“I am surprised at the way people seem to perceive me, and sometimes I read stories and hear things about me and I go ‘ugh.’ I wouldn't like her either. It's so unlike what I think I am or what my friends think I am.” ~Hillary Rodham Clinton

Facebook Status (July 9, 2011): “Describe me using (3) adjectives. (I'm curious to see if a particular one shows up... at all.) A n d... GO!”

It appears much like a vanity quest. It isn’t. I was discussing with a friend my very, very real lack of dating life and the word “intimidating” came up. Granted, I brought it up… but only because it has been mentioned before by others… over and over and over again. I simply wanted to see if that one word surfaced in a random poll. It didn’t. Included in the responses are:

Poetic. African. Witty. Pretty. Smart. Awesome. Maternal. Beautiful. Passionate. Cerebral. Cultural. Sarcastic. Multifarious. Forthright. Kenyan. Jedi. Supermom.

They were generous. Yes, I am flattered. But… intimidating? Not so much.

At least, I do not think I am intimidating… but I am me. My perception is different than the individual perception of my friends, acquaintances and coworkers; and, quite clearly, I have no idea how I come across to the rest of the human species.


  1. I don't think many of us know how we're perceived by others. I think it would be a wonderful gift.

  2. Beth,
    I have heard the same adjective about me - intimidating!

    I guess to some people I come across very strongly and that can of course be somewhat intimidating. My friends don't perceive me as that, although they can say that I am not afraid to speak my mind or asking people "what do you mean by that?". They have graciously shared with me that it can be uncomfortable to have question like that - what do you mean?

    To me that is my curiosity, I really want to know. But behind or under the surface of that question also lies "own what you think, do, feel, react to" and that can be uncomfortable. Then there is the archetypal energy we all radiate and that we all respond too consciously or unconsciously. The adjective you written above are all archetypal and are descriptions of how others 'see' in you and how they respond to it. I often hear that I am a queen. And that has it's light side as well as shady. But in its essence archetypal pattern is neutral.

    Well, that's my take and I could have written the adjectives above myself but I would like to add - I perceive you as a benevolent person.

    In'Lakesh, Michi


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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