Sunday, September 5, 2010

What's inside my head?

Physically speaking, of course the brain. Metaphorically speaking, of course my thoughts.

The further I study about mass communication as I major in such field of study, the further I understand how common it actually is to find another person thinking in a way that is similar to me. Not to mention that the information I daily get from my other friends majoring in Psychology also helps me realize this fact. In other words, I am talking about personality. The persistent and enduring behavior patterns that tend to be expressed in a variety of situations. Some people might think they have a unique personality, but such personality is actually common. Do you agree?

Usually, when I look at the people around me, I often find them predictable and unable to cope with new information that contradicts with their old ones. What the hell am I talking about u say? I'm talking about perception, the act of experiencing the world and the way we interpret such experience. You see, different people have different perceptions altogether to understand the world they are living in. They have their own cognitive styles of interpreting the world around them. It is basically the mental processes used to perceive and make judgments from situations. What did I mean when I say people find it hard to digest new information that contradicts with their old information? Let me give you an example that mostly occurs to me. Most people who managed to have conversations with me, they tend to interpret how I behave and act towards them as my true personality. What do I mean "true personality"? Well, you see... Different scholars have different arguments regarding personalities. One of the scholars argue that a person actually has multi-personalities. The type of personality a person frequently choose to be used and to define who they actually are deep inside is their true personality. Now that we know about this, lets move on.

People often define who I am by the behaviors I practice in front of them. So, I shall explain to you the stages that people (commonly girls) usually go through when they try to perceive who I actually am. At first, they will look at me and define me as a silent person, shy if you will. Second, they will define me as the kind of person that is easy to get along with, not necessarily the kind of person you "like" to hang out with. Finally, they will encounter a totally new set of personality of me in which they could not comprehend even by comparing the new information with the old ones and make sense through it. Why does this happen? Do you guys know about first impression, second impression and so on? It is basically a process in which we make an impression of who the person actually is by referring to their actions that has been made. There are two types of impression which is the primary effect and the recency effect. The primary effect is the first impression we make of people and how we understand their behavior so on. The recency effect if the last impression we have towards the person and how we use it to understand the person. In other words, recency effect enables a person to continuously asses the characteristic and behavior of a person. These methods are effective to understand a person's personality. But how is it effective if the primary effect and the recency effect they use to define a person is actually the "fake" personality that they intentionally portray to you? I think it is more understandable if I say, a conman if you will.

At first, people will define me as a silent person because I will intentionally not speak and simply observe the people I have to interact with in order to understand them first. After understanding who these people are and how they react to certain situations and what do they actually think when they portray certain facial expression, I will then decide whether I should communicate with them or not and if I do want to communicate with them, in what manner do I wish to approach them? You see, for example, if I find these people to be utterly hypocrites who talk behind people's back and such, I will remain a silent person I previously portray myself as being. If I find these people to be utterly stupid for example being a hippie with a their stupid-appearance which portrays them as useless individuals who cannot think for themselves and frequently stays in the same idiotic group wearing the same kind of clothing which resembles them like a group of useless people (usually these kind of people are the sons of the wealthy), I will limit my relationship with such a person. But if I find these kind of people to be interesting, I will definitely try to communicate and understand more about who they are and how they perceive the world. Why do they perceive the world in such a way? Is it because of their cultural background? Their family background? What kind of environment do they live in to an extent that it shapes them to be who they currently are in this world we are living in? These are the questions I am interested in when I try to understand a person. Understanding people's view and behaviors is not sufficient if you truly want to understand who the person actually is, you have to understand their backgrounds as well. From there, you are able to picture how their views in life develop, and thus provide you with deeper understanding of a person and more accurate prediction regarding how a person would react to certain situation. By doing this, the sentence that dumbass people usually say "I don't understand you anymore" will not occur.

Oh yeah, first, people will define me as being silent because I am observing them. Second, they will define me as being an easy going person because I adapt myself to their behaviors. Usually, I find other people who does not portray their true personality and simply show their altered behaviors to adapt to others easily, when I encounter this kind of person, I avoid them. Because I don't like having a fake conversation with others. These kind of people are easily detectable through their tone of voice and facial expressions. We ourselves usually use this method when we meet new people, for example when we ask "where do u live? oooooo~" something like that. However, the type of people I am referring to is the kind of people who wears a mask. I don't know why other people usually fail to see this but obviously they wear a mask. It is simply a universal behavior that they have created to communicate with new people around them and usually this kind of mask enables them to smile eventhough when they disagree with what others are saying. The only differences between how I wear a mask and how these other people wear theirs, is the fact when I communicate with others, I sincerely communicate with them because I am interested with them. If I am not interested, I will not enable any kind of communication with them thus eliminating the probability of having to use fake smiles as a respond to others.

The last phase in which people usually encounter is when they encounter my true self, which is completely different from what I actually am from their previous point of views. The kind of people that I want to avoid due to certain reasons, will find my personality completely weird and they will find difficulties in understanding my new behavior as such behavior could not be related whatsoever with the previous one. Thus, this will create a situation in which the person will avoid me while I continue not to acknowledge such a person's presence. Some others, I acknowledge their presence, but I purposely avoid them due to certain reasons, hihihi :D. The people that I perceive as suitable in terms of being my friends will however not encounter any of these stages :D.

Oh yeah. I stated that the more I learn, the more I get to know that the characteristics which I previously define as "unique" personalities are not so unique anymore and is actually common. Usually, the people that I perceived as being unique, they themselves know that they are different from others and tend to act in a way that attracts others attention. What do I mean they are "unique" but is actually "common"? Yes, to the eyes of the common people, such traits are distinctly unique.... However, these unique characteristics are simply positive characteristics that have been studied and applied by scholars who pursue more knowledge in a more accurate manner. In other words, I now perceive that people who have these unique personalities are actually "intelligent" people who managed to learn this professional characteristics by chance or experience. What do I mean when I say unique personalities are actually professional characteristics? hmm?? :O

People who's words are often easily understood by others, people who easily understands others, people who could easily relate themselves to others thus attracting many others to them, these kind of people have the professional characteristics in which is defined as "high emotional intelligence". Yes, HIGH, EMOTIONAL, INTELLIGENCE.... Qualities such as understanding one's own feelings, empathy for others, and the regulation of emotion to enhance living. These kind of intelligence focuses on the ability to practice "sympathy" and "empathy". Do not take these two words lightly, they are in fact very hard to achieve. Sympathy is the act of UNDERSTANDING what others are feeling. People usually get into a conflict because they fail to acquire sympathy and often falsely understanding why the other party is behaving in such a manner. Imagine, if you were to be a councilor, when a student expresses his or her feeling regarding love problems, you falsely interpret their love as simply an act of hormonal imbalance and "horny" behavior. How do you think will affect you professionalism in work? Another important ability is empathy, which is to respond in way that you understand how others are feeling. For example, Crying (respond = sad face), Happy (respond = Smile). Imagine if the same student who expressed about his or her love problem to you in a sad manner, you respond in a way that you scold him or her angrily. Imagine how this would affect your professionalism?

The kind of people who have sympathy and can show empathy are "unique" individuals. They tend to attract other people's attention and have loads of friends, because this kind of people know what others think about them and how they should react in order to instill a positive image of themselves in the mind of others. Speaking of positive image, in communication, people refer to this as "face". In others words, don't drop your "water-face" :D. There are basically two different method relating to building a positive "face" of yourself towards other which is to maintain or improve your image, or correct other people's negative image towards you into a positive one. If you guys have these ability, I assure you that your existence will be taken notice by the people around you. It is however not easy to acquire this skill. In order to acquire this skill, one should always do what these kind people with high emotional intelligence do...... TALK TO YOURSELF... Yes. In order to understand others, one should understand themselves first. By knowing others, one can understand themselves even better. By understanding more different people, we can understand ourselves in different perspectives thus giving us the opportunity to understand ourselves deeper as well as other due to the fact understanding of self and others are closely an interrelated process... :D. If you rarely speak with yourself (intrapersonal), it sucks to be you dude. Intrapersonal is good, there has not been a day I never talk to myself. It is good during exams too! Never be too greedy of your knowledge. Whatever you learn, repeat that knowledge by teaching others such knowledge, if you can explain it to them, it is safe to say that you have grasp that knowledge better. If there's no one around you, try to explain that knowledge to yourself, verbally! (Using voice rather than inner voice, thoughts).

So far, I have only mentioned one unique personality which is associated with professional characteristics. Thinking creatively and critically outside the box in a manner that doesn't make sense. This is also the type of thinking that makes an individual "unique". However, this is also one of the professional characteristics that one should practice during professional discussions.

Other personalities can be associated with traditional intelligence in terms of verbal comprehension, word fluency. numerical acuity, spatial perception, memory, perceptual speed, inductive reasoning. Each of this is basically our traditional intelligence, each ability if well-grasped by individuals, will be well respected by others.

There are also other characteristics that can be learned in order to understand more about the people we define as "unique" individuals in terms of the eight major personality and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The eight major personality are Neuroticism (Emotional stability), Extraversion (The likeliness to easily communicate with others), Openness to experience (adventurous), Conscientiousness (hardworking and such), Agreeableness (Flexible rather than egocentric), Risk taking and thrill seeking, optimism (positive thinking), and self monitoring (understanding self). Myers-Briggs Type indicator states that people's personality can be understood by their method of learning and perceiving their environment in terms of Extraversion-Introversion (Communicate with people), sensing-intuition (make judgment through sensing or intuition), Thinking-feeling (make judgment through thinking or feeling), Judging-Perceiving (making judgment through judging or perceiving).

So what I am trying to say is.... Although 80% of what I wrote is simply unimportant... What I am trying to say is... "Uniqueness" is not something you are born with... It is something that can be achieved, through learning... What you perceive as "unique" is actually common in the eyes of those critical thinkers. Keep that in mind. Because I'm awesome. :D!


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