22 June, 2012

When Others' Opinions Matter...and When They Don't

A friend of mine recently posted some interesting thoughts about being a female, in US society, and the pressures inherent in that, including the apparent hypocrisy in stating that imposed ideals, are bad, and then turning around and running to the rest room, removing spinach from their teeth and making sure their nose is not shiny.  Some of that may be about someone wanting to represent themselves in a manner by which they would like to be perceived, as opposed to trying to impress someone else.  After eating spinach I too run off to the rest room to make sure I don't have it between my teeth, more to prevent someone from thinking I'm disgusting, and to honor my own taking-care-of-myself ethos (such as it is) than for any other reasons.  As for the shiny nose thing, I do not think it is most often done, to please the surrounding men, but rather, to avoid the shiny one passing a mirror and cringing.

So long as we know where we get our stances, phobias, hang-ups, habits, and other practices, I have no problem with us having them.  I think it is often less productive to fight them so much, because that too may be perceived as wanting to show others...that we don't mess around caring what others think, which seems hypocritical.

In a society, it does matter to us what others think.  To some extent, it should.  I consider that a feedback mechanism, and I'm hugely into feedback.  One might settle for not always asking, "Am I doing this right?", which may make one seem to have a low self-esteem or be otherwise not very confident, but instead being open to, "Hey, you really bungled that one".  I consider spinach teeth, externally visible mucus, ear wax, body odor, and spitting where people walk as all fair game regarding things which have a societal interest.  Their presence detract from the common aesthetic.

We primates are villagers.  Nothing wrong with that.

The extremes, of being dictated to, with regard to conforming to societal expectations -- imposed by both men and women -- are another matter, with regard to weight, cosmetics, and fashions in clothing, piercings, and sexual orientation.  These things need to be resisted, as they are simply someone gettin' up in someone else's bidness, yo.  If these items are perceived as distracting, then the perceivers need to edit their perceptions.

Of course, my lists may be different from others' lists, but these are the lenses through which I look as I make my way through my days.

We are taught to solicit feedback, for our project plans and documents, and we inherently know that incorporating the feedback, into our final works, will make the works better.  Although humbling, it is generally true.  However, when it comes to making ourselves better, we think we can do it alone. We are taught to be arrogant, in this regard.  Humility and Arrogance.

I find this interesting.

Let us listen to each other, using our critical-thinking skills, and act appropriately.  Call it a grain-of-salt if you like, but do not discount the feedback.

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