It Looks Like This

by Sherry Riter in Attitude,Self-Development  

How do you see and perceive this flower?

I performed a very limited experiment to help you visualize my thoughts today.

The object used for this demonstration is a flower. Well, not actually a real flower, but the thought of a living flower growing somewhere or blooming from a vase. My question is “When you look at a flower, what are the first four things you think?”

I look at a flower and my thoughts in order are:

  1. Beautiful!
  2. Bees!!!
  3. Allergies.
  4. Fragrant!!!

Alyssa, my lovely daughter, looks at a flower and her thoughts in order are:

  1. It’s really pretty.
  2. My mom would love that.
  3. Are there any bees around?!
  4. Can I smell it?

Notice the punctuation as well as the words and length of the answers because all of it is relevant to this discussion.

Analysis of my answers shows that I start and end with strong positive feelings. In the middle are the negatives/concerns, one strongly exclaimed and the other just an accepted state of affairs. My answers were also all just a single word.

Alyssa, on the other hand, only had one negative/concern while the rest were positive and interactive. She also used full sentences instead of just a single word response like I answered.

Feeling like you are in school again? That isn’t my purpose, I promise. By comparing our answers and dissecting them, we can also learn a little about our personalities. I am very straightforward, blunt, analytical and yet I enjoy beautiful things. Alyssa is extremely creative, loves to not only see beautiful things, but also likes to experience them.

There is not a right or wrong answer to my flower question, just an understanding in the differences in perception.

That is a medium sized word that creates a huge impact.


Everyone has a totally different set of environmental influences and individual personality traits that cause our perceptions to be completely different although we are looking at or discussing the exact same thing! I find this fascinating, however, it is often frustrating too.

Discussing, and I really mean discussing instead of arguing, can allow all people involved to have a better understanding, and it can cause us to become more patient and unselfish. Our perception often is skewed or completely wrong for many reasons. Simple things like the following can cause a needless argument:

  • age
  • gender
  • race
  • religion
  • political views
  • single
  • married
  • divorced
  • widowed
  • one child
  • no children
  • many children
  • living in a house
  • living in a condo
  • living on a dirt floor
  • living in an apartment
  • having health issues
  • being employed

and the list could go on and on.

If we just stop to think about how the other person might be perceiving what we say, it could prevent misunderstanding and hurt feelings. You know the quote…

“You never truly know someone
until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

Choose your words carefully and give other people the benefit of the doubt. Try to hear the meaning of what is being said to you instead of defensively focusing on the words and how they “could” be mean-spirited. Perception can wreck a really good conversation or even a relationship. On the flip side, it can also improve our character because forgiveness and tolerance of other people’s imperfections and poor choices would be practiced. It can even help us to be more aware of the bigger impact of our own actions and how other people might perceive us.

Nobody has all the answers to every problem nor can they do everything right, but if everyone works together nothing is impossible. Since each of us makes mistakes, poor choices, and suffer our own silent battles, I believe a little less judging would help greatly. So the next time someone says or does something that immediately makes you want to lash out, step back to see if your perception improves.

If nothing else, we might be able to meet in the middle with everyone in peace because our view is clearer and our understanding expanded.

The Redhead Riter

The forum for savvy women and men!
Join here.


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracie April 3, 2010 at 6:52 am

Perception is such an important thing. My husband and I have learned that a lot of times in an argument if we will stop and say, "I am upset right now because when you said ______, I heard ______" it can turn the whole thing around and become a learning opportunity instead of a fight!

Here via SITS Have a great weekend!


2 Mary April 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

Perception has a lot to do with our daily communications, doesn't it? This is the 3rd or 4th time perception has come up this week with things I've read or conversations I've had. Interesting!
Thanks for following!


3 JDaniel4's Mom April 3, 2010 at 11:36 am

What a powerful post! I thought is was going one direction and you brough me to an even better one. Happy Easter!


4 Oh Sew Good April 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Fascinating post today my friend. I enjoy things like that. Where did you find the "interpretation"?


5 PJ April 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I loved your post! Very thought provoking. I'm still trying to figure out what to put in my bio for BlognTweet. I am so glad to hear about Alyssa's recovery from the migraines. Puppies are such a blessing in so many ways! I cannot understand how people can mistreat animals or children.

Love ya Bunches and God Bless you!



6 The Redhead Riter April 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Amazing what age, therapy, a ton of self-help books and just past experience can teach a person, isn't it? Maybe I'm actually learning as I move through this life!n


7 The Redhead Riter April 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm

The extra "n" at the end was the contribution of the new puppy as she stepped on the keyboard and I pushed enter…LOL


8 Carol April 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm

When I was young I saw only good. As I got older my perceptions changed mostly to protect my loved ones. I truly think both good and bad replys means you have grown and balance is a big part of your life. Keep the balance, and you will always Bee kind. Giggle.


9 Laura April 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I try to my girls that things are not always as they seem. Perception is such a complex word.

Happy Saturday Sharefest!


10 Cop Mama April 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Well said.

Have a great weekend!


11 Lucy April 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Well said! Love the quote, "you never truly know someone until you've walked a mile in his shoes." This is also why we should be non-judgmental and never envious.


12 Lucie April 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm

What a lovely, thought provoking question you ask! This is my first time stopping by your blog and I wasn't dissappointed. I love deep thinkers!

The four words I would use to describe the flower photo are:

Now you can see from my answers that I'm an artist! And an optimist as well.

I love how your puppy was helping you type hehehe



13 Hen Jen April 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

you made such a good point, I'll be thinking about this in regards to my kids.


14 Holly August 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

This is insightful and beautifully written! I think I may have to link to it in the near future!! ;D

The flower photos are INCREDIBLE!!


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: