence towards others, but you are the one who sees the anxiety under the surface. Maybe they seem coldly rational in their day to day life, but they open up their heart to you. Maybe the persona you project to the world isn’t an accurate representation of who you really are, but the people in your life closest to you are the ones able to crack the surface, and see the truth of who you are underneath. Our behaviours change in different situations and around different people, often to allow ourselves to fit in better, projecting the image that we think best suits the situation. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it can be of value to present yourself in a certain way, in a certain context. As long as you don’t lose the truth of who you are, and have people and places in your life where you can project the real version of yourself.

     And the personas we radiate don’t just affect how others see us; they can affect the behaviours and personas of those people too. One person’s warmth can reassure another. One person’s arrogance can make another feel insecure. One person’s spontaneity can open another up to new possibilities. One person’s calmness can soothe another. It’s hard to control how others will react to us, whether our traits will rub off on them, or provoke the opposing reaction. We can try to do the right thing, but unless you know the other person well enough to gauge all their possible reactions, this is a part of life that we have to accept is out of our control. We must simply remember that whatever we radiate into the world will be felt by others, and will affect them, and have consequences in one way or another. And you will be influenced by others too. Perhaps they will simply alter your mood for a day, or change your mind on something, or have a deeper affect on your personality. Just don’t forget who you are deep down.

     And we certainly can’t control if others like who we are or not. It’s a fact that most of us have to accept, that we cannot be liked by absolutely everyone. But radiating the persona of who you truly are, rather than some form of mask, allows you to find the people who truly like you for you, not for someone you pretend to be. You are the only you in the world, so accept that, and embrace it. All we can do is be ourselves, as much of the time as possible anyway, try not to hurt or force others to change based on our behaviours, and hope to find others who accept and love who we are.

This was inspired by the prompt “Radiate” on The Daily Post.