I See You, See Me, See You

I enjoy taking photographs! Through the lens I’ve observed that when some people see me taking their photo, oftentimes a slight shift occurs—they may stand taller, suck in their tummy, smooth their hair, or tilt their head slightly to their “best” side.

When we see others observing us, sometimes a story starts writing itself in our head about what we think they think. Each person views life through their own experience-based lenses and filters. Sometimes their view lines up with ours. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Stephen Hopson is an inspirational speaker, author, and the world’s first deaf instrument-rated pilot. I admire his perspective: “What other people think of you is none of your business!

What matters is what you see, what you think, and how you feel.

Are you held hostage by the opinion of others?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

48 thoughts on “I See You, See Me, See You

  1. Gosh, I hope not! My inner image of myself is what I try to project to the World. If a person only reflected the opinions of others, what a Crazy-house mirror of perception that would be! A personality of Jello, constantly shape-shifting and never stable, It makes me think of those who slavishly follow fashion trends, ” Is this the right style? Does this Sweater look dated? Are these the shoes of the season?”. I am basically a boots and jeans person, the lighter nuances of fashion fly right over my head. But then I am always comfortable in my clothes, just the way my Spirit is comfortable within my body, the Winds of Change do not afflict us too much! Of course, I DO stand a little straighter when I know some one has a camera aimed at me.

    • Sandi – The word picture you painted of a jello shape-shifter made me smile.

      And I betcha a dollar to a donut that if we compared the clothes in our closets, they’d be quite similar 🙂

  2. yes the camera pointed at people seems to change them, the trick is to catch them unaware… Candid! I have never really thought of people’s lives on the other side of the camera.

    Yet years ago while attending to my recovery, one of the saying that was shared around the rooms was and still is… “What others think of me is not of my damn business.”

    If I was concerned of what others think of me I would not place status’s on Facebook or write on blogs, or even bother to show up…

    • Jeff – You’re oh-so-right about the “candid” aspect of photography. My issue is this…I tend to want to get permission before I take a photo of someone I don’t know. That’s always been true, but was solidified for me when I was in Mexico last November. I learned that almost always (there are exceptions) it’s expected you will pay someone if you take their photo.

  3. Interesting question. I feel sometimes our need to please – or at least not to upset/offend other people – can make us dishonest and what we say may not necessarily reflect our thoughts. Being politically correct is also important these days, so I think the truth gets pushed further and further back in the list or priorities. We tend to think what we are taught to be right and only the very brave dare defy the establishment.

  4. Laurie – The idea of really seeing myself truly came home to me last night as I was watching the television show, ‘The Voice.’ I thougt Usher was a brilliant coach when he had one of the singers on his team sing her assigned song ‘True Colors’ into a mirror to herself. It was an amazing experience to watch and when the artist performed on stage it was so relevant to see the transformation she made in a break through to accepting her self. I thought it was a brilliant learning exercise for not only the artist singing but for many of us watching the show. I’ve put the song on my playlist for sure. I always love reading your post and attempt to reach inside myself to find a better person. Thank you.

  5. The truth… Yes, always have been. And not only what I know they think but always what I believe they think.
    Although, admittedly, this is not healthy it has optional for being a positive force. As in: Oh, yeah, well, I’ll prove them wrong. Success in the light of being written off.

  6. Lovely thoughts Laurie. You are indeed speaking from the heart and I believe your words are changing things. I appreciate this post so much because it addresses a really important issue.
    Thanks for sharing! I’m considering reblogging. It’s worth it!

  7. Reblogged this on Wise Counsel and commented:
    What do you think that people are thinking of you?
    Does it really matter?
    The world needs people that will standout and make a difference that really counts.
    Love more than anybody ordinarily would. Be cheerful and kind, irrespective of what people say.
    Share generously and give benevolently, as much as it gladdens your heart.
    Don’t let your assumptions of the thoughts of others regulate who you are.
    See yourself the way you ought to be and you will become who you ought to be; your very best self.
    Believe and become!

  8. Thank you Laurie and I agree when it comes to others who put us down, unless I have done something to deserve it that I need to say sorry for. It is also very important to me what God thinks about us and one thing as you shared is I’m unique, we all are but in our uniqueness we are to still remain in one mind and united on God’s Truth and not argue or even to agree to disagree, we are to seek Him to resolve our differances.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Anne – We are, indeed, unique. And it’s our differences that make the world go round. To have several “me’s” would be oh-so-boring! I’m glad this post resonated with you – thank you for letting me know 🙂

  9. Hi Laurie

    “Held hostage” is far too strong a term. No – I am not held hostage by what others think of me, and like everyone, I do like to be thought well of by others.

    I do have emotional responses when other people fail to acknowledge, or show active disrespect towards me.

    And I am sufficiently far removed from normality that I am able to handle any such emotions, and to maintain a course of action or chain of thought that does not have social acceptance – and that comes with an emotional cost.

    So no, I am not “held hostage” by what others think of me, and yes, the thoughts of others do have an effect upon me.

  10. Love the analogy using the camera lens and filters! Yeah, I do allow myself to be bothered by what I think other people are thinking of me. If that makes sense. Most of the time, they probably aren’t thinking of me at all – I’m just too self conscious. Need to just breathe and get on with things. Focus more on thinking and treating others in a positive manner. Focus on the things I can control, which does not include the thoughts of others.

  11. Oh, Laurie, I have struggled with this sometimes. There is a part of me that doesn’t care two hoots (or even three) what others think of me. That is the truer part. But sometimes I get caught up believing the Ego’s voice, wanting approval. Part of my challenge has been being very kind to the part that wants approval.

  12. GREAT reminder… if only it were that easy to “not” care what other people think :-). The quote is FABULOUS. And I share the same affinity for photography as you — though my subjects don’t usually strike a pose or suck in their tummies, since they’re of the animal variety!

  13. As I get older this seems not to be a problem atleast on a conscious level but there could be some trick photography going on at a sub-conscious level.

  14. Ah Laurie you hit here on a bone of contention when the matter of opinion is brought to bear on the review of a film, stage play, concert or book. I have always bandied around the opinions of others, and sometimes this position has won me some challenges in the sense you so tellingly broach here. One must indeed feel, see, hear, think on their own and come up with their own judgments. That’s not to say however that one should shut out the opinions of others, especially since in many cases it’s those views that help us formulate our own reactions and perceptions. But in the end, there can be no compromising the personal experience.

    • Sam – Thank you for bringing up this EXCELLENT point:

      “That’s not to say however that one should shut out the opinions of others, especially since in many cases it’s those views that help us formulate our own reactions and perceptions.”

  15. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time gazing at my own navel, which doesn’t leave much time for worrying what others think of me. 😉

    And as I mature I am just so happy being more ‘me’ than ever before, and enjoying what I have, that I don’t really give other people’s opinions much thought.

    Having said all that I’m always on edge when my words are being scrutinised by a client and don’t relax until they say they’re happy with them! Not so big and tough then, am I?

  16. I love Hopson’s perspective: “What other people think of you is none of your business!”

    I don’t think I’m held hostage by the opinions of others in that I don’t often change my behavior to please others. But at the same time I do desire that others think well of me and do hope they don’t judge my choices too harshly.

  17. This is great! I struggle with what others think of me and how I look to them but thank you for reminding that its none of my business and it doesn’t matter! Very freeing! Thank you!

  18. Thank you for this post! “It’s none of your business what other people think about you.” That’s so profound. It’s the third time I’ve heard this statement lately, so I guess I’m meant to hear it. It’s very liberating when you wrap your mind around it.

  19. I’m afraid I care more than I should what others think of me. It’s an issue I’ve dealt with my entire life.

    Sorry to be so out of the loop recently. But, Sara and I have arrived safely in Ecuador, and I’m trying to get back into the routine of blogging. Hope you’re doing well.


  20. Hmmm….great question. I think it depends on the person, to be completely honest. Those not in my inner circle, no. If it’s better for them if I keep something to myself and they are the ones I treasure and cherish, I will usually keep my mouth shut. And do a hell of a lot of writing! 🙂

  21. Pingback: The opinions of others | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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