Perception – It is what it is…

What is perception?

By definition, perception is the “physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience”.  The operative word in that definition is interpreted.  The experience that each person has is defined by what their past has shown them.  Because each person uses their own experiences, no two perception are exactly alike.

In order to ensure that your message is understood, its important that you always try to see things through the eyes and mind of the receiver.  It really doesn’t matter what you THINK the meaning is of your words or actions…all that matters is the reality of what the other person’s perception is.

The Pyramid

perception, reality, experienceThe same thing can be said for people’s perspective.  An object can be stationary, and if 4 people are viewing that object from 4 different angles, then the perspective and perception are all different.  Just because you see something as being to the right of you, doesn’t mean that it can’t be to the left of someone else.

The term ‘user experience’ refers to the how others view the same things that you see…only with a more objective perspective.

This, unfortunately is the foundation of many arguments.  The term ‘seeing eye to eye’ is a common expression that describes the inability of two people to see things from the perspective of the other.  This one thing can be the undoing of many a relationship.  Couple have broken up, partnerships have been dissolved and countries have gone to war…all because they were unable or unwilling to see things from another’s point of view.  

Examples Perception is Reality

So, with too many people failing to see beyond their own noses, it becomes imperative that those of who understand that in many things, there is no right and no wrong answer.  Instead, it is someone’s opinion or viewpoint.  To the other person, their perception of the situation is just as real and valid as yours.  It is up to us to extend an olive branch of understanding and acknowledge that we are not always right.  However, that does not mean that our perception is wrong…it just mean that its different. We are all in this together, and everyone’s view is valid.

When you thoughts are clouded by your vision, it paints a dismal picture of what others may see in you.  Tolerance is based on the idea that we can respect what others see and feel and think.  It is not up to us to judge them, rather to understand that we are all different and are entitled to our viewpoints.

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