Do you think your perceptions of someone can effect how they behave? If you see someone as inadequate, a slow thinker, or you believe they have issues. Does that really make them who they are?
In my experience in working with relationships for over thirty years, it does. It may not be that your perceptions make the person who they are but it will put them in a box that is difficult for them to be different than your perception.
For example: In working with parents I often hear that they talk about their children with others. Especially if that child is difficult. Perhaps they want to get help from others in how to manage the situation, or to have a release valve of expression. Parents also want to be heard and maybe see they are justified in their perceptions.
What you need to consider about those conversations is this: Are those conversations held when the child is absent? Or are they in hearing range? Even if they are not present the energy you are sending can effect them in ways that assures the behavior continues. It is not whether you believe the child is incapable of understanding or isn’t paying attention, the energy of the conversation can be palatable to the child. Others, especially children can pick up on the tone of the parents voice, they know when they are the topic of conversation. With that said, what you think about someone, anyone can continue that pattern as the Law of Attraction states. “What you think is what you will receive.” That goes for what you think about another will also prove to be true.
If you continue to put someone in the box of who you believe them to be, then they will continue to prove you right. Why? because you will be looking for them to make you right. It is very difficult to get out of the box when someone else put you in it. Look at our society today and what is happening around us with misperceptions and judgments of others.
I have seen that time and again when others are having conversations about family members that are negative. Sometimes that is in front of the person and other times not. The outcome is the same.
When this behavior of boxing in their child was brought up to parents and they stopped, they changed their perception of the child, then the child’s behavior also shifted. In the adult world it may be more difficult, yet when your perceptions shifts about someone they at least have the opportunity to rise to the occasion. Being accountable for your thoughts and actions about others can be part of your mindfulness on a daily basis.
Take a look at who you are confining in your perception box. Maybe think about who might have a negative perception of you which keeps you behaving in a way that proves them right. If that is happening for you, be brave enough to have the conversation. Asking: what is your honest opinion of me? It feels like you see me as .....
I can sense that there is an issue between us and want clarity on that perception.
Communication that is forthright, honest and not inflammatory is the optimum way to discuss the perceptions that others may have about you. In doing so you can be more aware of what you can do to climb out of someone else's imposed box.