Making an Impression

One of my natural tendencies is to “manage impressions”. I would go as far as to call it a talent, because not only do I automatically fall into doing it all the time (to my own detriment), but I’m damn good at it. It wouldn’t really be a problem at all except that it’s easy to lose myself in the impressions I create. It’s problematic, because if you’re manufacturing an image, playing to your own sense of other peoples tastes, it’s kind of hard to be yourself.

Saying that is kind of a contradictory though, because it’s in my nature to do this.

It’s an element of myself that works exceptionally well. At least when I still have a clear grasp on my own values, intentions, and desires. One of the downsides being that it adds to my own sense of isolation; it makes it more difficult to genuinely connect to others. Still, those tend to be outweighed by the fact that people feel they can connect to and be comfortable around me, and that goes a long way in the world we live in. All of this seems to leave me at a question…

How do I really feel about my habit of managing the impressions I make?

The answer is pretty simple: No bad habit goes unrewarded; if you know how to us it to your advantage. That applies to all of them too, not just impression management. I have a lot of self-doubts, I second guess myself more often than I’ll ever admit, and I’m usually insecure in one way or another. But those only become a problem when I don’t actively use them for something; left to stew in the back of my mind, they get corrosive.

Quietly and subtlely put to use, allowed an acknowledged place behind the scenes, they work wonders in inspiring ideas and decisions. Kept out of sight, no one really knows about the messy process of making those choices, animating those ideas. Hidden, they make a hard thing look easy. Same thing with the way people percieve me. They may not know all the messy details of who I am, what goes on in my head, but they can see me in motion.

Summed Up & With a Word on the Price

Managing the impressions I make isn’t about pretending or being fake. It’s not a habit of insincerity. It’s a habit of reservation, or measuring how much of myself I put out there, and how I put myself out there. The drawback is that it can lead to a sense of isolation. While people seem to find it easy to connect with me, through my eyes the connection is usually a distant one. Mostly I’d say… maybe that’s the price I pay for keeping personal shit personal.

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12 thoughts on “Making an Impression

  1. I barely know you and I have only read a few posts of yours, but after reading this post, I’d like to think that in a way, I could be similar, only in a sense that I keep my emotions and thoughts to myself that I think are pointless or too deep to tell to anybody. Like, I always, and by this I mean literally always, keep the things that I say as superficial as possible, and most of them are only jokes, only to keep my friends entertained. It’s super hard for me to feel a deep connection to someone and to feel the need to share any of my problems cause I think that would be pointless. And it’s also super hard for me to say genuine or affectionate things, which kind of make me seem a bit cold.

    I’m sorry for suddenly blabbing out about myself instead of what I said above. I’ve seen a few people that I meet almost everyday who share similar tendencies (although I only observed them through the things they tend to tell people everytime they talk, so I still can’t be sure). It sounds cool, though, what you’re able to do, how you can organize the impression you make on people, but it does come with a price. If you you’re okay with keeping on going despite the price, then it’d be fine. But lack of deep connection can indeed be really hard, I feel that too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to apologize, I don’t mind getting to know more about you 😉 , not in the slightest. I think there was a time when I felt almost completely like that. Now… lol, to be honest I’m far to vain to think it could be pointless. With some things, like with insecurities, I just feel like it’s my weight to shoulder, and it’s none of their damn business. My problems or issues? When I have those, I might talk about them, but where other people do that and have me as a support if they need it… I don’t usually need support, and almost never want it.

      Maybe you (and I) see people all the time who share similar tendencies because their just as hesitant to share themselves… maybe for different reasons, maybe the same. But our likeness, especially if this is the case, is strangely the thing that seems to make us feel so seperate from one another a lot of the time.

      I’m not sure if I’m okay with it exactly either… but I guess you could say I’ve observed this in myself and sort of come to terms with it. And part of that is because… I think there’s always a price, no matter what choices you make. And really, the only reason I ‘manage’ impressions at all anymore is because it’s just in my nature. It’s one of those things I try not to think about though. Really, I’d rather just be who I am, heart on my sleeve. It just that the paradox of it is… this is part of who I am too. Keenly aware most of the time, annoyingly so haha, and (I think…) fairly reserved in how much of myself I show to most people.

      I’m glad this resonated with you and inspired some thought. Lack of connection can definitely be hard, but I don’t think that’s what we have here 😀 . Maybe even for people like us, that it doesn’t come easily to, we find a way to relate to others anyways. One way or another.

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      • I read your reply a few times and each time I always tried to imagine if I were you. Not that I wondered how it would feel like, cause you’ve described it clearly above, so I instead tried to “transfer what you’ve explained into my own emotion container” (sorry it’s so hard to put my thoughts into words)

        And each time I would be like, “wow right that makes sense” and “I kind of understand that”. Then a voice inside my head would say, “Oh really? Well, who are you to say you understand? Cause you were never in his position”. But still, I’d like to think that I understand, maybe not in the exactly right level.

        I have a really short attention span and I had difficulty in keeping my focus on the true essence of what this all is about so…

        Some sentences you’ve written on your reply above helped grasp a bit more. Although you clearly said it in you post, I did not fully include in my mind that it really is in your nature, and that it’s one of those things that you try not to think about, and that you’ve come to terms with it. And after that I was like, “Right. I didn’t understand this before.” Every choice comes with a price, indeed. And maybe “some things are best kept the way they are cause it’s their nature. It’s who they are”, right? It’s beautiful the way it is.

        By the way I like your saying above: “But our likeness, especially if this is the case, is strangely the thing that seems to make us feel so separate from one another a lot of the time.”

        And I still think your ‘talent’ here is cool hehehe

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  2. Don’t we all manage impressions? I mean, I care a lot less about what people think now, than I did when I was in my twenties, and I don’t get my knickers in a twist if I fail to connect with someone, but one of my guiding principles in life is to make a positive difference in the lives of people I encounter. I smile, am friendly, treat people like people, show appreciation, and generally try to put my best foot forward. Sometimes, on bad days, the best I can achieve is to not actively be a jerk, but on good days, I’m a delight to be around. (So I’m told.)

    Either way, I don’t think it’s a bad habit. I think it’s a human one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a fair point 🙂 . I think it is something we all do to some degree, for sure, and while I’m not to concerned about what other people think in general… it’s more about what I’m willing to put up with, and how much energy I want to expend. Generally speaking, I don’t care enough about people I don’t know to ruin any possibilities there might be by being a jerk, especially if they turn out to be someone I like, plus I think there’s such a thing as common courtesy, which is just unemotional (and percieved to be friendly) habit.

      It’s a lot less about other people than it is about me, and keeping myself reserved. Minimal impact on them. Despite my love for certain kinds of attention (I do have a blog, after all haha), I prefer to remain more or less unknown to my fellow unknowns, people I don’t know anyways.

      I can tell I’m well-liked, thought to be a good listener, things like that… but when people actually do get that close I think they sense that I don’t need that returned, or even want it. I feel very strongly that any issues, problems, or insecurities I have are my entirely my own. The funny thing is, I’m pretty much an open book. I’m just not as proactive in my sharing of myself a lot of the time… Which kind of touches more on a different post here (They Come & They Go), but it also ties into this. lol anyways…

      The biggest reason I refered to it as a bad habit is… sometimes I get lost in my ability to percieve the way others percieve me. I see myself through the eyes of others pretty easily, and sometimes I lose sight of my own perception of myself. But even in that light, it is indeed simply a human habit. They all seem to have their upsides and downsides. I think I just singled this one out because I notice it more than others, or at least was thinking about it more than others when I wrote this 🙂 .

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  3. Up until I decided to go for my dream, I made an art form at building walls around me. I never talked about personal stuff that often. I didn’t share my military experiences with anybody but one person. Even my family called it an art form. I understand the isolation you speak of and did it to the extreme to myself. Just glad that I decided to start sharing and praying for the best.
    Thank you for the likes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome (for the likes); with your blog the way it is, if you keep writing posts, I’m bound to keep liking them 🙂 .

      ” Just glad that I decided to start sharing and praying for the best.”

      Kind of… just being who you are and letting the chips fall where they may. That’s the way I’d put it, I think. It feels riskier, but I think a lot of that is in ones head, just a head trip rather than a realistic worry haha. If your blog is anything to go by, I think a lot of people are probably glad you decided to start sharing 😉 .

      Like

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