Thursday, July 16, 2009

Impression Management

My slow down in posting on here actually has reasoning to it. It's my Mom's fault.
No, really!
Well, indirectly, at least.
When she took the road trip from Illinois to Virginia with us, a book she was reading got left behind in our truck. Since I'm horrible about mailing things back in a timely manner, I decided to start reading it. It's a great book! I'm still reading it, even though it's been more then half of a year since she left it and I probably could have returned it while she was visiting. But where is the fun in that?
In case you're wondering it's, "The Life You've Always Wanted," by John Ortberg.
It has taken me this long to get through this book. I've read a few other books in between and it's one of those books where the truths presented inside reach so deeply into me that I am afraid a quick reading of it will not do it justice in it's ability to change my heart.
So the part that I've been spending a lot of time thinking about lately is the idea of "impression management." We spend so much time and energy focusing on how people perceive us and the impression we're leaving on the world around us. It may be very noble ideas we're trying to represent, like being embarrassed when my kid is the only one in reading time at the library who talks about some TV show character (which obviously implies that my child watches more TV then theirs, making me a worse mom). Is it good for me to try and limit the boys intake of TV? Yes. Is it really the best thing for me to be so worried about how others see me that I feel the need to blurt out, "I'm not sure why he's bringing that up... we don't really watch that much TV." to the mom next to me? Probably not. It really doesn't matter.
I could give so many examples here! It's ultra-cleaning the house before company comes over so they'll think I always keep an immaculate house. It's being more irritated then I need to be when Jeremiah has a potty accident in public because that implies a lack of ability to potty train my child. All in all, I spend way too much of my effort trying to control how others see me, which really isn't in my hands anyway. I'm pretty sure that we all do this in one form or another. It's the conversation that goes on silently and quickly in your head, "what do the people around me think about me in light of this thing happening?"
So that's where I am. Trying really hard to be more honest and genuine even with all my flaws and mess ups. It's going to be a long journey, I think. Been trying to converse with God about it along the way. I'd really genuinely like to be more his kind of person and less whoever it is I'm trying to portray.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Yea, thanks for blaming it on me, LOL. It's OK all good stuff to know. I think all women battle with this same thing. Can I blame my mom for this? Glad you took time to read it. Love you MORE!