Finding Out What People REALLY Think About You. Sort of…

For my counseling class, I had to interview people who knew me well.  I was given a list of questions from my professor and told to find at least 1 person.   I put the questions and answers my interviewees gave me below because I found this so interesting.

If you find any of their answers interesting and want to comment, agree, or disagree on them go right ahead.   Feel free to answer these questions about me, if you want to as well.

1. What is it like to be around me?
1:         It is fun.  Typically easy going.  It’s very easy to both talk to and listen to you about any topic.   You do have strong opinions about certain things which is respectable, but at the same time you listen to whatever comes out of my mouth.

2:         I think you’re fun and friendly and personable.  People like to be around you.   It’s also hard because you can be very sarcastic.  It’s hard to find the balance between sarcasm and realism.

3:         It’s fun.  Upbeat.  Not boring.  Easy to talk to one-on-one.  It’s a no pressure situation.

2.  How do my words affect you?
1:         No comment.  Didn’t understand the question.

2:         Your words can be very encouraging at times, they can also be very deflating at times.  It depends on where we’re at.  I think there’s a mix.

3:         When you say something, I take it to heart, because I know  you don’t have an agenda.

3. How well do you feel like I listen to you?
1:         You listen pretty well.  I know sometimes I get lost in what I’m saying and in my train of thought and you follow along pretty well.  You do sometimes shove off what I say, but that’s usually for a good reason.  Sometimes you do lose the main point of something or whatever I’m trying to say/you’re being told.  Generally it’s ok.

2:         Pretty well.  It just depends on time.  Normally it’s very well.  When I’m going through something, you’re willing to help me through stuff.   I think when things are good you listen very well.  Like that time that you let me talk for thirty minutes without telling me to shut up.

3:         Pretty well. I would say that you trust my opinion and you know when to call me out on my bs.

4. What emotions have you seen me express? 
1:         The full spectrum.
Afraid – -Anxious, secluded, frozen, stiff, quiet,
Mad – Usually frustrated.  You become rude, rash, and kind of get independent you get mad. annoyed, illogical, nonsensical, unreasonable,
Sad –You close yourself, you also get kind of frustrating.
gloomy, pessimistic, dejected, closed off, short,
Glad –You’re  pleasant, very open minded, courteous, kind. Beaming, beautiful, bright, cheerful,  hilarious, warm, open,

2:       Afraid – anxious, distressed, frightened, upset, worried. You’re quiet and reserved,
Mad –anger, frantic, irrational, unbalanced, unreasonable, unstable, doesn’t want to be bothered, “talk to me and I will kill you”
Sad – bitter, despairing, down in the dumps, heartbroken, hurting, pessimistic.  You’re downcast,  hidden, closed off,
Glad – animated, cheerful, contented, hilarious, light hearted, pleasant.  You’re happy and smiling.

3:       -Afraid – You put up a good front about it.   Around people you trust, you have no problem letting it out.  Most people can’t see it, but since I’ve known you for so long I can tell.
-Mad – You show it sometimes, you’ve gotten better at hold it in.  You’ve gotten better at letting it blow over
-Sad – hide it well, but with people you know well, you have no problem letting it out.   You don’t go around showing it to everyone though.
-Glad – happy energetic fun to be around talkative social

5. Do any emotions seem disproportionate or missing?
1:         -Sad/Afraid/Mad – You’re a lot more prone to getting into those more easily in general.  Sometimes it’s hard to get you out of those moods, not so much mad, but sad and afraid.  When you’re happy, it’s overpowering because you see a wider spectrum of emotions than when you’re sad, mad, or afraid.

2:         Yeah, mad and sad can be overdone, but that’s a hard question cause you can’t really see what someone is going through.

3:         No.  You’re a very happy person in general.  I wouldn’t say that’s equally done.  I would say that when you’re afraid you don’t show it off to the world.  You show all emotions but you show happiness more than the rest.

6. How have you seen me respond to conflict?
1:         -Sometimes when conflict happens you shut off what the other side is saying.  You get rash and rude sometimes, and instead of actually hearing everything out, you don’t.   And then again, there are certain times that you do have an open mind and you do listen.  And you’re able to absorb what other people are saying, you’re able to form a new train of thought instead of just having an argument of “a” and “b.”  It really depends on your disposition going in.

2:         All kinds. There’s: -Do not respond. Ignore it.  -Punch the conflict in the face when I see it. -Patience, waiting it out a couple days

3:         You’re direct and you do not shy away from conflict.  You never search conflict out, but once conflict comes up you’re not afraid to tackle it head on but you’re not looking for it.

7. From your impression of me, what would you say my experience of God’s presence in my life seems like?
1:         You have a very strong connection to God.  You take Him into account anytime you have a decision in life.  While you have shown… Uhh nevermind.

2:         You can just tell, through what you’ve been through you can see that you really trust that God has a bigger plan.  God is faithful and will ultimately carry you through and through that turmoil He kind of reveals himself to you.  It seems like you understand who He is and what He’s like through hard situations

3:         It shines through.  Especially in how you treat people.  You realize that no matter how bad someone is, they’re equally loved by God.  You easily relate.  You’re very kind and have over all joy towards people.

8. What do you think my blind spots might be?
1:         Losing a world view – there’s having a closed mind, there’s having an open mind, and there’s having a world view which is having a closed mind and an open mind at the same time.  It’s having an opinion on what’s around.  Sometimes you get caught in a very simple small view of things – not thinking big picture.  Sometimes you choose to do this out of ease.

2:       -Conflict resolution
-Not trying to assume the worst in people, and trying to see the best in them
-Encouraging people

3:         You don’t realize how awesome you are.  You underestimate yourself.

As you can see, I interviewed three people for this project.  3 is the one out of the three who understands who “Kelsey” is the most.  He has a good grasp on my identity and character.  1 is the one who knows my thought process and emotions best.  2 is the one who probably understands my spiritual life and my story the most.  I would have liked to interview a female, but I did not have the time.  It makes me wonder what kind of feedback I would have gotten from a non-male perspective.

The thing that I found the most interesting was my friends’ perspectives on what I am like when I get angry.  1 and 2 both have been around me in social setting a lot in the past year, whereas 3 has not.  However, 1 and 2 have not known me as long as 3 has.  They both said that when I am mad I close people out and I become very secluded.  They saw this as a problem.  They thought that I needed to work on discussing what I am upset about with people instead of closing myself off and forgetting about it.  When I asked 3 about how I act and what emotions he has seen me express when I am mad, he said, “You show your anger sometimes, but you’ve gotten better at holding it in and not letting it affect the people around you.  You’re much better at letting it blow over.”  3 saw that me holding my anger in was progress from where he has seen me in the past, whereas 1 and 2 saw it as a problem I needed to address.  It makes me wonder if, in my attempt to correct my over reactive anger issues, I have gone too far to the other side of the spectrum.

Something that was really confusing to me was the way that 2 and 3 saw that I treated people.  2 said that something I need to work on is “Not trying to assume the worst in people, and trying to see the best in them.”  However, 3 said “You treat people with kindness and joy. You realize that no matter how bad someone is, they’re equally loved by God.”  I think the reason for the opposing answers is that in high school I did not put up with bullying or people excluding others.  I chose to treat everyone with respect, especially the people that no one wanted to be around.  3 was looking at how I treat people through that lens.  Since high school, I have had a lot of bad interactions with guys in my life.  I do not trust men until I have known them for a very long time.  I do not often give any guy a chance to get to know me.  2 has seen this first hand, so I think he answered this question while considering  all the guys, including himself, that I have shut out and rejected in attempts to protect myself.  He sees me assuming the worst in guys.  This is the only reason I can think of to explain the different answers these two gave me.

This interview process was uncomfortable.  There were questions that seemed as if they were asking for my interviewees to compliment me, and these guys would get really awkward when addressing those questions.  Then there were also questions that were asking for brutal honesty and constructive criticism, and I could see the ways that they were trying to not hurt my feelings.  For example, when I asked 1 about my experience of God’s presence in my life, he said, “You have a very strong connection to God.  You take Him into account anytime you have a decision in life.” Then he added “While you have shown…” and paused.  He thought about what he was saying for a moment or two, stammered a bit, and then said, “never mind” and asked to go onto the next question.  I tried to coax him into saying what he was going to say, but he would not be persuaded.  It makes me wonder what things these guys thought about saying in their answers and held back from telling me.

I do not want to just stop this process after this project.  I think it is important for us to ask questions of those around us to get an assessment of ourselves.  I definitely plan on using some of these questions to talk with close friends over Christmas break.  In the end, I noticed two common themes in the answers I was given, one good and one bad.  The good theme is that I am considered respectful and personable when it comes to listening to people and talking with them.  The bad theme is that when I get emotional, I become illogical and unreasonable.  I was repeatedly told that I can be frustrating to them when I get upset.  This is amusing to me considering the fact that this is men’s usual complaint about the entire female population, but it is definitely something for me to work on none the less.  This was a very beneficial exercise and I was glad I had the opportunity to do this.

One thought on “Finding Out What People REALLY Think About You. Sort of…

  1. While I dont actually know you, I find your words so encouraging. I started following your blog through a friend of mine who is a friends of yours. And I want to thank you for being so open to dealing with you in ways I am afraid to. It gives me hope because I see similarities and one day hope I can be as honest and willing to fix me like you are.

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