Social Skills 101: Do Others See You Differently Than You See Yourself?

What are your thoughts on the way you act in social situations? Do people see you as confident or shy? Are they eager to help, or do they avoid interaction with you because of how much time it takes them out of their day.

That gut feeling you have, that one is different from the others. That’s your perception of yourself and it guides much of what you do in life. But does someone else see you differently? The answer will surprise most people.

The “what do you think contributes to the difference in how you perceive yourself and how others see you” is a question that has been asked by many people. It is difficult to answer, but there are many factors that contribute to this difference.

Commender Social Briefing.

Social Briefings are bi-monthly dispatches that provide actionable advice on how to enhance your social abilities. More about their raison d’être may be found here. 

We’ve been offering two questions/thought starters in these initial Social Briefings to help you consider if your current social style is one you’d prefer to retain or alter.

Last time, we spoke about whether your previous social patterns were still working for you, and how we sometimes pick up social habits that made sense for us at one point in our life but may no longer do so now that we’re in a different place.

Today’s thought provoking question is:

Have people have a different opinion of you than you do of yourself?

Whether your social inclinations originated as a result of the conditions of a certain stage of your life or are something that has been imprinted in your DNA from birth, how we believe others perceive them may be quite different from how they really are.

Below is a table that highlights typical actions you could participate in while engaging with others, as well as how you believe they come across and how others might perceive them. These are taken (with permission) from First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You; additional examples may be found in the tables on their website.

If You Follow These Steps You may believe you seem to be someone else. You may seem to be
Before sharing fundamental personal information, say what’s on your mind. Intriguing and unusual Inappropriate, weird, and self-centered
Pay little attention to your appearance or style. Natural, unconcerned with appearances Socially inept and irresponsible
Withhold interest or attention Cool and assured Uninterested, dismissive, and chilly
Listen to what’s being said, but don’t offer anything to the discussion. Interested and considerate drab and self-absorbed
Concentrate only on one subject. Passionate Boring, egotistical, and lacking in interest
Give a talk on something you’re passionate about. Smart and intriguing Bombastic, monotonous, and self-centered
Introduce issues with the purpose of persuading others to agree with your point of view. Enlightened, astute, and zealous arduous and exhausting
Discuss “touchy” subjects like salary or religion. Passionate and intriguing Offensive and insensitive
Use jokes and comedy to dominate the discussion. enthralling, energetic, and amusing arduous and exhausting
Concentrate on your uniqueness rather than your similarities with others. Interesting and outlandish Socially awkward, inaccessible, and self-absorbed
Others share more than you do. Open, truthful, and transparent Inconvenient and ineffective
Others share a lot less than you. Controlled and mysterious Closed, boring, and freezing
When compared to others, speak faster and stop for longer periods of time. energizing and intriguing Alienating and emotionally draining
Slow down your speech or hesitate longer than others. Relaxed, at ease, and considerate It is tiresome and boring.
Increase your volume. Self-assured, amusing, and intriguing Bombastic, conceited, and obnoxious
When compared to others, you speak a lot more. Interesting and useful information Self-absorbed and tough to relate to
Act inflexibly in the face of unforeseen circumstances Determined and suitable in their demands Needy, entitled, and a high-maintenance personality
Demonstrate that you are superior to others. Important and eye-catching Intimidating and uneasy
Present yourself as a second-class citizen. endemic, modest aring Awkward and self-conscious
Others are to blame. Sincere and direct Difficult, socially disadvantaged, and mistreated
Concentrate on the negative features of the circumstance. Straightforward and practical Unpleasant, unlikable
When compared to others, make less eye contact. Respectful and normal Rejecting, indifferent, bashful, and uncomfortable

May is the crucial word in these situations. Some of these habits may, in fact, function as well as you believe they do in certain settings, with specific individuals, and within the framework of your general personality.


You may not want to change them even if they aren’t operating the way you think they should because you believe they are a crucial manifestation of your true self.

The goal of this self-examination exercise, as stated by the authors of First Impressions, is to “find gaps between how you believe you come across and how people really see you, so you may make adjustments if and when you wish to [emphasis mine].”

Improving your social skills isn’t about pretending to be someone you’re not; it’s about making sure that other people see you the way you want to be seen — that the impression you create reflects your finest traits and is more accurate, not less.

It’s extremely normal for your social habits to come across differently than you think — in ways that are at variance with your genuine personality and aspirations, and that conceal rather than expose who you are. In such instances, it is in your best interests to change your behaviors so that you may show yourself in a more favorable and genuine light.

Many of the upcoming Social Briefings will assist you in doing so.



Watch This Video-

“How do others see me physically?” is a question that is asked by many. This question can be answered with the “Social Skills 101” blog. Reference: how do others see me physically.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do others see you differently than you see yourself?

A: Some people might not see me as I see myself.

What is it called when you dont see yourself the way others see you?

A: It is called self-esteem.

How do you see yourself as a person?

A: I see myself as a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.

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