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How To See Yourself Through Others’ Eyes

You and I can talk, we can reach out and touch each other on the arm and we can see each other, but we can never know exactly what’s going on in the other’s head.

It’s why psychological science is so hard and it’s why understanding others can sometimes be so hard. It’s also why understanding how we are viewed by others is so hard.

Even the least narcissistic of us spend some time trying to work out how others view us: Do they find us attractive, intelligent, trustworthy, funny?

The news may not always be good, but it still would be fascinating to know.

8 Comments to
How To See Yourself Through Others’ Eyes

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  1. I wonder about all those self-descriptions on internet singles dating sites. Are any of them too good to be true? Do others perceive them differently?

    Of course, I really am handsome, charming, and incredibly lovable.

  2. Great blog post! So true. I’ve often had the discussion with others who want me to care how about how others see me – of course I do, but only to a certain degree. My answer to these debates is that no matter how hard I try, I cannot control how others see me, because like you said, they see me through their own filters. It seems that trying to control how others see me is really only controlling myself – and making me act in ways that are inauthentic.

    Some friends and I joke – “Hi Self!” when we see each other, to remind ourselves that we are only seeing portions of our self through another. 😉

    Thanks for the thoughts on this one!

  3. I don’t understand how imagining how I would be “rated by the other person in several months’ time” would be any different than imagining how they rate me now especially if I haven’t made any major changes in my looks or how I act, etc. Nor do I see how this would give me a better perspective on how the see me.

  4. Indeed, thank you for sharing, it is certainly something to keep thinking about. I also loved reading the following*lol* ‘You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.’ (also) I found this article through a tweet from the @TheSocialBrain

    Hm, now that I got the chance to rethink. I don’t care about how, what others see me as, think about me, I mostly care to be able to live with myself in the never-ending process of becoming ~ each word I use, each thought I think or reject, each action or inaction becomes a part of me.

    I am in a sharing mood today so, here it comes
    – what I am currently trying to figure out: In the past I felt that people that don’t speak up when they see that something doesn’t feel right(when they interact with someone else) don’t care and that felt sooo mean that is why I decided to share my observations with the other individual(s) until that day(almost two weeks ago)that I noticed something but I didn’t say anything(As I usually do)because I have faith in that person’s ability to figure it out, I silently recognized the state of mind and interacted as usual with that person(but I didn’t say anything – I knew that that if it got worse(than expected) I would have to speak up)

    The day after that event(and my silent observation) someone else noticed what I noticed and shared their observation with that person and that person genuinely responded, thankfully accepted the observation while making his own reality check.

    Few days ago I felt that I needed to share my observation. The third time something kept*popping up while we interacted*I first meet that person in the city, then talk on the phone and then at her place and she thankfully accepted my observation about her emotional well being, she(a dear friend) thanked me because I cared not like the others(that’s what she said)and that is why I shared with her the above mentioned observation but she didn’t ‘bought it’ – my conclusion. My conclusion was that maybe others have thought the same thought when they were being silent(‘didn’t care enough’)

    –> ‘because I have faith in that person’s ability to figure it out, I silently recognized the state of mind and interacted as usual with that person(but I didn’t say anything – I knew that that if it got worse(than expected) I would have to speak up’

    That’s all for now, I will try to ‘figure it out’ until something else makes me think twice:)

  5. I am old and waiting to die. I do not care how others view me.

  6. It seems so many people are looking for approval from others when they should really be starting with themselves; approving of themselves.

    It doesn’t matter how others see you, it matters how you see yourself.

    That’s my two cents worth, anyway.

  7. Great article…I think we know how other person is thinking about us by observing ourselves in action with them at different times.

    The reason we are different selves with different people seems to be mainly due to acceptance level other person is communicating through his/her non verbal and verbal communication.We tend to unconsciously/consciously recieve those signals and generate emotions positive/neutral/negative which drives the communication pattern and hence the relationship we share with other person intern creating the part of self which comes from the interaction with that person.

  8. Telling people to imagine their future self and then guess at what others would rate their future self invites so much bias about an individual’s view of their life and their personal development. When you imagine your future self do you imagine yourself to be more or less attractive than your current self? Do you see yourself as being more or less happy, more or less successful? Associating your future with your view on your attractiveness invites individuals to project their optimism or pessimism for the future which distorts their view of their attractiveness to others. (I personally would like to think I’ll be happier, more successful and better at presenting myself to others in the future. When I imagine my future self I imagine a person more attractive to others than my current self. This exercise is more reflective of my belief that I will improve over time than my ability to perceive how others view me.)



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