Today I was told by a couple women in one of my classes that I am “sophisticated”. As soon as someone makes a comment like this to me, I am quick to refute it. I scoffed at the compliment at first, mostly because I was sure they were joking. They weren’t.
I was reminded of the (sometimes massive) disparity between how I see myself and how others see me. Am I really seen as sophisticated to some? I’m under the impression that many of those who know me well see me as creative (and flighty), whimsical but articulate, and usually authentic. I think to myself, the better you know me, the more my elite qualities, like sophistication, dissolve. My first response to this is that these people surely do not know me. But is there a chance that there is something in me that I just don’t see?
I’m not sure how to answer that. Maybe these women and I have different definitions of sophistication. I find myself being a little more self-conscious as I observe myself interacting with the world. What do they see that I don’t? I want to see it too.
I think this is a common response when someone tells us we possess a quality in ourselves we only hope to have. I always admire sophistication in people, but to have it myself….?
I’m curious as to the experience of others in regards to discrepancies between your view of yourself and how other people see you. It seems that people are more likely to view us with more respect and admiration than we would ever suspect.
PS: This is not a cry for compliments. I feel good about myself today. Just let me know your own experience with this.