We think we know ourselves until someone makes a statement or an observation about us, and we are offended. We perceive ourselves in a particular way, hoping others do too. In the past, I may have been offended when someone pointed out a characteristic about me (which may not have been my favorite) in general conversation. Now I realize (and accept) their perception of me could be just as important as the way I view myself. They’re the ones observing me, watching me talk with my hands, and it’s them who can see my forehead lines dancing while I tell a story! Why wouldn’t I give their thoughts a ponder?
The same rings true for my kids. I distinguish them as different from each other with my own perceptions but often wonder how others perceive them. One is sensitive, determined, and savors laughter and humor as much as his parents. The middle loves order and reason, is completely cognizant of other people’s feelings, and has a slight flair for drama and theatrics. The third one is free-hearted, carefree, frequently spontaneous in words and actions!
So, today, it was so refreshing to hear how one individual observed one of my kids. A colleague happened to watched my little one walk into school. She beamed about her walk which oozed with confidence and excitement. She enjoyed the conversation they shared, and she loved her energy and the way she handled herself. I watch this same child walk away from me daily to enter her school, and I see the same pizzazz in her step. It’s part of her particular personality.