What do people think of you?

What do people think of you? Are you kind, aggressive, fat, happy, depressed, generous or something else? You can take any number of personality tests or online quizzes to learn more about who your are but there is a problem. 

Learning more about who you are does not tell you anything about what people think about you.

Reading the reviews of your work or your last performance review will not tell you what people think about you, and asking people what they think about you will not tell  you what they think about you.

There are countless problems with the question, what do people think about me. One is that other people’s perspective of you is as varied as the number of people you know. Stephanie may think you’re brilliant because you helped her find a great job but David thinks you’re an asshole because you haven’t called him back in a month. It’s called the fundamental attribution error. People generalize their opinion of others based on a narrow slice of time. The day you were tired changed the person the world saw compared to the day you were first engaged. 

Then there is the problem with them. What is there perception of your political stance, the way you dress or the type of work you do? What they think of you is highly influenced by their beliefs more than who you really are. 

Let’s also not forget that people may hate your last book, but love how much money you give to charity. They may love your music but hate the way you dance. You are not a singular entity anymore than the state you live in. I like Texas. . . until I have to drive across it.

So what do people think of you?

Everything.

They think the worst and they think the best they are completely wrong and perfectly accurate and everything in between. The question shouldn’t be what do people think of me, the question is how can I serve the people who do think about me. How can I become the best version of myself so that the people around me benefit from my growth.