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Lifestyle Choices: How Do Others See You?

Updated on July 29, 2012
Today I reflect a positive self-image
Today I reflect a positive self-image | Source
Bev reflects happiness
Bev reflects happiness | Source
Happiness before alcohol
Happiness before alcohol | Source

I was remembering back the other day to a time during my teaching career. It was 8th grade graduation time and I was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the event. The principal spoke first and when he was done he introduced me. He said that our next speaker is a man who has a gruff exterior but it doesn’t take the kids long to realize he is a big old teddy bear.

Of course, being a writer, that introduction was food for thought. How do others see us? What impressions do we give to others as we go about our daily lives? Are our actions reflective of who we really are? Better still, does anyone really know us, and if not, why is that?

A LOOK WITHIN

How do others see us? If I were to look at myself I would say the answer to that question has changed over the years. During my younger life prior to alcohol, what people saw was basically who I really was. I was happy, carefree, friendly and always had a smile on my face. There were no hidden agendas with me prior to age twenty-six, and people enjoyed being with me because I was uplifting and supportive.

The image began to change once I fell in love with alcohol. The outer exterior of my persona still exuded friendliness, but slowly that eroded until I reached the point where my actions, or lack thereof, spoke much louder than my appearance. I could not be counted on to follow through with promises. I was more morose when with people, and what was once a shining star took on the dull cast of a life turned sour.

Thankfully those days are gone now. I do not smile as much as I once did, but the main reason for that is because I am self-conscious about my teeth, one of which is broken off and looks ghastly. However, if you listen to my voice you will hear the happiness in it. There is a kindness not only in my voice but in my actions as well. In fact, my actions are the main indicator of the man within these days. I am as supportive as I can humanly be, and I am proud of my compassion and empathy for others.

TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF

How do others see YOU! Time for some reflection; do you exude in your actions that which you really are? I have an interesting story to share with you. When I was growing up I lived in a very remarkable neighborhood. The folks who lived in our two-block area were incredibly friendly and supportive and it was a wonderful place for a kid to grow up in. Unfortunately there was one man, Henry Streitz, who may have been the meanest man I have ever met. He lived directly across the street from us, and while the rest of the neighborhood was sunshine and flowers, Henry’s yard was storm clouds and wilted growth.

For the first fourteen years that we lived there I never heard a warm, loving remark out of that man. He yelled at his child, he yelled at the neighborhood kids and yes, he yelled at dogs and cats. In short, he was a thoroughly despicable human being.

My dad died when I was nineteen. It was a crushing time in my life, and I remember very little of that time because of shock and grief. One day, about a month after my dad’s death, I was outside pruning the willow tree in our front yard, and Mr. Streitz walked over to me. He held out his hand and told me how terribly sorry he was for my loss, that he had always respected my dad and he knew I was going to be as fine a man as my father was.

Henry died five years later. He never said another word to me after that one afternoon. I am still unsure of my feelings about him. On the one hand he was a miserable excuse for a neighbor; on the other hand, there was enough goodness and compassion in him to lead him across the street that February afternoon and for five minutes show his humanness.

I have often thought of Mr. Streitz when I’m “taking inventory” of a person I have just met. Snap judgments are my responsibility, and yet how someone sizes you up in the first few meetings ultimately is your responsibility. If all I am given to work with is a negative appearance then it is only logical to believe the person to be negative by nature. I am not a psychic; I cannot divine the inner core of a person. I need data in order to really know someone else.

How often have you heard someone say that they are misunderstood? How often have you said it about yourself? I know I have said it but guess what? If I am providing the input that others see, and I am misunderstood, then I might want to adjust the input.

What kind of data are you sending out on a daily basis?

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

Or woman if the case may be! Who is that looking back at you? What perception do you have of yourself? What person do others see?

An old proverb tells us that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In other words, you can have the best intentions in the world regarding your interaction with your fellow man, but do your actions match your intentions?

Is it possible to self-deceive when answering this question? That in itself is an interesting question. During my dark years I tried so very hard to self-deceive, but during those quiet times, sitting by myself in the darkness, cringing from the light of truth, I knew it was all a sham. I knew, just as the magician in the carnival knows, that it was all an illusion. The rabbit in the hat, the card pulled from behind an ear, I knew that my very existence was equal to the women sawed in half. The crowd ooohs, the crowd awes, and in the end everyone goes home satisfied with the show except the magician.

I have known others who, when confronted with the truth about themselves as I saw it, were absolutely shocked…..or were they really? I suspect that an expression of shock was much easier than an admittance of the truth.

SO WE RETURN TO THE QUESTION

How do others see us?

In a perfect world the image seen would equal the image projected would equal the image desired, but life is not perfect nor will it ever be.

My guess is that we rarely see the total person in our meetings with them. A part of us is always held in reserve, safely hidden in the vault, as priceless as the crown jewels. It is a rare person who displays for review 100% of themselves.

Still, if we seek to be understood, then we must be willing to open up that vault just a bit so others can catch a glimpse at the treasures within. If we seek to be known as we truly are then the task is ours and ours alone.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

For other articles in the Lifestyle Choices series, see the following:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-What-Will-Your-Legacy-Be

To purchase my Lifestyle Choices book on Kindle, or other Kindle books, go to:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bell; I also heard that renting out head space to others is never a good idea. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for returning Sue; have a wonderful week!

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 5 years ago from Ireland

      I remember reading somewhere ' what others think of you is none of your business'. I think thats true and if we stop worrying about what others think of us and just do our best in life we won't go far wrong.

      Great hub!

      Bell

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Bill, I agree with your statement, "If I was constantly being misunderstood and it bothered me... then I think the onus is on me. "

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sue, and you raise valid points to be sure. The only time I would be concerned is if I was constantly being misunderstood and it bothered me...then I think the onus is one me.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      A very insightful hub. I think some people worry too much about what others think of them.

      I would take a look at myself and actions if I was seen by others as being nasty, because I am not. However, if someone judges me as being aloof because I am an introvert; I could care less.

      Just because a person is smiling doesn't mean they are happy. They may be smiling on the outside but crying in the inside.

      Voted up and away

      Take care :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As I will also, Ddraigcoch...thank you for coming back. It's rare that someone returns to see the comment. I appreciate the interaction.

    • Ddraigcoch profile image

      Emma 5 years ago from UK

      It certainly is, yet as your hub suggests, there is positivity to be had from the experience. I have promised myself that I WILL focus on the positive lessons life gives us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ddraigcoch, interesting comment for sure. I think many of us get overwhelmed by the role we are expected to play, or the role we give ourselves to play....and lose something of ourselves in the process. I know I did when I was a single father. I'm finding balance but it's a slow process.

      Thank you for your great insights.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thomas, I am actually much like you. I am a person who holds things close to the vest, including emotions, until I trust someone. I am a thinker and as such I don't react quickly to outside stimuli....I have to dissect a situation first before reacting, and oftentimes it looks like I don't care. In truth, I probably care more than is good for me. :)

      Thanks for the great reflection!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Georgie my dear, as usual, you are not giving yourself enough credit, but then I think that is a trait we all have in common, or least those who have any true humility. I have learned quite a bit from you....in your struggles and in your perseverance. I really do appreciate your kind words. I still see myself as just a guy, someone who has learned through hard knocks and pain. I do think my style of writing appeals to a broad audience because, as you said, I'm just a regular person who talks about things we all think about.

      Thank you Georgie; you are appreciated very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Critical, those are very true words. As much as I would like to deny them at times, there is truth and wisdom in your words. Thank you!

    • Ddraigcoch profile image

      Emma 5 years ago from UK

      A very deep and inspiring article on self reflection here. I myself spent so long desperate to be a mother that it encompassed my whole being. Seeing other mothers who were great mothers and still had their own identity confused me, because I had not retained any of myself, I was just there for my husband and children, letting them grow and not myself.

      I still do exactly what I did before, yet now I write, make jewellery, take classes and study for my spiritual growth.

      Life takes the turns but it is up to us to play them.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Bill,

      This is a timely reminder of the need to show our humanity to those around us. My tendency when I am stressed is to keep things pretty tightly bottled up leading other to believe that I am not engaged in the problems of the day (which there are many of) and that's rather off-putting for those around me who rely on me.

      Truth be told...nothing could be farther from the truth but how are they to know that if I don't let them in? I've found myself having to remind myself of this fact on occasion...this fine article has done that for me.

      I'm glad you are back from the "dark times" of alcoholism and are finding your way in the world!

      Thomas

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 5 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      Billy!

      I think others, at least on HubPages, see you as a shining example of what a great person really looks like. If they don't, then they need to read more of your writing!

      As for me, that age-old lingering thing called self-doubt makes me afraid that people see me as more than I really am. Although I am a non-believing heathen, I think I treat people the same way I want them to treat me but, when I hear things like "You're so strong," or "You're awesome," I think "You mean the OTHER me, right?" I'll get it one day, I reckon. Until then, I'll keep on keeping on.

      Thank you for yet another great read. I pale in comparison to your awsomeness! :)

    • CriticalMessage profile image

      Murphy 5 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Nice contemplations here Bill !, Right up my alley...

      Being one who has studied 'why we do the things we do' for so long now.

      Acceptance drives our concern over how we are seen... Often at the cost of preventing ourselves from being ourselves... It is not only our sexuality or political and religious philosophies (the common targets) that influences whether we feel safer in the closet with our true selves.

      We have to play the game. We want to be accepted.

      Or we make a very lonely world for ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rahul! I would like to think that I don't give a damn what others think about me, but I have to admit there is a part of me that is still concerned with it.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Before reading this, I though... " i don't give a dime what others see me as" but still I was wondering what I would read... cause with Sir Bill... it's something unique for the reader always..

      As I read through the various lines, it occurred to me... a certain part of my attitude, my behavior, my day to day activities can be analysed by reading what others think of me...

      A very good and unique article Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, sorry for the misunderstanding. Thank you!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Oh, thanks, Billy, but I was on the receiving end of the opening up. My deceased husband said he needed to break the wall down. I've since remarried, but I'll always remember what he said (and did).

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, i agree completely....pain and fear of pain are the main motivators to keep hidden....and we need more people like you to be compassionate.

      Thank you for being the person that you are.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Billy, I liked this hub, mainly because it made me think, which I assume is its purpose, after all. I suspect that one reason why people don't open up sometimes is because they are afraid of getting hurt. They've gotten hurt too many times in the past. In that case, it takes a strong person to love them and open them up. I know, I've been there. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, thank you for your kindness. My only regret about HubPages is that I am not able to meet Hubbers in person, and you are one I regret greatly. :) I'll tell TT what you said; maybe we could put together an act and play the Northwest. We'll save you a seat at our opening!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." William Shakespeare and Billybuc! I have always been pretty much of an open book, the only time there were misconceptions about my personality is when I was in administration and people thought I didn't belong there because I "didn't have a degree"...but I had a wise friend who told me, "they own the problem, not you."

      Your life experiences have put you on the road to success and your journey lights the way for others!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. P.S. You and TT should really do a routine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a dear you are, Trinity! I have no doubt people see you as caring and loving; I know I do, and that's quite a trick from 6,000 miles away! :)

      thank you my dear; love always,

      bill

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 5 years ago

      What a thought-provoking hub Bill! It surely made me question myself. I’m not sure how others perceive me; of course I try to be a happy, kind and generous person, but one sure does wonder what others truly see.

      You have certainly given me food for thought and above all else inspiration and motivation to make sure that the person I hope to be is the person I am and therefore the person others see. As always great job my dear friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I am laughing because that is always my reaction....."what, you are thanking me for making a difference"????? I'm always surprised....LOL Thanks my friend and I am proud to be your follower.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Good food for thought, Bill. I enjoyed this reflection from your past and it has made me think about how I am viewed by others. I am pleasantly surprised when people come up to me and speak well of my efforts -- not even realizing that I made a difference to them. However, one thing I need to do more often is to communicate my thanks to others often. Voted way up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lyric, just an aging man ruminating about life. Anyone who loves helping others is a friend of mine for life. Thank you for caring....it is a quality I respect greatly.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Bill, I am lost for words. This is as deep gets here. Everything you are preaching is true. Such a helpful article Bill. One thing that I do is doubt myself, even when I know I can do it. I guess perhaps it is second guessing. I do care how others view me. Not on the outside, but rather inside. I love helping others cause it makes me feel good. I enjoy lifting that weight off their shoulders. Inspirational Bill! Easy to see the true colors of your soul my friend:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Healthylife, that is probably true for most people....we rarely let down the walls all the way for most....and maybe that's as it should be. Thank you!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Really enjoyed this hub...people are complex and I think we rarely see all facets of a person. I loved the story of the mean neighbor because it shows that no one is all good or evil . I think my husband is the only one that sees 100% of who I am.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We can do that Sha! For sure we can.

      love to you,

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I felt the same thing and reached out. I won't specify here, but I think you know where my concern lies. You be one arm and I'll be the other. We'll hold her up as long as she needs!

      Love Ya, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pete, I love your comment. Am I that person that I wanted to be? no, but getting closer! Thank you my friend.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Another great one, so many are worried about how people view their looks, while they are empty inside. As I've gotten older I've asked myself if I am the person I wanted to be as a child....and I'm still working on the answer. Incredible hub, really makes you think!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What can I tell ya, Beckie! I care about people and pay attention to them.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Uncanny - just uncanny.....You really should play the lottery, the numbers, bet some horses - something to reap the rewards of that talent you have.

      I will send it shortly my friend. The hang gliding thing threw me off a bit but we'll talk further in private.

      Scary - uncanny

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, you are light years ahead of many; just the fact that you check yourself from time to time speaks volumes about your self-awareness. Thank you for a great comment.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      If we don't look at who we are in the eyes of others once in awhile, I suppose we chance losing our human relationships. I know that sometimes I am taken as a bit tough and, dare I say, overbearing. Knowing this, I can keep myself "in check" and remind myself to put my best foot foward. Because the reality is that I am not so tough and under the strong personality, I am a nice, compassionate person. I know all of this because I regularly look in the mirror. Good of you to remind us all that this is an important thing to do as a human being. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, drop me an email when you get the chance. I don't want this to sound strange, but I miss hearing from you. :) Besides, something tells me you ain't on your game lately and it's time we talked.

      Thank you as always! You mean a great deal to me!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - Insighful hub. A wise man once told me "You know in your heart what is true and you can not run from your conscience". I never forgot that lesson. You can protest all you want but once you are alone with your thoughts you have to face them and sometimes the glaring truth is right there.

      Although I realize the long road you have walked, I am thankful for the man you are today.

      Blessings,

      Beckie XO

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Relationship, I'll give Oprah a call and see if she wants me on. LOL...seriously, thank you so much. I love your comments and appreciate you stopping by.

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      Kari 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I noticed Vellur quoting this as well. "If we seek to be known as we truly are then the task is ours and ours alone." My thought is we also need to portray that image to ourselves. Meaning, we have to be honest with who we truly are to ourselves, before we can be honest with who we truly are to others. And if we are honest with ourselves then it becomes much easier to be honest with anyone because we don't feel like we have anything to hide or hold back.

      I liked your video. The topic of getting past things and moving on was talked about on Oprah's Lifeclass last night, in a way of getting over guilt. I think you would be great on there! You have an excellent way with words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, your point is well taken and true. I hope to learn more about you as we strengthen our friendship online.

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      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub - "If we seek to be known as we truly are then the task is ours and ours alone." Very true, but how mush we expose ourselves depends on other people with whom we communicate. It is a question of , is it really worth revealing our true identity to that person? I guess. A wonderful write, voted way up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mismazda, great comment...I would like to be remembered as well, and it is up to me to determine my legacy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I'm not sure how wise I am, but I do know that I respond to pain. When I am hurting it is usually because of something I have done, and then looking in that mirror is not so easy.

      Thank you dear; now check out today's hub to find yourself. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelChi, it is hard; it is very hard to take off the mask and expose ourselves. However, as you pointed out, it is very liberating and I don't want to return to the days I wore the mask.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, your point is an excellent one, and one I have thought about often on HubPages! How do we reach those who really need to be reached? I don't have the answer yet.

      Thank you my dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anamika, that is an interesting viewpoint. I will give that some thought.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I thank you my friend. Your external appearance speaks volumes about who you really are, and I'm proud to be your friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lesly, I greatly appreciate you stopping by. I have often wondered myself how others see me; I think the verdict would be a good one but still.....

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, you are such a cool person. I have no doubt that people like you because you have a warm, happy personality. Spreading some sunshine in the lives of others....that is a great gift and I thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faceless, Mr. Streitz taught me a very valuable lesson.....there is kindness in most people....I have tried to remember that over the years.

      Thank you!

    • mismazda profile image

      mismazda 5 years ago from a southern georgia peach

      Good article, I ask myself this question all the time, and I strive to be a postive role model around people who are around me. When I leave this world, I want to be remembered not forgotten, and I believe when you live a postive, motivating life, people will remember you when you are gone. Voted up and interesting.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Excellent article, billy. The true test is can you look at yourself in the mirror each morning. If you can then you are doing ok. I admire you for straightening out your life and taking the necessary steps to overcome the alcohol. You are a wise man.

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      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill, this is a very thought provoking piece of writing! I wrote on something similar recently - about finding the person behind the mask as well as who you really are. I too, often wonder how others perceive me. Most people don't really know who I am. For example, a lot of people were surprised that I'm a huge Linkin Park fan - I don't come across as someone who likes that type of music apparently. But, that's because most of them don't really know me - the real me. Slowly, I'm learning to show more of who I am - it's hard, but it's very liberating. We do judge others far too quickly, and no - we're not mind-readers but your story illustrates a good example of just how people can surprise us. Great topic! :)

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      Your message reaches so many people, Bill, but - i wish it could reach more. My concern is that it's usually the healthiest people who have - or want - insight into themselves. The narcissists of the world are not known for introspection - and it's a proven fact that we are raising generation after generation of narcissists now...

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Excellent Topic! I have always taken responsibility of my words, thoughts and actions. I believe that if a person is behaving to me in a certain manner, good or bad, I am responsible for it. Hub voted up!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, it's the external appearance and actions that makes the viewer perceive us as such. And most of the time, this is the not the real us. Maybe we ought to project our real being more if we need to show who we really are like.

      Alas, sometimes we ourselves are not aware of what we really are like. I guess it's more important for us to know our real self inside out first before we project it to others.

      Beautiful hub my friend. Voted awesome and up. Shared.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a thought provoking hub, I wonder how people see me? for a long time through difficult years, I had the barriers up because I didn't want people to read my feelings - it's so easy to misjudge people....

      Thank you so much for sharing your honesty and wise words.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Fantastic and thought provoking as always Bill. I like myself I really do. Maybe at times I'm a bit silly but life gets me giddy at times. If there are those who don't like me I don't care however no one has told me that. I can say that just from what I know about you all during this time we've been sharing hubs I like you Bill. You're a creative, sincere and honest person and it's a pleasure to know you. Tell Bev that she really looks good in that picture and yes, happy. Wishing you and your family all the best. Passing this on.

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Definitely an interesting topic, and I love your story about Mr Streitz. I was glad to learn he had a soft, human side as well.

      Life is tough, and we're all fighting a hard battle. Some people don't deal with it as smoothly as others, but we are all in the same boat, more or less.

      I try not to judge people based on first impressions, or even second impressions. You never know what a person might be going through.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mhatter, well, I'll remember that next time I hit San Francisco!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I am pleasantly surprised that I remembered....you must have made an impression on me. :)

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      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Hi billybuc,

      Yes, Marlene is correct. Love is my pen name. That's okay. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

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      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      At 6 p.m. - any Monday - 855 Brotherhood Way,SF, CA you can see how some see me. I will not be there physically. Good article.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, so good to hear from you! I trust your vacation is going well.

      Thank you for your kind words and for adding to the equation and discussion. We humans are a complicated bunch, and the true self may never be revealed to others....and quite possibly to ourselves....and that would indeed be a shame.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Dear Bill, time and time again your honest and wise voice speaks through these hubs. Who am I is a question many ask, myself included. Is it the me inside me as I see myself? Is it the me that others close to me see? Or is it the me that is portrayed through my writing and my interactions in the social media? For I know, as you have illustrated here so well, every facet is different and all the more so depending on the filters people will see me through. There is that danger where people sample us through our actions/interactions and try to paint the whole picture through the sample. It will never be a complete one, heck it may never even be the true one. But then it is hard to persistently convey everything that is 'I' to everyone. One can only hope for the best and carry on being honest in our expressions. Wise words, Sir Bill, very wise indeed.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love, ....OMG....was you name Marlene? I'm embarrassed...help me out, please???

      Okay, getting past the embarrassment....you have critics? They think you are too good??? There are, seemingly, so who need to find negatives about anyone they meet. I will hang with you anytime; I love real people...I love opinions....and I love people to speak their minds. I have had it up to here with phoniness. I love getting to know people on a real level, nothing fake, just let it flow. Yep, I will hang with you any old time.

      thank you

      bill

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I, too, was painfully shy....and people thought I was depressed....you are very right, we never really know.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I see that kindness and I have no doubt others do as well. Peace and happiness to you, lovely lady!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, i think you touched on an important aspect....as we learn to love ourselves we tend to allow others to see more. Great sharing Pam! Thank you!

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      When I was younger, people perceived me as a snob. I really wasn't I was just painfully shy. That taught me not to judge people. You just never know what goes on in the mind of that person.

      Great Hub. I voted it UP, etc.etc.

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      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Hi Billybuc, You are a very wise man. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. The information here is priceless. I do revisit articles from time to time and this is one that I will come back to. My critics always have negative things to say about me. I have learned not to pay attention to it. I know who I am and that is all that matters. Those who know me would describe me as a kind and compassionate person. You often hear people say to be yourself, but when you are being your authentic self, many people don't like it. I have often been attacked for my goodness and for having my own opinions. Honesty is somehow seen as a weakness. Like I mentioned to you before, I have grown a lot as a person. I have made my share of silly mistakes as well. Trusted the wrong people and gotten screwed, but you live and learn from your mistakes. I agree with you that most people are guarded with their hearts. This is not a bad thing. There are things we should keep reserved in that vault. We have to protect our hearts and not give our trust away too soon until we really get to know the person for who they are. Thanks billybuc.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I hope people see kindness in me. We won't love everyone we meet, but we can be kind. People can be deceiving with words and looks, but kindness shines through. Being positive is important too. Negative people can bring you down..I enjoyed your hub...Smiling..

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      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This is certainly a thought provoking hub. I used to not have a clue how others viewed me; I really didn't have a very good view of myself either. Through the years and various experiences, I have become very comfortable with who I am and I don't think much about how others see me. I think I am living my life exactly as I am suppose to. I wake up smiling most everyday. Its a shame it took so many years to reach this point. Another excellent hub.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      howler, they have come in handy for me many times! Thank you for taking the time to watch the video and leave a quality comment; that means a lot to me.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, you could be speaking about me....I was shocked when someone told me years ago that I was a bit blunt and opinionated. Well yes, but gee, I thought you wanted me to be. LOL

      Now I just try to be positive and not rock the boat TOO much.

      thank you so much

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Spy, not at all. In the end, your happiness should be your priority. You have to live with yourself 24/7/365...and you have to answer to yourself. Be you...that is your responsibility.

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      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Great Hub billybuc. I wrote down the saying you mention in the video "If your going through hell, don't stop and enjoy the view". Good one to have. I also like the concept of PIPO. Gonna try to be a little more conscious of my thoughts, especially in the morning lol. Thanks for sharing!

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      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a great hub and a great challenge for people to really look inward. In my early 30's I had several people tell me that I was to harsh and blunt. And here I thought people would appreciate directness. I have become quite tactful over the years, but it can be a big surprise when you learn this lesson through other people. Excellent hub.

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      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      People often said Im a devil disguised as saint. :(

      Those people who hated me because I dont let them manipulate my life.I do my own things and mind my own business. Is that so horrible?

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I have heard the same things said about me...intense...serious...aloof....but once someone takes the time to know me, they don't see any of those things. I'm working on it but it's a slow process for this guy.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, you took the words right out of my mouth. Great comment and I completely agree. Thank you!

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      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      This is a good question. I have struggled with this all my life. People perceive me as aloof and serious- which I can admit, I am intense. But I am so much more sensitive than I let on..I'm still not sure how to show that side of me. People think I'm way more secure than I really am. Thank you for this Billy. xo

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      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      This hub gives your reader a lot of food for thought. I used to think about it more than I do now. Difference is , now I make an effort to smile at strangers, speak to everyone in a kind way and basically treat others the way I want to be treated. The rest will have to take care of itself. Enjoyed reading your work!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tobusiness, I'm just a guy with way too much time on his hands. LOL

      I appreciate your comments each and every time you visit. Very insightful yourself young lady.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, you are right of course...life is not simple, and humans are as complicated and complex as you are likely to find on this planet.

      Except for you and I of course; we aren't complicated at all. LOL

      Thank you my dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, and learn I did! I think we can learn from everyone we meet if we are open to it.

      Thank you my ever-loyal friend!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Efficient, I understand that completely!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, you sound a lot like me. No wonder we like each other so much! LOL Thanks lil' Sis!

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, yet another wonderful topic, expertly explored.

      And of course you're right, most of us keep some of ourselves in reserve, only allowing others to see what we want them to see, it's a form of self preservation, we all make snap judgment about each other some are close to the mark and some are way off.

      Personally, I'm often pleasantly surprised when someone really gets me, I'm not quiet sure if I can handle being absolutely transparent, not yet anyway.

      You are thought provoking as always.

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      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Life isn't simple. We are a complicated mix of good and bad. There is joy and pain. Every rose has it's thorns, and every diamond, many facets. If every path was well lit and every person were an open book, life would be simple, but we'd have nothing to learn, little to strive for and less to prepare all of us for the losses inherent in living. As always, a great read, Bill. Thank you

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, thank you! I love loyal followers, and I will return the favor.

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      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Reflections of....

      Wow - this is really great and thought provoking Bill...I am still thinking!

      The neighbor guy - showed his human compassion in your moment of need and how cool that is burned into your memory because you knew that was an important moment to learn from later, eh?

      Fantastical!

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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Wonderful hub, very insightful. It seems I have a lot to learn from someone like you. I'm now a loyal follower ^_^

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      Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      When I used to smoke (I have a hub on this experience), people would be absolutely SHOCKED that I smoked. They would tell me, "You don't look like a smoker, I would have never guessed you smoked cigarettes".

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      I think about that question from time to time. Then I think, well, people probably see me as bubbly, and sometimes aloof. I'm an introvert, and I can turn it off and on...but when I get tired and need re-charging, I can't feign all my happy-go-luckiness. I have to recharge. It's a very interesting to think about and I'm definitely a "core group of friends" kind of person. I used to envy all the people in the world who seem to easily make friends and have lots of them, but then I figured out that it's part of my personality: I love my close-knit friends and I keep up with them for life if they'll let me. :)