The Truth About Bullshit

It’s been an interesting few days.

Firstly, a friend paid me a wonderful compliment and said to me, that she thought that I was one of the most honest people she’d ever met.

Then, a couple of days later, a blogger, who I hold in the highest regard, thought that I was being totally dishonest and completely deluding myself.

I think it’s safe to say I’m a paradox…oh yeah! 😆

I actually think the blogger and I are on the same page but just presenting our beliefs very differently.

Regardless, it got me thinking about how I could be seen so differently in such a short space of time.

Then it struck me and I was brought back to all the lessons I’d learned about perception and projection.

Here are two individuals, seeing me completely differently. So who is right? The woman who thought I was honest? Or the blogger who thought I was being dishonest? The answer is neither. Both are projecting onto me either that which they are or desire but both ultimately have.

Think back to that old saying: – “It takes one to know one.” We all know how true that is. You cannot be aware of something that is not active within your subconscious.

Sometimes traits are reflected back negatively. I.e. you see something in others that you have/are but do not like.

Sometimes they are reflected back in the form of admiration. Ultimately though you do have that which you admire. If you see a great speaker, you have that within you. It would not come to the forefront of your mind without full awareness.

Just as I saw beauty in the aforementioned woman, it naturally must mean that I too must be exceptional in the ‘looks’ department! 😆

If I were to tell you that I had met the Queen yesterday, when I clearly did not, that would be bullshit. If I tell you I believe that I am living the path of someone living consciously and you say that I’m being dishonest. That is projection. You are seeing me through your own perceptual awareness. Not through the eyes of truth.

Our definition of the term ‘Living Consciously’ could vary greatly. You may believe yours to be absolute and true, but it does not make it so.

So, a very short post, but I would love to hear your thoughts. How do you feel about the term, ‘perception is projection’? Do you believe, that which you see in me, you have, are or desire?

All opinions welcome. 😀

55 Responses

  1. Amy Potts says:

    My perception of people has often been completely opposite of who they really are. I love social networks, but I have to wonder if the person that is being presented to us via Twitter etc., is the same person we would know if we were to meet them in person. Or would we have to throw the “bull-shit” penalty flag as they released their true selves in conversation.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Interesting dimension to add to this debate Amy, how we perceive an individual through the internet as opposed to when we meet them. However, I think that also comes down to judgement. So rather than me saying, I met so and so, I thought they were this way, but they turned out to be like that. What I’m asking is, when you see something in me, lets say you met me in person, and you thought that I was dishonest too and I didn’t represent what I write here…is that because you’re projecting onto me something else? What do you think?

  2. Missybrar says:

    You definitely are exceptional, beyond the ‘looks’ department!

    Thank you kindly for your compliment too. But I agree we do see what we project. But it also comes from having the inner wealth and sense of abundance to recognise virtues others as a mirror or benchmark for our own aspirations to flourish. When I meet people who are emotionally generous, it’s because they have compassion and desire contribute. But I cheat, I always surrounding myself with people smarter, stronger and better than me. Keeps me on my toes!

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Why thank you for that special compliment.

      Speaking of your last statement there missy, what you said about hanging around with people smarter than you, that smarter that you see, do you think it’s a projection of that which you have or desire or admire?

  3. Hi Amit. This is such an interesting topic. You know, I think that projection is very active in many people. But I think there’s something else going on too. We don’t always see in another person what we have in ourselves. But we do see from the perspective of what we have in ourselves.

    For example, if I see someone as beautiful, it may or may not be because I’m beautiful. It could be because I’m very open and accepting to beauty. I’m aware of beauty and comfortable with it. It could also be a simpler reason- like the person matches some idea that I’ve absorbed about what beautiful is.

    If I see someone as ugly, that’s likely what I’m focused on. For someone reason, like insecurity or self-doubt, there’s a need to see ugliness in others. Or maybe the person is just a reflection of what I’ve learned to view as ugly.

    If someone constantly sees others as dishonest, he may or may not be all that dishonest. What he sees could mean that he’s viewing life through a fear of being lied to. It could also be because the fear makes him uncomfortable with what another person has to say. It could also be that he’s a liar or he’s noticing dishonesty.

    So complex, right?
    Either way, it all boils down to something you touched on: we all see through our own individual lenses.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      “We don’t always see in another person what we have in ourselves. But we do see from the perspective of what we have in ourselves. ” – that’s a very interesting statement and exactly the kind of debate I wanted to stir. So you think, because I see someone being angry, it’s not necessarily that I’m an angry person but because maybe there’s another level to it, perhaps even a trait I desire because sometimes it can be used for good? What do you think?

  4. Stuart says:

    Amit, you lucky guy, its not everyday a beautiful lady says that you’re good looking. Not in my experience anyway 😉

    This post has made me think, though. It takes one to know one; does that mean that we reflect ourselves onto other people, depending on our views and beliefs? I think it does.

    I see my girlfriend as beautiful, and tell her so. This means that she thinks she’s beautiful, and this encourages her. Amazing how this stuff works! 🙂

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Ha, unfortunately she didn’t say I was good looking but hey ho!

      Beauty can be on many levels, are you talking about teling your partner about her physical beauty? Say you said to your partner “i love your sense of humour”, so you’re saying you’d agree that you’re actually seeing a reflection of yourself, your humour, within her?

      • Stuart says:

        Ah, misread that part!

        I was referring to her physical beauty, yes, but I also tell her that I think I’m the luckiest guy in the world, and other such nice words. I think its crucial to a solid relationship that you remind each other about the good things.

        Back to your question. If I was to say “I love your sense of humour”, it would mean that I recognise and understand her ‘brand’ of humour, and so my humour would be similar. Not necessarily the same, but if we make each other laugh (which we do), then we need to have similar senses of humour.

        You’ve got me thinking about my girlfriend now Amit, I’m gonna go call her 😉

  5. Todd says:

    We are see the world through are own eyes. Our journey is unique to ourselves. So, I wouldn’t believe either one of the people you mention in your blog, as both are their opinioin of facts–of their world–as they have interpreted them. Alternatively, you should believe the opinion of the only person who matters: you. Are you honest? Are you dishonest? Are you a paradox? Only you have those answers…

    • Todd says:

      Sorry for the typos… Too early in the morning here, and too sleepy to proofread!

      • Amit Sodha says:

        No worries for the Typo’s Todd, I do the same thing!

        TO answer your question, yes, I think I’m more often than not more brutally honest with myself and other people than most people. I always often question my sincerity and more often than not come back to the conclusion of “how much more honest could I have been?”

        Of course this doesn’t just revolve around honesty, it applies to anything we see. I value what I believe to be true but when I see someone as being petty, is it because I am petty in some way? Is it my projection of that pettiness that I am seeing?

        • Todd says:

          Some people ARE petty! And, that is on them. It is OK to respond to their pettiness, and it is OK to not respond: that is the beauty of our world–we have that choice!

          I have experienced people pettiness, and many times that experience has nothing to do with me! (Sometimes it does have to doe with me, or alternatively, I sometimes respond in a petty fashion!).

          However, the bottom line is this: we have control over our “reaction” or our “response” (or lack thereof!) to those actions of others, and therein lies the choice, and our freedom to do as we choose…

  6. Kimberly says:

    That is exactly the reason, we choose NOT to try to please everyone.

    They have their own story by the things that have happened in their lives, it will never be the same as our perceptions or projections. Every instance in our lives is based on where we had been and that place is where nobody else had been before us. Even if they experienced the exact same thing as we did, their experience of something is totally different because they bring different baggage than we bring in every situation.

    That is why the emphasis should always be on not trying to please everyone else and truly please your inner soul for that is where you will find your true self.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      It’s exactly like you said Kimberley. I genuinely, with all my heart did not think, and still do not think, I was intentionally trying to deceive myself or others. As far as I’m concerned, I was sharing that which I’ve come to know experientially through life. The information I passed on was not some mumbo jumbo, made up crap. It was information from experience. It was my perception and translation of that experience…but truthful to myself none the less.

      Thanks so much for the comments! 🙂

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Very well said Kimberly. As you said, those perceptions originate from a number of possible factors including recent or distant past relationships. Thanks you so much for sharing!

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  7. Estelle says:

    I LOVE what you had to say about “perceptions”!!
    Why do I love it..?..because I learned the truth about peoples’ perceptions in therapy – that whether they’re right or wrong, they’re simply a viewpoint seen thru that’s person’s filters .. and best of all, I now know I DON’T have to receive it!! It has minimized the power of peoples’ words in my life, and my new understanding has empowered me and built more confidence in myself and the choices I make. And right now in my life, I’m “coming alongside” someone special, as they navigate a difficult journey in their lives, and “perceptions” has been one of my main focuses with her. I know that if she hears it from me enough, it’ll begin to “soak” into her life and become a truth and a reality.
    Thanks for your life-giving truths you shared in this article!!!

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Wow, sounds like therapy had a profound effect on you and gave you some wonderful realisations Estelle.

      It was my pleasure Estelle but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and what you’ve learned. 🙂

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  8. Jason from Skyward says:

    First time here, love the site man!
    I believe that we do project our perception of the world onto the world. We see things through the lens of our experience and paradigms. What’s weird is that we tend to love people like ourselves, but most despise those qualities within them that mirror our unwanted behaviours.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Very interesting final thought there. If the person calling me dishonest would accept the ‘mirror’ through which they speak. The truth is I guess none of like it when we’re called on it but that is the truth.

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  9. Jason from Skyward says:

    First time here, love the site man!
    I believe that we do project our perception of the world onto the world. We see things through the lens of our experience and paradigms. What’s weird is that we tend to love people like ourselves, but most despise those qualities within them that mirror our unwanted behaviors.

  10. Miss Mommy says:

    Ahh perception and projection.

    I think so many people mis-use the term “projection” but it is explained brilliantly here.

    One of my favourite quotes is “there are no realities, only perceptions.” I truly believe this. Our thoughts and opinons create our realities. Everything in life is so subjective. Life can be as good or as bad you want it to be. Our experiences, people, things can be negative or positive. It all in how we CHOSE to percieve them.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Miss Mommy, you should read my post on perception Vs reality. There have been some various arguments contrary to what you said however I do believe that there is some kind of absolute truth out there, but nothing that I can personally understand as yet. But saying that this movie was a great movies, is just a perception and projection, does not necessarily make it so.

      Thanks for the awesome comments!

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  11. rob white says:

    Indeed agreed, all perception is projection… and chances are you ARE all those things (dishonest, honest)…. as am I and everyone else. It is a paradox. The mind will abstract what it needs from the facts of the world to support our foregone conclusions and preconditioned opinions. We can only see in the world what we see in ourselves… the good news is we can see the wonder and beauty just as easily as the other. And today YOU are honest & handsome!

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Well thank you for calling me handsome Rob, i guess you’ve seen something in me you’ve projected too! 😀

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  12. Lisa H. says:

    If something someone says about you doesn’t ring true, it is their perception. The key is to recognize that it has nothing to do with you and to not take it personally. I had a similar experience in which I was projected on. Ultimately it is about agreeing to disagree.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Thanks Lisa, very pragmatic view and I totally agree because it is totally ok to disagree, it’s ok to want to think differently because that’s what gives life spice! 🙂

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  13. Sibyl-alternaview says:

    Amit: Interesting topic and post. I agree with you. I think we are meant to learn from each other and often times, we see certain things in other people that are also traits we have or things about ourselves that we need to work through. I also think that one person can see beauty and another person can fail to see the same beauty because they are not looking from the right perspective.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      If they don’t see beauty Sybil, is there perception any less right or is it just different? I hear what you’re saying though from the earlier part of your comment, something that we care not to address in ourselves.

      There’s another angle to this you’ve just got me thinking about that someone else may question, like when a therapist points out a flaw in a patient, does that mean they have all those shortcomings or perceived flaws? I don’t think so but I do believe that understanding is enough in that case…something definitely to be expanded on.

      Thanks so much for the comments!

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  14. This is very true. If you have any sibblings ask them things about when you were growing up. I have found that as children we see things and people differently. Thank for the reminder.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Debbie, very true, it’s amazing how our perceptions shift over time too. I saw the house I grew up in recently and I remember it being huge, I saw it recently and it actually felt quite small! Thank you for the comments!

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  15. Jk Allen says:

    For myself – I tend to offer different pieces of myself at different times…(there are time to be professional, fun, serious, etc.) so inevitably, what I project can easily receive a different “take” from different people. Even if I were to give the same me in every instance, people have different experiences which help shape their perception.
    Thanks Amit

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey JK..just like a chameleon ey? 🙂 I’m the same, it’s all about context. In certain situations I know it calls for certain types of behaviour. I agree that those experiences shape those perceptions. Thanks so much for the comments dude!

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  16. Hi Amit,
    Great post. I think we owe it to ourselves to understand the difference between perception and projection. It’s an important step in our growth as we begin to live “consciously” to understand these concepts. Frankly, I don’t think we can really become conscious until we understand that our entire reality is a projection of our perception anyway. Fascinating topic Amit!

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Thank you Angela, this area is almost infinite and can be explored in some many different ways but the conscious side of me says that people project what they want to see or don’t like. It’s the two sides of the coin. Thank you so much.

      By the way I think you did an amazing thing with the blogging blackout. I’ve been considering some of what you said for a long time! (hence my mini sabbatical! )

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  17. Hi Amit, I saw your post shared on FB (Angela) and the title grabbed my eye 🙂

    Good stuff, good points. What it has me thinking of, though, is this: many people tend to want to put people into boxes and label them. I wonder why that is? Just as you say, one person put you in the box called “honest” and another person put you in the box called “dishonest.”

    I get put into boxes all the time, and it’s rarely accurate. It’s not usually anything hurtful or bad–sometimes it’s quite complimentary. But most of the time it just makes me shake my head in amazement. And I wonder should I set the person straight before he/she goes on too much longer? Someone might only make an assumption about knowledge or lack of knowledge–I deal with veterinarians a lot, for example (I have dogs and cats). They usually assume no knowledge and go on and on explaining something that’s quite basic for me. On the other hand, sometimes people assume I know more than I do–tech support at my web hosting company, for example. Why not ask questions before explaining something? Seems people put others into a box quite rapidly–making assumptions–and then their behavior follows the original perception, and it’s sort of like talking to a recording or someone’s imagination.

    Yes, projection and projection. But people are only what and who they are at that moment. When you know someone very well, then maybe you can put a label on him or her somewhat accurately. Even so, it’s only going to be based on behaviors observed over a period of time, and that’s just–behaviors. Not “who” or “what” a person “is.”

    Thanks for getting me thinking–good stuff.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      It’s was my pleasure, thanks for sharing your experiences and talking about those assumptions. Boy, I’ve had some very bizarre assumptions made about me over the past few years too but I really like your examples.

      Thank you so much for you comment!

      (p.s. I would like to apologise for my very slow response!)

  18. We see the world we want to see. Our perception creates our reality. As long as we keep our perception in tack with the way we want to see the world. We shall live this way. Great post.

  1. January 27, 2011

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