ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

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

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      It is time for me to go stand in front of the mirror and find an honest answer to the question that your hub has posed! Loved your soul provoking work! shared!

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Awesome Job!!! I often wonder how people see me and if the way I see them is just a mask or is there more. I do believe that we tend to hide "safely hidden in the vault"; perhaps we hide in fear or afraid for others will see something that we don't want them to see.

      I love how you always reflect to your personal life experiences!!! You always do such an Awesome Job!!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Time for self reflection, indeed. It is always how the Mr Streltzs' of this world end up making us feel confused - on the one hand, they yell and can be as mean as can be, and on the other, they are the first ones to offer a kind word during the tough times! Life is ironic, and so is seeing ourselves! Thought provoking, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr. Pooja, thank you! I think I'll stand in front of my mirror and we will both find out the answer to that question.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, thank you! Bev and I were talking about that yesterday, about my sharing personal experiences, and she said it was rare that someone would do that....I was surprised because I just thought that was something people did....:) Duh! I guess not! I appreciate you Patty!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, very great comment...life is ironic and confusing, and people are frustrating and aggravating....and it's all called life....and hopefully we learn. Thank you Michele!

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      I started to dabble with Buddhism and meditation many years ago, and this (beautiful) Hub is very close to one of the central themes - to see things and people as they really are, to shed projections and assumptions. I never really became Buddhist or went very deeply into it, but that theme has pretty much stuck with me. A broken tooth is nothing, Billybuc: I'm sure your smile is lovely and warm, as are your words.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      The perfect way to begin my day, billy. Your videos continue to get better and better. No doubt, your producer, Bev, is spreading her beautiful wings in that department. A valuable lesson filled with thought provoking questions and answers. You've done it again! Great words of wisdom which I will reflect on throughout the day, week, months, years and beyond.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow Bill can't say enough how I enjoy your writing especially whe you personalize it and write personal reflections from your own life that intertwines beautifully with your theme of your article. This on definitely doesn't disappoint. Beautiful and thought provoked message and thoroughly enjoyed. Voted and shared too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Redberry, that was a lovely thing to say....and yes, I am smiling because of your remark. Thank you...and I have dabbled in Buddhism as well; I probably included a touch of it in this hub and didn't even realize it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, that will mean a lot to Bev, as it does to me. Thank you my friend; I really do appreciate who you are.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Very interesting Bill, I often wonder how others see me. I think that the image people that I have only met via forums like here on line is most likely closer to the real me because there is no "visual" prejudice. This is definitely food for thought for all of us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I don't know of any other way to write. Bev was talking about that yesterday, how she couldn't write like I do....with personal information....and I guess that's true....for me it is cathartic and necessary...and the bonus is that others appreciate it and possibly learn from my experiences.

      Thank you my young friend; greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark I would agree with your summation...and I think that is true for many of us.

      Thanks buddy; have a great Sunday! Hey, when you get the chance, take some pictures of where you live...there must be a hub in there somewhere.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

      People should take some self-reflection from others into account, like if a person is hurtful or mean to their kids. However, there are some things people will tell you that are not worth taking into account, and I know from experience as a kid what those comments might be. For instance, as a kid I was teased a lot in this one class for not wearing the "right clothes" and I was called a lot of names. Now I would never take those type of comments serious, but I can understand people taking other stuff into consideration.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      A very interesting thought and not one I have dwelled on. However, sometimes I do wonder how other people see me...and have in the past. You said it well. I have often made snap judgements ...sometimes I do keep them but other times I made the call to quickly. I think all of us have a path and burdens to bear. For certain as you get older you do see a lot of people and have a lot of opinions. Great Hub..Voted UP.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      They say that if you judge a person, then the way you judge that person tells a lot about you. Also, one man's meat is another man's poison.

      In a nutshell, perceptions about others are always subjective and relative. I may be a very good and warm person to person-x but despicable to person-y. The circumstances and the nature/behavior of the person you are interacting with, bring out a certain type of deportment from you. And vice-versa.

      Your values and perceptions will make you evaluate that person in a particular way.

      Regarding the question posed in the end: Every human being is always evolving not only in physical terms but also in other terms: emotional, logical way. Sometimes, we are not sure about our feelings or thoughts. And we are like onions. There are so many layers to us. It takes a certain triggering-factor to reveal those layers to ourselves and to another person.

      This hub is very philosophical, and any person can connect to this one. Nice work, Bill!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      Awesome job, Bill! yes, the most important thing to consider is how others virw us because it is all dependent on how we portray ourselves to one another. I think of myself as happy and intelligent and many others think the same; however, there are many more who may have a different, and sometimes polar opposite, perspective. It all depends on how others think amd how ee portray oirselves.

      Great job, once again, Bill!

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      very introspective and true. Your neighbor was a description of my father, but probably not even as bitter and angry as mine was. Once adults, children that were consistently abused emotionally, physically or both tend to have real "trust" issues. Studies show that we either come through and are very empathetic souls or end up with mental illness or addictions or the worst, serial criminals. Although people see me as a tough and confident person, I have a ginormous heart for anything defenseless be it a child, an animal or an elderly person. Nevertheless, and I would like to know what others who came from abuse think, it is hard to ever completely let down our "shield" and really let people into our lives. Hardness was what allowed me to endure the pain as well as never completely letting someone in. I don't know if this makes sense to you but it is the best way I know of explaining it. Of course, there is always my thorazine! LOLOLO

    • mjboomer profile image

      Mike Elzner 4 years ago from Oregon

      Great Hub....I always enjoy your writing and insight. Interestingly I was mulling over this topic in my mind the other day. I wounder if we begin to let go of our insecurities and show our true self more as we Age?

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sweetie, for sure; I was bullied as well in school.

      Thanks for your insightful comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thank you! I know I need to work on taking someone else's inventory too quickly. We are complex beings and as such it takes more than a quick impression to adequately know the real person.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, I wish I had included your great remarks. Very deep thoughts my friend; another reason why my respect for you grows daily. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Keith! When I was younger I would have said I don't care how others see me, but the older I get I realize that if the consensus of others is that I am a negative person then perhaps I have some work to do. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travel, it makes perfect sense. Our inner defense system will do what it does best....protect us from harm...and for those who have been abused, many times it is the only way to stay sane and find any happiness. Great comment and thank you for sharing such a personal aspect of your life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mjboomer, I honestly don't know if everyone does that....for me it was true....a part of it for me was a willingness, and need, to open up my life and quit hiding. I suspect the older we get the more we are willing to do that, but I can't say with certainty.

      Thank you my friend!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I remember having the "what do people see when they look at me?" conversation with myself after my mom's funeral and deciding to change.

      Great message, Bill. I wish more people with negative attitudes would have that conversation with themselves. :) Maybe then they would find something to be positive about and start a little chain of positive that will infect the next person down the line.

      In college, we conducted a little experiment that went something like this: On the first day, we went into a store and interacted negatively with the cashier, who in turn, began to react to other customers negatively. The other customers then picked up on the negative and spread it like a virus.

      The following day, we were to go in and find a store clerk that was negative or in a bad mood and be extremely nice, causing the clerk to become positive, who in turn interacted with other customers with a positive attitite. That positive attitude then spread just like the negative.

      It was a fun experiment but more importantly, we learned that our attitude directly influences those around us, so it's up to us to decide how we are going to impact our emotional environment. Exactly like your PIPO. :)

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      I love to read your hubs...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, thank you; I love having you read them. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, I love the experiment you guys did in college....and a pretty valuable lesson came from it. We are all affected by our interaction with others...like it or not, we have a direct influence on the people we meet daily. Great message Sis! As always, thank you!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Interesting topic Billy, Sometimes is what we think of us is what really matter. The world is out there to take us or leaves us. Your prespective applies to anyone with a heart. We hope to change this world by our actions and provoking thoughts like you do in your writing. Hoping to read your hub about abuse soon. Great article from a sensitive man!

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 4 years ago from California

      Nice job billybuc,

      I think about this often. When ever I am misunderstood, I take inventory of my actions and try to pinpoint where the confusion began.

      I am so glad that you conquered alcohol. I have tried to help my brother out, but he is not ready to help himself. I hope he can some day be able to get himself back together as you have.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I think how others see us is probably way different than how we see ourselves. You have given us a lot to think about ~ how we judge others, how we see ourselves, what image are we putting out there for the world.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I have actually thought about this, how others see me. I don't think many of my friends has seen the person in me who writes and expresses her thoughts in words. In fact, my friends don't know that I spend hours on HubPages. They see someone else, and I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to tell everything about myself until I know a person really well. This hub was very interesting and really made me think more about who I really am. Wow Bill, your hubs are so good! :)

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

      Hey Bill, excellent hub. I loved the comment, "snap judgements are my responsibilities but how someone sizes you us is your responsibility." Read that to my family. My children need to remember that. Thanks for another excellent hub. Sharing for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lord; the article you refer to will be out Tuesday! I appreciate your kindness and who you are as a person.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Skarlet, thank you! You have been busy! The last I knew you had 199 hubs and now you have 209 and I swear I never heard about any of them....guess I have some reading to do. Thank you my friend; I don't think an alcoholic ever conquers alcohol, but we do learn how to live without it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      truthfornow, it is something I have to remind myself of constantly, and I'm sure I will have to for the rest of my life. Thank you for the visit.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Oh, dear billybuc; I really like this hub. First of all, your honesty! To be so vulnerable and open with others is NOT an easy thing; at least, I suspect...it is not that easy for most of us. Your introspection, self evaluation, admitting to ways in which you (and we) project ourselves; and that we hold back...is nothing less than stellar. Why? Because, this is so human...so real; so available...in the greatest sense. I think that "showing" our inner, most sensitive selves, is; (for me) very difficult. This is a tender part...like the underbelly of a kitten. Very soft, and easily hurt,

      Before I turned 40, I believe I walked this world playing a 'role,' being what I thought others wanted to see; acting as I thought was the most acceptable, speaking in a way which was the least objective. After that, something "snapped," and I no longer feared (or, atleast; didn't fear as much) being myself and speaking my mind/feelings and, in essence, allowing my tender side to emerge rather than hiding it.

      Too much information; but, I just want to say that you speak to me and others, I just KNOW it....this is how we become a little closer and fear a little less...and allow the love to shine through...without feeling as if it will be stomped on or rejected or ridiculed. It's "all good."

      By writing something like this, bb; you've opened doors for the rest of us; to be a little more able to reach out and touch someone in a kind way. As well as doing the same thing, for ourselves.

      Yikes, I think I got off message but, what the heck...this is a fantastic hub and it truly touched this reader!!! Thank you! UP Awesome, Useful, Beautiful Interesting and Heart Warming, too.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Another insightful hub! There's no reason to expect anything else when "published a new hub" pops up on my computer.

      I think one of the absolutes in how people see us is, indeed, projected in how we "feel" about ourselves. People that are happy with their appearance tend to project that in their confidence levels. Thus, people look at them as successful, for the most part.

      As you made statement about smiling, I, too, seldom smile in public. Even when providing humor, I have changed to a more "dry" styling to allow me to keep from openly smiling. No broken teeth, rather, extremely yellowed from years of coffee and cigarettes.

      Another area to consider is the age of those with whom we're communicating. An adult might view one as confident and powerful, while a younger soul might, at the same moment, see an old person telling them what to do and egotistical.

      Great Hub, my friend!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Bill this is a great topic for a hub. I've often wondered how others see me. I guess we'll never know because everyone is different but I believe most people have a reason for acting the way they do. But like you we can all choose to live in our pain or move through it. Life is short I'm trying to make it as sweet as I can. Voted up and awesome. Kelley

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill,

      Beautiful topic buddy! I think we all have met a Henry in our lives. Thanks for the reminder to always look at ourselves and ask the question, How do people see us? A very important question which requires some heart seeking into our lives. I love how you concluded with "opening the vault". It is never right to live self deceiving or with pretentious qualities. Thanks again Bill!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      So true, Bill! In my days of cocaine addiction, I kept a black and white close-up shot of my face that my brother had taken one night while I was at his dorm partying. Below it, I attached the following (original) poem:

      Sometimes you think

      that just because

      you can't see your face,

      No one else can see you.

      I kept this in my kitchen, attached to an eye-level cabinet, so I'd always be reminded to be true, both to myself and others. I no longer feel the need to keep this reminder in front of my face.

      I hope I'm living true....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, there is little doubt about you living true now; through your words all can see that you are my friend. Have a peaceful day and love always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, great comment...everything you said is true my young friend. Keep those thoughts close as you grow older.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Kelley, so am I....living a sweet life for how many days I am given. Thanks for the heads up on the typo, and thank you for being the person that you are.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Made, thank you! I think as writers a lot of time we expose more of ourselves through our writings than we ever would face to face....there is a sort of anonymity in writing that affords us some safety.

      Thank you my friend; you are a pleasure to know.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Bill, you are probably right about that. You can hide a little behind your words. It's a pleasure to know you too. Today I looked at google maps to see exactly where you live. Internet is great! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Wendy; it's a lesson I need to keep repeating to myself for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lucky (Kathi??)...I'm sorry, my memory isn't what it once was....anyway, your words touch me deeply. I write because I have a passion to but also because it gives me a chance to reach out to people AND expose a little bit more of my heart and soul. I am still learning to be open in person; the old ways of being reserved are hard to break when it is one on one...but I am learning.

      The main roadblock for me to overcome was caring about what others thought of me; in the end I had to find a safe place within myself where nobody could hurt me with their opinions of me. Once I found that spot I was much better. :)

      You are so kind, the type of person I would love to sit with some day and chat as friends.

      Thank you,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, the internet is great; I love google maps....it is such a great tool! Thank you for caring enough to look.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rcrumple, you make valid points for sure. I have a tendency to keep a straight face even when being humorous...it throws people off a bit as they don't know if I'm trying to be funny or not. LOL In fact, that's what got me on this subject in the first place; Bev had mentioned that I do that and so I started thinking about why that was.

      Anyway, I thank you and I greatly appreciate our new friendship.

      bill

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      so you ARE the perfect straight man for a comedy routine. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, I will always be your straight man, in every sense of the term. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 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. :)

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 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".

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

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

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 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

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Efficient, I understand that completely!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 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!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 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?

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 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.

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 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.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 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..

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 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.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 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.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 4 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.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 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.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 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

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 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.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 4 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!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 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...

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 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! :)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 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.

    • mismazda profile image

      mismazda 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We can do that Sha! For sure we can.

      love to you,

      bill

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, sorry for the misunderstanding. Thank you!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • CriticalMessage profile image

      Murphy 4 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.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      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! :)

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 4 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

    • Ddraigcoch profile image

      Emma 4 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.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • Ddraigcoch profile image

      Emma 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 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
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 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 4 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. "

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 4 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

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for returning Sue; have a wonderful week!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    Click to Rate This Article