In cyberspace, no one can hear you laugh.

via Metaperceptions: How Do You See Yourself? | Psychology Today

I really enjoyed the article linked above. Truly fascinating, and it gives anyone plenty to talk about. Print it and bust this out at your next gathering. Guaranteed to weird some people out, bum out a few more, encourage accusations. People’s heads will hurt. There’s a chance you won’t be invited back. You should definitely do this.

from the article:

“…”metaperceptions” – the ideas we have about others’ ideas about us.”

I don’t know what you’ll think of me for saying this, but my unfortunate preoccupation is in trying to figure out what others think of me. I was always an individualist, always trying to be independent of the influence of others. I end up, against my will, falling into the typical Aries hypocrite. I’m eccentric in my own special way, and fiercely proud of it. I might as well be proud of it because I’m no good at putting on an act. Besides, acting all day long, every day in real life is self-torture. If everybody would just be their own weird selves, we’d all get used to it and no one would get to call anyone else weird without in turn also being called a hypocrite.

However, I do hide quite a bit of myself. I don’t do it for a conscious reason, and I wish that I didn’t.

Try as I have, I can’t shake the worry that I’ve misrepresented myself and caused a reaction in someone else that I didn’t want or intend. I’ve always been socially awkward, so I’ve been stung by this situation many times. People treating me in a manner befitting someone else’s personality, someone I don’t recognize…it’s troubling. And you don’t always get a decent chance to remedy a false impression.

“Your ideas about what others think of you hinge on your self-concept—your own beliefs about who you are. “You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept,” explains Mark Leary, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

This is one of the reasons why I learned to be funny in conversation: When people laugh at your witticism, they display (and announce) approval of you for having told the joke. And if they know I made it up myself, then that’s approval of me. My sense of humor is deeply personal. I get as much of a thrill out of a witty comment (pride, the good kind) as the person who laughed. I imagine some of their synapses firing, making a connection that wasn’t there before. With certain people, I imagine it as a spark in their mind, a case of me bringing light into an otherwise dark and dreary place.

Writing a blog is a different animal. If I make you laugh, I don’t get to hear it. I don’t get to see it. Unless you communicate to me in comments, I won’t know. My point is, at least at the moment it seems like I’m performing for the void, sending signals into space. I don’t know if there will be any feedback. There is no metaperception to be had. Just gotta have faith that my message in a bottle comes back with a new note inside.

In yesterday’s post, I introduced the concept of the Johari Window. This article has much to do with two panes of the window – the one known as the “Blind Spot”, and the other, (un)known as the “Unknown”. Check it out, yo!

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