What to Perceive and What NOT to Perceive? That is the question!!

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One very frank lesson I learned the first week of my very first job, as a cashier at WaWa, was that you don’t poop where you work.  Now, I know that sounds strange.  It was spewed at me in a much different, kind of vulgar manner from a disgruntled co-worker who was venting, which I am sure you all can imagine.  We all have probably heard this cliché several times before.

I had to put this cliché in a whole new light last night for a close relative of mine.

Perception.

That’s the name of the game people.  We often think we are putting out one kind of vibe, while the person on the receiving end is perceiving your message quite differently.  Before the proverbial line gets drawn in the sand, here’s a little something to ponder on about perception.

In talking to my family member, he was gloriously detailing his relationship escapades.  How he talked to this one girl and she gave him her number, but later he got a number from this other girl, but yet in still he likes this other girl… But he just wants to be friends with all of them.  Yea, ok. (chuckle chuckle at how dumb he must think I am!)

So, I had no choice but to stop him in his tracks.  My spidey senses were tingling on a seizure type level at the impending teaching moment.  Listening to him, he was so caught up in how he perceived the situation, that he never really stopped to think of how those other girls may perceive his actions.

I dared to ask him, “What happens if they find out about each other, especially if they work together?”  The response was a typical one.  “I’m just being friendly, just want to hang out.”  I’m truly stepping out on a very thin limb here, but I don’t think women were built to function like that.  To just ‘hang out’ with no chance of commitment.  I know plenty of women who say they can, but they follow the same symptoms I expressed to my family member.

Even as friends, if there is even an inkling of admiration or desire there, perception of the situation can be come very cloudy.  The idea is that you’re just friends, but most women I know, go home and almost meditate on the time that was spent with the ‘friend’.  What he was wearing, his gestures, his flirtations (was he really flirting or just being nice?), how he looked at you, every word he says.  We analyze it all. 

I wanted to warn him, actually, educate him, to think of both sides of the fence.  Most often, we will put our own interests at the forefront, but I am hoping with this conversation, that he will start to think of the other person as well.  How they may read into or perceive his words and actions. More importantly, we have to be concerned with how God views our actions.  He is the one who truly knows the intent behind our actions.

This is a concept that I think we all could reflect on in our own lives.  Often times, we do things to pursue our own purposes and passions, but how often do we stop and think about how God is viewing our words and actions?  Do you ever think about how the other person may perceive you, or are you mainly focused on your own particular need?

In my head, honestly, all I could see was this situation going totally wrong and blowing up in his face. Or worse yet, it blows up in the girls faces…and their hearts.  God forbid if these girls actually have intimate feelings for him, and find out that he is spending time with her and the other girls.  I have seen it so many times before, where situations like that end up causing a virtual war between women, often unbeknownst to the male in between. 

Some men could care less, some might even enjoy that.  I would never want to breed that mentality into the hearts and souls of the men in my family.  If anything, I’m fighting to kill that thought at the door.

So I leave you with this last thought.  In a training I attended today, ironically, the agenda included a conversation about perception amongst office staff.  The trainer concluded the whole topic by saying, “The other persons perception of your actions is the true reality.”

Think of the verse listed above when you speak to others. See past what man sees and try to look at the situation through His eyes, then move forward.

Be blessed friends!

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