What makes it so difficult to choose what to wear in the morning?
Before meeting someone new, do you ever worry about what they might think of you?
Are you concerned they might assume you are one thing when you are actually another?
A good example for me is that I assume people won’t take me seriously if I am wearing trainers. (And therefore try not to wear them if I’ll be in a situation involving making a good impression). I guess what I am saying is – How someone relates to me and how I feel about myself can be altered by my personal appearance.
I think this is true in many cases but perhaps we over think it and we ought to believe in our ability to communicate in other ways apart from through our attire.
There was a small incident last week when I was all suited and booted in a bit of a rush, and there was a young lady about to go through the ticket barriers at Baker Street station. She appeared to have dropped some kind of receipt on the floor, perhaps just some rubbish, so in a split second I decided I would tell her, just on the off chance she might need it. I lightly tapped her on the arm and said, ‘You’ve just dropped something there.’ She turned and thanked me. Picked it up -whatever it was, gave me a little smile and went on her way.
Now let me tell you what really happened. I lightly tapped her on the arm and said, ‘You’ve just dropped something there.’ She was hesitant to turn around, turned, paused, then I pointed at the little orange scrap and said, ‘Just that little piece of paper there.’ I had upset her in some way as she said sternly, ‘No I didn’t’ and walked off as if I was lying or trying to trick her in some way.
I spent the next minute thinking, hmm maybe she thought I was trying to con her or something, which would be near impossible if all she was doing was picking up a scrap of paper. Then I thought, well i was looking very casual and I did have a silly looking black woolly hat on so maybe I looked dodgy.
Would she have treated me differently in that moment if I was dressed a different way? Maybe. If it was 10 years ago I would have said something to her as I passed her on the escalator and protested that I was only trying to help but I left it alone.
All that to say such incidents can throw us into this constant paranoia that people are looking at us one way or another. They often ARE! But if you have sufficient skills in how you generally conduct yourself, walk with confidence, smile on occasion; basically display and possess an adequate level of self-esteem, then you will feel differently about the world around you.
And lets not forget, most people just don’t care about you and you occupy a very small space in their life.
When I see new mums pushing prams around, mostly they don’t have make-up on. They have shifted their what’s-the-world-thinking-about-me radar off and totally embraced this beautiful new life that now occupies their every waking moment. There’s something earthly and refreshing about that where you operate in the world, but your love for something or someone takes you away from it. If we have a deeper passion for our own life and our own ambitions, we become less fragile to our environment around us and become more at ease in our interactions and relationships.
Key points! :
-Look after your personal appearance because it does say a lot about you. If you’re unsure, veer on the side of too smart rather than under-dressed.
-Your personal appearance relates very much to how you feel about yourself. Dress better, feel better.
-At the same time, continuously working on how you feel about yourself (a commitment to personal development) reduces concerns for what others think about us.
Have a dapper day.