Perception Is All
A professor once said, “perception is all“. How prophetic a statement that was at the time! I didn’t realize the importance of that statement until many years later. You see, the professor in question was a marketing professor, and how true it is that, it is not the truth of what the product in question will do or deliver, but the perception of what it will do in the consumer’s mind.
How this can impact us in our daily life is quite important I believe, especially as it affects our relationships. So often in discussing matters, one can get lost or preoccupied in trying to prove the “truth” of matters to our partner.
It brings to mind that old expression:
Do you want to be right or be happy?
Or better yet:
Do you want to be right AND be alone?
So often there is no one “right” way or approach. For example, what is the best vegetable that one can eat in terms of nutrition? I suppose that one can conduct tests and make measurements and spell it all out and do extensive comparisons. But in the end, it might all come down to which particular vitamin or nutrient that one was focused upon or wanted to accentuate.
We may even manage to come up with a particular vegetable which seems to offer the most nutritional value on a broad selection of criteria, but is it THE most nutritionally dense vegetable on the planet? Is the most nutritionally dense food even a vegetable? How do we know for sure? It may even turn out to be a liquid!
In the absence of absolute, scientifically-backed, irrefutable evidence, we are left with our informed “perceptions” of what may be one of the most highly dense foods on the planet. In such a case, it might also be wise to leave ourselves open to being pleasantly surprised by some new finding coming our way.
But in romantic relationships, and in our daily lives, we may be better suited in stating that, “according to my own findings and perceptions, here is what I think is the answer”. This leaves a lot of room for discussion, and more importantly, respecting the perceptions of those around us.
In the end, do we want to spend our time and energy “proving” that we are right? Bearing in mind that this would make our partner wrong And nobody really likes being wrong for any extended period of time I think. Or do we want to spend our time and energy getting closer to each other?
Maybe the true usefulness of this perspective might be, that the next time we are involved in a heated discussion, we may allow each party to bow out gracefully by saying that “from my perspective” this is how things “appear” to me.
Respecting each other’s differences. Quite possibly the subject of another article down the road!