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What assumptions do people make about you when they hear you are a writer?
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If I knew the assumptions of others, I bet I’d have the keys I needed to unlock the door to successful marketing. Not just that, I’d probably have a lot to work on, whether that was licking the wounds of my ego or amending my approach to others. I cannot be entirely certain, after all, exactly what is in the minds of others when they consider me. Do they even consider me at all?
Throughout my career, I have had the overwhelming sense that I am largely unseen, regardless of the approach I make to readers. Either I am drown out in the melee of social media, or the inner dialogue of those I encounter. The things of which I’m interested aren’t the concern of most people. They are more focused on themselves and their problems, or their own interests. There’s a lot going on for everyone, so I cannot blame them.
The other sense I get from them is a deep suspicion. Do they think I am disingenuous? In my estimate, I act sincere and honest. Could it be that this behavior is suspect in a world where those traits are abused to manipulate others? Conversely, those who seek to abuse others often wield those traits, and this type despises legitimately honest folks.
Beyond these possible factors, I encounter people who seem to be fear I might reveal something about them just by my presence. Thus, I am ostracized. I’ll admit that I don’t fit the stereotypes of any of the roles that might apply to me upon first glance, and therefore someone doesn’t know how to gauge my personality. That reflects back on those who feel suspicious. They sense that they’re misreading, but blame me for disguising myself, which is not at all what is happening. I am nothing if not open.
How often have you been mistreated by those who misjudge you, for the fact that they misjudged you?
Add all of this to mentioning that I am a writer and folks don’t know what to make of me in the least. I wish I could know what their assumptions had been, because I regularly encounter these reactions. The worst part is that it sows seeds of doubt in my ability to be a writer at all. This happens even among peers who know my credentials and have known me to a certain extent for months or years.
One of my former bosses said they could never imagine me as mother, yet here I am the mother to a beautiful preschooler. She’s a phenomenal little person and I think that’s a testament to my parenting. Still, somehow, I gave the impression of being incapable of this role–or, at least, unsuitable.
The idea that I am writer with multiple publications is surprising to them! Apparently, I must also give off the impression that I am incapable and intellectually lazy, too! That’s a harsh assessment to comeback from. Not only is it upsetting on a personal level (my poor ego), but it assumes that my publications are unprofessional at the very least.
You’re probably wondering what I have done that could possibly give off this impression…
If I had the answer to that, I’d have the other key to the marketing kingdom. Those answers could change a lot for me. I bet I’d not like it one bit, though. After all, what do people have to assess you by when they’re just getting to know you? The things you say, how you say them, and the way you look. With that in mind, it appears that I speak flippantly with crass language and look a mess. You can tell by my images that the latter is not the case, and the way I write in my blogs is the way speak in conversation.
Could it be they think i’m full of myself? That very-well could be the case! Nothing is more annoying than a capable, attractive woman with an opinion. Likewise, when you don’t fit society’s ideals, you’ll find yourself bullied (even gently) back into your assigned place. How very dare I.
I guess, in the end, people judge me without thought about who I really am or what I have done. I did mention that they don’t listen to me. How could they possibly know of what I’m capable? When you don’t hear a person, when you don’t engage them on a deeper level, and when you make up your own mind out of stereotypes and assumptions you never will know them and your assessment will always fall short. In the end, that’s essentially their problem and their loss.
I’d really like to know, however, because I’d like to figure out what is at the root of all these wild and unfounded assumptions.
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Richard Dee says
I’m quite happy to be thought of as the harmless old man who might do something vaguely interesting. The thought of people disliking your passion, when you live next door, is not conducive to neighbourliness.
P.J. MacLayne says
And that’s why it’s important that we don’t judge ourselves through the eyes of others. They see what they want to see, not necessarily what is the truth.
Captain Maiel says
exactly! We need to remind ourselves that what others think of us is not our business, because that is wholly on them. 🙂
Stevie Turner says
I agree that our voices are drowned out in the white noise of social media. I also think that you can never really know another person, so it’s best not to make assumptions in the first place.