Nowadays we live in a society of perception versus reality. We are constantly seeing our lives through the biases of our own perceptions. The way I see something is not the way you see it and vice versa. The problem is that sometimes the way we perceive a situation is not based on reality.

As humans it is innate that we often react based on emotion. We perceive a comment as offensive when there were no harmful intentions from the speaker, or we assume a certain look from another person is more than just a look. This causes us to internalize emotions that should never have to exist in the first place.

I am definitely an offender of this issue. I wear my heart on my sleeve and take things more seriously than I should sometimes. This causes nothing but heartache and sleepless nights for me. A lot of people have this issue, and it is one that is hard to overcome. It’s so easy to read into a situation and let our own perceptions overtake the reality. This can be harmful because it causes us to make up stories in our mind that don’t exist. We replay and replay situations in our head, creating stories about what the other person was thinking, or his motivation behind using the words he did. This pattern is so easy to fall into, and it is incredibly harmful because it allows us to spiral into emotions and stories that don’t exist.

So how do we break the cycle? It’s not easy. You have to make a choice to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than assume the worst of people. You have to stop replaying situations in your head and take them at face value. You have to make an effort to stop assuming the meaning behind a look or something someone says to you. This is way easier said than done, but if you can start to accomplish this in some capacity, you will save yourself a lot of grief. Don’t base your feelings on your perceptions; live and work in reality to maintain your sanity.

-          Bria