I was looking at someone I've know for about five months today. Not a friend, just an acquaintance that I'm not overly fond of. As I looked, I realized that the person was really very unattractive. This seems harsh, I know, but allow me to explain.
I realized right after this exactly how harsh that really was, and immediately began to question my realization. Why was this person suddenly so unattractive, I asked myself? It came to me that this wasn't a sudden development. Rather, over the time I have known this person they have been slipping more and more in my perception. Perhaps interestingly, their outward appearance has not altered in that time, but I have grown to know them better and I realized that their insides were ugly.
The person is not attractive in physical aspects, but if their personality was better then it would be something easily overlooked. It's a cliche I know, but the line "oh, but they have a great personality" is true. Some people are plain or even unattractive by society's standards, but they have shining warmth and good humor which makes them beautiful.
In contrast to this person I was examining today, a few years ago I met a young man in a work situation (I no longer know him, so I feel I may be a little freer with details). When I met the young man, my first impression was not complimentary. Aside from his rather plain exterior, he seemed to have a sour disposition, and not much of a sense of humor. Being that it was a work situation, and not merely social, I was forced to endure this man whom I had immediately judged to be a donkey's rear end.
Day by day, I realized I was wrong. He had a dry, sarcastic sense of humor, an incredible sense of duty, and ambition up the wazoo.
As time as passed, I have realized how much we were actually alike. It has given me a nightmare of how people may in fact preceive me upon first meeting.
As my observations of his inner self grew, the way I saw his exterior changed as well. The plain young man was replaced by someone I respected and liked. I became attached and considered him a friend, and then began to wish for more. I didn't know at the time how my perception of him had altered from what a casual observer might find, until I introduced him to my best friend at the time.
She, of course, knew my feelings on the topic of him, and from my descriptions expected some godly representation of a man. Upon finding a rather plain, apparently serious young man, she was disappointed and did not hesitate much to tell me so.
There is a person I know now for whom I have enormous liking (friendship wise, don't get any ideas) and as I had this entire thought process today I began to wonder if my perception of this person had changed as well. As I thought, I couldn't see that it had, because this person had presented to me a warm, humorous exterior from the start. I came to the conclusion rather swiftly that I could not judge whether or not this person was attractive, because I had a biased opinion. The personality of this person is such that I would answer in the affirmative almost no matter what.
I could go over every relationship, of every degree, that I engage in with the humans around me, and find dozens more examples of this.
I am writing this morning to tell you, quite simply, that your personality (at least for me) is at least 80% of the beauty (or lack thereof) that I will perceive within you. First impressions are not always lasting. If I am wrong about you, and you show me, then I will change my opinions and my impression of you.
This has made me think of who I project to others, as well. I haven't been able to decide if I like who I think I'm projecting. Or, rather, if I like how people may be perceiving me. As I am sure I have said many times before, I really like myself. I do. But I know that not everyone is going to, and selfishly, I want them all to.
Food for thought.
On a side note: I am sunburned and uncomfortable. PALE AND PROUD! (my version of P & P)