If you’ve ever bemoaned your appearance and heard someone exasperatedly exclaim “I wish you could see yourself the way that I do!” then you’ll have known only too well just how out of step self-conception can be the perception others have.
In addition to having a negative influence on self-esteem at times, this phenomenon can also cause certain individuals to be arrogant or over-confident, all the while entirely unaware of how they come across.
So, why exactly is it that we’re so clueless about how we appear to other people? DNews is here to explain, thanks to a compelling new study on the topic. As Laci Green points out in this presentation, we’re especially poor at judging how someone else will evaluate our assertiveness—we’re prone to thinking we’re being appropriately pushy when others think we’re being too pushy, and some of us think we’re being too soft-hearted when we’re evaluated as perfectly on target.
Another study unfortunately reveals that the average person views themselves as more attractive to others than they really are—a problem called the “self-enhancement bias.” We even typically think that we’re more morally good than others, and perhaps more morally good than we really are!
What can we do about all of this? Well, one important message is that it’s wise to question our judgement and take other people’s opinions seriously—all too often, we just don’t know how we’re striking those around us, and learning more information about this can help us adjust our behavior in ways that enhance friendships, romances and work situations.