Your Perceptions Of People Aren’t Always Accurate

People can have very strange ways of looking at things.  They clearly look at things through their own experiences, which of course is to be expected.  Many times though, people also forget that there are other perspectives.

Many of my family members have made it very clear that they think I was spoiled by my parents, & have led an easy life without a care in the world.

What these people saw & what the truth was are VERY different things.

My family saw me barely allowed to leave my mother’s side at family gatherings, & assumed this meant we were close.  They had no idea that meant she controlled my every move & I was afraid to protest.  They saw me dressed in clean, decent clothing & assumed that meant all of my needs were met.  They didn’t realize there are more needs that parents should meet than food, clothing & shelter.  It was those needs that were neglected in my life.  They also saw me as a quiet child who didn’t complain about anything, so they assumed all was right in my world.  Obviously they didn’t understand that abused children don’t usually complain.  They know that if it was discovered that they said anything derogatory about their abusive parent, they would face that parent’s wrath, so they keep complaints to themselves.  They also didn’t know I was afraid to say anything that could be met with my mother’s disapproval.

This is typical of many people.  They see things & make assumptions based on their own experiences or even fantasies rather than keeping an open mind. 

This is going to happen to you at some point as it has me, & when it does, please remember that what other people think isn’t necessarily important.  You were there, you lived the situation.  They were not.  They saw appearances only, not the truth behind the façade.  Don’t let these people downplay anything traumatic or treat you badly because they have made foolish assumptions about you. 

I have found that people who make snap judgments are often unsafe people or at the very least, very wounded people who aren’t trying to heal from their wounds.  Some distance may be the best option for you when you learn someone behaves this way on a regular basis.

Please also remember not to behave the same way as the judge-y people!  When you have been exposed to the horrors of narcissistic abuse, it can be very easy to see everyone as a potential threat.  Not everyone is a narcissist!  Sometimes people act in selfish or very inconsiderate ways because they are going through a tough time.  They are so caught up in their difficult situation that their preoccupation with it is making them behave thoughtlessly.  And, not everyone is a victim of similar circumstances to yours just because they show some similar behavior to yours.  That person who is dealing with terrible anxiety or depression may have a rather good life.  Their problem may be that they survived a brain injury that created problems with anxiety or depression even though they show no other outward signs of brain damage. 

6 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

6 responses to “Your Perceptions Of People Aren’t Always Accurate

  1. Cynthia, your example of your mother keeping you right beside her is telling. Thanks for sharing that actual view which differs from perception. Keith

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    • Thank you. I never realized how it looked to outsiders until my husband mentioned it a few months ago while watching a family movie taken at my grandparents’ 50th anniversary party. I was 14 at the time. He asked “Why weren’t you hanging out with your cousins?” & seemed very confused. That wasn’t an option, that’s why! Plus I was the baby of the family & the majority of them weren’t interested in hanging with a kid. It got me thinking of how it looked. It looked like Mom & I were simply close, plus I was hanging out with adults which was what I always preferred over kids my age. It wouldn’t have been a red flag to most people who had even a passing knowledge of me.

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      • Cynthia, isn’t it interesting that your husband pointed it out as a new observer to old footage. My guess is your mother did not want you expressing anything remotely negative that would come back to haunt her. Keith

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        • Quite. He knew from what I told him but I think seeing it in action gave him a different perspective, if that makes sense. Made it more real maybe.

          You guessed right. I think too she didn’t want my cousins influencing me because I was easily influenced & they got into trouble.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry that your family downplayed the hurt that you were going through. Making false assumptions can be so damaging. You’re right – what other people think of you isn’t that important because you know that you are a strong and amazing woman – and I know it too. As a disabled person, I’m also constantly having to deal with people’s assumptions of me. People assume that I can’t speak, read, write, or think for myself. There are a lot of negative perceptions of who disabled people are and I almost always see people sizing them up against me when they look at me.

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    • Thank you so much. You’re very sweet ❤

      That is ridiculous. The only thing people should assume when they see your wheelchair is that your legs don't work as most people's. It has nothing to do with your voice or mind. So stupid they would think it does!

      Liked by 1 person

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