How we perceive other people and how we are perceived depends immensely on our own characters. In this day and age, one to one conversations are accompanied by mental images of one's online profile and posts. So what do we do when we just can't seem to grasp the true nature of a person? Can we truly ever read someone's mind completely let alone our own? Should we value one to one interactions more than online profiles?
A friend of mine recently came up to me, and told me that he didn't like a certain person, and that the person's behavior in general was abysmal. I had no choice but to nod my head, and let out a 'hmm..' When I interacted with the same person, I found him to be a pleasant individual, even though he spoke while sticking his chest out. Well, at least he was speaking from the heart, albeit pompously. It reiterated my belief in the fact that not everyone will like a certain character. I didn't tell my friend whether I liked this person or not. I stopped at 'hmm..' and just expressed myself when truly needed. I found myself reminiscing about judging a person too quickly in the past, and I wasn't going to repeat that error.
But what if a person keeps doing the same thing over and over again? In that case, I think it would be fair to say that one's character can be judged to a certain extent, in relation to the particular action which is in repetition. 'Every action has an equal, opposite reaction,' Newton once said. Then again, maybe the repetition of an action is actually a reaction of a separate action. It's very possible. Consider a broken heart. It has faced hardships and it has been through a lot of pain and misery. The broken heart may change a person's character to such an extent, that the person's actions would portray mostly reactions of the actions which broke the heart in the first place. In such a scenario, is the person portraying his/her true nature? I don't think so.
When it comes to me, I find it increasingly complex to deal with different situations. As I've matured more, I've realised that my personality has got numerous shades to it. Nowadays, I find myself truly expressing myself only once I'm completely comfortable with the surrounding. It's not that I'm scared that others might see right through me, but it's because I don't want to be misunderstood. I guess that comes with maturity. I'm sure most adults do the same, and the ones who don't are considered immature. Frankly, being in my early 20s, I truly feel comfortable around five to six people, even though I've got almost 900 'friends' on Facebook!
One's online profile and their true nature are two completely separate entities and one mustn't confuse them. Profiles may make someone conservative or liberal, but the individual's character should stand out amidst that. Somebody may seem a certain way on Facebook or Instagram, but their pictures or posts should not be the defining factor. This is not rocket science, but it is a very important thing to keep in mind nowadays. People who run away from face to face conversations might be extremely expressive on the net, or the other way around as well.
There's no solution to such matters concerning one to one interactions. That's why being yourself at all times is a must in order to show your character. Yes, occasionally one must curb one's emotions if the situation or surrounding demands it. But, loved ones will remain even if they are exposed to all sides of one's character. Think about parents and siblings. We must first look deep within ourselves and try to express only those emotions which will keep people around us comfortable. We shouldn't even try to read somebody else's mind at all times. Instead, we should try to figure out those who we can truly express ourselves to and let them perceive us as they like.