Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Perception: The Two-Headed Monster

Perception: the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding. (As defined by Dictionary.com)

If you and I stood side by side and watched an argument unfold between our friends (a close friend of yours and a close friend of mine), we would walk away with different perceptions of what occurred.

We saw the same thing, heard the same words, and yet upon retelling the story, our personal biases will change our perceptions.

I will see things slanted one way, and upon retelling my story it won't sound like yours.  Sure, the same words or actions may appear in both, but the intent behind them will be observed differently.  My perception of the argument--the way my senses apprehended things--will be vastly different.

It happens all of the time in eye witness statements.  They will describe the burglar in an armed robbery in so many different ways that the police have no way of narrowing it down to one identity.
"He was short with blond hair" one will say.
"He was medium height, brown hair, and a mustache."  Another will be sure.

Who we are and how we see the world changes our perception of our surroundings.  There are two sides to every story; how you tell your side of the story depends on your perception of the proceedings.

Today I delve into the idea of the two-headed monster.  Ironically enough, it comes back to my recent theme of words.  Our perceptions don't really matter to the rest of the world until we voice them.  I can feel one way about something, but if you don't know then you can't be offended, pleased, outraged, or capable of changing it.

I'm currently positioned more or less on one side of a Two-Headed Monster.
I'm not going to go into details about the heads or who belongs to which brain.  That's not my style.  This blog is for others to read and glean a nugget of wisdom, comedy, or human frailty--not a place for me to rat out friends and acquaintances.

But when we find ourselves attached to one of the Monster's two heads, how do we proceed?

Do we openly air out our feelings?  Or do we bottle them up and hope the war dies down?  Is there a blood bath?  A calm before a storm, or sudden explosion?

Regardless of how we take on the Two-Headed Monster, we all face it from time to time.  Ignoring it simply spreads gossip and descent.  Whether you're one of the heads, or watching the two heads duke it out--the Two-Headed Monster is alive amongst us all.

How are you going to keep it from ruining your relationships?  How do you remain impartial?
Do you remain impartial?

I'd like to say I do--I'd like to say that, just as with Spock, logic always wins out.  But that isn't the case.  I'm a human, with human emotions; I have a tendency to show bias and be blind.

But I do know one thing:
If I bottle up my feelings, never tell, never complain--how could I ever expect my situation to change?


Stephanie Rae Pazicni said...

Is this a rhetorical question Kelsey-Plain-and-Simple? Cause I answer those. We take notes, cause we're writers. We pick our battles, cause we're finite, but it is all - all - story fodder.

Anonymous said...

I've come to find that in any disputes of perception, the best course, in spite of what may have occurred in the past, is to err on the side of generosity. While some may be conniving and scheming, most folks are doing what they think is best. While there are plenty of controlaholics, they're pretty easy to spot and maybe I sacrifice relationships too quickly, but I distance myself from those folks as soon and as far as possible. Life's too short for drama. I won't enable it, sympathize with it, or subsidize it with my time. Eventually, the drama-laden will find themselves alone with no one caring and discover that the problem is them, not the behavior of others. I'll presume someone intends the best; when they don't, they usually show themselves for who they are.