How to Use People’s Perception of You to Your Advantage

how to use people's perceptions of you

This article contains the one thing I wish I could tell everybody. In a perfect world everyone would accept it and understand it because it is applicable in all areas of our lives. People trust what they see. This has many implications for us. One implication is that how people see you is important, despite the fact that many of us are taught not to care what others think. This “logic” we’ve been taught all our lives is flawed. How people perceive you in your adult life can make you or break you. It influences your job opportunities, the positions you are offered, your pay scale, how you are treated, the type of friends you attract and what type of partner you attract.

I’d like to tell you how you can use the fact that people trust what they see to your advantage.

How to use people's perception of you

People trust what they see, so regardless of who you are, you are to people what you choose for them to see. That means if you come across as confident, people will believe that you are confident. If you come across as professional, people will believe you are professional. This goes for a multitude of contexts, whether it is business or in your personal life.

Perception is everything. A person’s perception of you is formed by hasty conclusions. Conclusions they jump to when they have their first interactions with you. I’ll take it one step further and say that who you actually are doesn’t matter to people. I say this because they don’t see you for you. You can put yourself forward to be anything that you strive to be and people will most often not question that. You are to people who they want you to be (as they perceive you). As long as you don’t do anything to the contrary of that perception you will stay that person that others perceive you to be. Each person will have a completely different opinion or perception about you. This is true because they are influenced by what you choose to show them and their own perspective and experiences.  Make sure that the side of you that you show the world is the one you don’t mind them building perceptions around.

I remember when I was studying Psychology, during the first year, I would observe the students coming in to the lecture hall. I remember one day I saw boys walking in with their baggy pants almost hanging down to their knees. They would sit and talk and giggle in the back of the class whilst the lecturer was trying to impart some great knowledge on us. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but it hit me that day: How can you take yourself seriously as a psychologist when you are not paying attention in a lecture? My perception of you as a psychologist (if you had to walk into a session acting the way you do and dressing the way you do) would be dismal. I would not want to go sit in your office and I will not have any faith in your skills. I doubt that your help will be of value. You’d just sit there with your baggy pants, giggling at me.

So as the example I gave shows, perceptions can harm your image. Making people perceive you in the best possible way can work to your advantage.  Most often the people we look up to seem to have their lives together, only because we perceive them that way. This is partly because they only put forward their best. We do not see their time of doubt, their confusion and their lack of self esteem.

You might not be confident, but you can present yourself as being confident. Body language that people perceive as confidence is; standing up straight, having your shoulders back, not looking down or collapsing in on yourself. You can speak clearly and make sure that you have even pitch and volume in your voice throughout your sentences and cut out all the doubtful phrases in your vocabulary. Such as; “i think”, “um” and “I’m not sure” and people will perceive you to be confident despite what you feel inside. If you go into the outside world like that every day, you will internalise it and it’ll become part of who you are. The same goes for telephonic or email interactions.

It may be hard to pin point which changes are necessary to portray a certain characteristic. I would suggest that you look up videos to study the mannerisms and characteristics of people who you admire. Jot down what makes you perceive them the way you do (successful, confident, in control or sexy). Then use your notes to incorporate those into your mannerisms and note the changes in how others treat you and respond to you.

At the end of the day, everybody we see or know, we know as we want to know them (because of our preconceptions) or as they have come across to us. Who they are does not matter much. In extreme cases, people have partners who are serial killers but they did not see it because their perception of them did not allow that conflicting information to be seen. But other people might say:”Well yeah, he does kind of look like a serial killer, I could have seen that coming.” (that’s a whole other article). My advice is to take note of the fact that people trust what they see and use this your benefit. Whilst not being malicious of course (we are all nice people here).

Have you ever had someone perceive you negatively, as something that you’re not? Could you overcome it? Comment below, I like hearing from you.


The Things You’re Doing To Make Men Disrespect You

This is why men disrespect you

So at one point or another you’ve wondered why you keep attracting the wrong men. When it comes to relationships I find that most women buy into the idea that mister right is out there and you will find him and he will understand you and what you want and need. I’m here to tell you that the idea of mister right is a fairy tale and that most men have it in them to be “mister right” not just “mister right now”. I would also like you to know that you’re the one determining which “mister” he is.

You do not set the benchmark for how you’re treated consciously

Stop being the victim of disrespectful men who do not show up on time for dates, cheat, play games and get away with waffling in and out of a relationship as they see fit. People will treat you how you allow them to treat you, you set the benchmark. You determine whether a guy steps up to make you happy or whether he is just along for the ride in the short term. You might not currently set the benchmark on how you’re treated consciously. I’m hoping after reading this article you will look at the way men perceive you and realize why you aren’t being treated how you deserve to be treated.

You are self sacrificing

The key to earning respect is demanding it, you demand it by setting standards. Women tend to be self sacrificing, we will make concessions, allowances and compromise because that is the polite and caring thing to do. What most don’t realise is that in a new relationship the concessions could easily come across as a lack of standards. You need to set standards because they act as rules that people should follow when it comes to dealing with you. When people deal with you in a certain way it makes you feel valued and respected. Your standards could include that a man open the door for you, reply to texts immediately after they have been read, show up on time for dates and contact you as soon as he realises he is going to be late. These standards differ among women.

You make concessions for people

The reason why it is important for you to set standards for yourself is because standards prescribe to other people how it is that you want to be treated and it’ll show other people that you value yourself. The best way to get people to treat you with respect is to show them that you respect others and that you respect yourself. That’s why its important avoid making concessions for people. You might think that you’re doing it to avoid confrontation or you want to be drama free and therefore you allow people to treat you how they want instead of how you would like them to treat you.

Standards can be quite useless if you choose to make concessions with them and not have them adhere to everyone that you come across. If you let some man get away with not meeting you on time for a date or not replying to your messages when you know they’ve read it (or whatever standard that it is that you choose to set), that person is going to perceive you as the person who just lets things slide. That if someone doesn’t adhere to your standards its okay, because the person that you are making exceptions for does not know that they are the exception.

The Things

You keep the peace

I find that woman are scared of confrontation. They don’t want to say “No, you can’t treat me that way” or “No you cant just come and go as you please”. They feel like they need to be the ones who are keep the peace. The drama free, happy-go-lucky, fun people in order to attract a suitable partner. It’s those woman who do not command respect (regardless of the reason) who do not receive it.

In the dating world women are so scared to chase of potential partners that they allow the men to do what they want and  treat them how the men see fit. Now I ask these women: “What is it that you are protecting when you’re allowing people to treat you like they want to treat you?” You are only setting yourself up for a bigger failure in the long run if you make concessions or neglect your standards because you might as well set your standards early on, find the people that are going to adhere to them and move on if those people decide not to. Instead of being stuck in a long, disrespectful, unhappy and eventually dead relationship.

You make yourself sexually available

I’ve also realised that in the dating world, women think that they need to make themselves seem sexually available to men in order to capture their interest. What are you doing out there dressing provocatively and sending nude pics of themselves to men?  Please hear me, by doing this you are giving the man access to your body without requiring the guy to commit to you. That person is not going to be your “mister right”. You’re showing them that they don’t need to measure up to something in order to get into your pants.

It is possible to build a relationship on something that doesn’t involve having a man being sexually aroused by you. Surely you can be interesting enough by using your mind and humour instead of your body. As soon as you get naked for a man who doesn’t measure up, you lose his respect. By all means be sexy, be attractive but don’t be trashy. Perception is key and if your put yourself forward as trashy that is what you are prescribing for yourself. Trash begets trash.

In hindsight this article could’ve been called : “Standards… Get some”. So my advice would be, take a long hard look at what it is that you want in a man and prescribe that every man you meet treat you that way. If they don’t then you know they are not the person for you, so move on swiftly. If a man sees you have standards he will crave to adhere to that. If he wants to be in your life and he wants more than something quick and meaningless then he will actually keep up to your standards, no matter how absurd these standards might seem.

Do you have any thoughts on the subject? Please share them with me down below.

How Not to Be Lonely

Stop the cycle of loneliness & isolation. Be popular

So how often do you feel lonely, unpopular and just generally down about the prospects of building meaningful relationships with other people? You might lack the confidence to go out alone and put yourself into situations where you could meet new people. Starting conversations with strangers can be complicated because we don’t know if we’ll be received well and have the same interests as the interesting person standing in line with us.

I’ve been noticing that these feelings are quite popular and prevalent today (and can’t help to think that the internet could be hindering our social skills rather than helping). For example, in my house it’s common to spend a few minutes of face time with the family before we all get onto our computers, cell phones and tablets. It seems increasingly difficult (or people are more reluctant) to spend time with others. For some, social interaction can be taxing at times and it’s much easier to unwind after a hard day at work by messing about on a phone because with a phone you don’t have to think, consider, talk and sometimes “put up with” people and their nuances.

Most would argue that the internet cuts across borders and brings people together. We do have our social media and all these wonderful messaging apps after all. Yet the internet takes away the need for human interaction which in turn can influence our ability to communicate with people in the real word. The result is an increased lack of confidence to approach people in real life situations and a lack of social skills.

Human interaction is a basic need each of us need to fulfill. It can lift you mood, increase your self worth and confidence. A lack of human interaction can lead to feelings of loneliness, unpopularity and can mess with your sense of belonging. Most of us see other people in our day to day lives but find the idea of approaching them absurd for all the above mentioned reasons and whole lot more.

This general sense of isolation that we have become complacent with in the past is one of the things I felt I needed to overcome. I craved having some influence in other’s lives and to perhaps make some friends along the way. So I came up with 3 things to implement in my life to increase the amount of meaningful social interactions I have and perhaps increase my popularity. Here was the game plan I came up with. I think I stumbled across the recipe for world peace. (Okay maybe that is over exaggerating but it does work well).

 How not to be lonely

The solution:

1. Create meaningful interactions with people

Aim to make your common interactions more meaningful. Its helpful to keep in mind that the person on the other end of the phone or behind the counter at the store is a person, with a life and a whole different set of experiences to yours. You don’t have to spend more time than you would normally spend around people. Our schedules don’t really allow for changes that include more time with others anyway.

You can make your interactions more meaningful by practicing looking people in the eye when handing them your cash at the store. Ask “How are you?” or “How has your day been?” or pay the stranger a compliment if you feel there’s something worthwhile to mention. This advice might seem silly to some but it’s a small step to opening yourself up to others and increasing your popularity.

Friendliness is greatly appreciated by most and will foster confidence in yourself. By initiating conversation you’re opening yourself up to possible negative reactions (but at the end of the day if you’re met by a bad attitude you can just point and laugh at the grumpy person). By actively starting conversations I’ve found that most people love talking about themselves and appreciate others showing an interest in them.

By creating meaningful interactions with people, people in places that you frequent are more likely to remember you and this in turn will have an effect on the way that people react to you in the future.

2. Give a little (with the emphasis on “little”)

I’m not suggesting being selfless with your time, money and effort to the extent that you burden yourself. You’re allowed to be selective with the resources (eg. time and money) you give away. Most of us have full plates already and the last thing being charitable should make you feel, is burdened. So decide what you could possibly do for someone to make their lives a little easier and to what degree you’re willing to commit to doing things for others.

I’m giving you permission to say “No” to dropping your colleague off at the buss stop that is not en route to your house after work when all you want to do is go home and nap. A good way to start giving a little is, for example, carrying someone’s groceries to their car or making someone a cup of coffee. I, for instance, had made study notes earlier in the year and came across a student who had failed the module and would have to redo it, so I go into contact with her and offered to send her my notes.

Small gestures will make others react more positively to you. Good intentions go far in the way of reaching out to people and will make people open up to you to in a positive way. (There is a fine line between giving a little and being suck up so watch your balance there).

3. Let people know you’re thinking of them

People react well to others taking an interest in them and a short message or phone call goes a long way in building friendships. So take a second to imagine how you would react if you got a message on Facebook from a long lost friend to tell you that they had this crazy memory and reminisced about the past a bit. You’d probably be delightfully taken aback that someone you had forgot existed said they were thinking of you.

Most people go through their lives feeling isolated, unworthy, unloved, unpopular or unrecognized. Some people who I admire and look up struggle with feelings like these and the only possible explanation is that they have no way to know that people look up to them, think of them or love them. Stop the cycle of loneliness and isolation and reach out to people you find noteworthy.

What are your tips and tricks for increasing your popularity and avoiding feelings of isolation? Do you struggle with starting conversations with people? Please share your thoughts and ideas.