Self Esteem and Perception
What processes allow us to take a jumbled set of lines and colours that enter our eye, and transform them into a meaningful representation of the world? Out of features we build objects, and out of objects, we build categories and classifications for items, objects, plants and people in the world around us. Mental imagery allows us to remember what we have seen and to work with and manipulate relationships in order to solve certain problems. Our senses play a large roll in how we perceive things. When you see, hear, taste, touch, or smell something it adds to your experiences and perceptions. How we are (our feelings, our relationships, our reactions, and our beliefs) all influence and help in shaping and managing our perceptions. The movie The Truth about Cats and Dogs shows many examples of how the human mind works and how we develop perception. This movie shows many examples of how the human person develops his/her perceptions about self, others, and the world around them.
Self-Perception is a process by which we come to know and think about ourselves (the characteristics, qualities, and inner states that we attribute to ourselves). By attributing stable traits and enduring characteristic to ourselves, we feel we are better able to understand our behaviour and chart our future actions. There are many different perceptions that we have of our self whether it is mental or physical. Like Abby in the movie many women have the self-perception of being overweight, which is an example of physical perception. Also, she was concerned about her height and her beauty. Why? Well society and the media have told us for years what is right and what is wrong. Even though most of the time society and the media are wrong we still listen to them and do what they say is right. This can cause very low self-esteem in oneself. By telling someone that being 100 pounds is acceptable and being 120 pounds is not, you lower their self -esteem and make them think they are unacceptable in society. Abby was a victim of this. The world was telling her you have to be tall and thin goddess to be beautiful and she was not up to those expectations. This caused her to become ashamed of herself when Brian (another character in the movie) asks to meet her. Instead of telling him what she really looks like, she lies and tells him what she thinks he wants her to look like. Some of the mental perceptions we have of our selves can be damaging and keep us from good things. Abby s poor self-esteem even leaked into her personality. She thought that she was not worth much, by not showing up for the meeting with Brian, and was scared of making any mistakes when she was around him. She would put herself down a lot, and was very preoccupied with how they appear to others. Everything that we think of ourselves whether it is our personality, looks, qualities, or abilities, attributes to our self-perceptions whether they are good or bad.
Perceptions of others can come from first impressions, physical characteristics or past experiences with that person. A first impression from a person can give you a life long perception of that person. If they are nice and leave a good impression on you then you will generally have good thoughts of them. But, sometimes people can get very bad first impressions of people; Abby did in this case. When she first saw Noelle s boyfriend she new he wasn t a good person right away, from the way he treated women as objects and not people. This made her dislike him very much throughout the movie. Physical characteristics also play a great role when you see others. If someone is attracted it appeals to you more, and you would make more of an effort to get to know that person or get involved with that person. This happened in the movie when Abby thought that Brian would be more attracted to Noelle then herself. Perceptions can also come in experiences with that person. If you tend to lie a lot around a specific person, they may think you can t be trusted. Also if someone talks behind another persons back, you might think that they would do the same to you. From the way Abby and Noelle kept flip flopping roles, Brian s experiences made him think the Abby that he thought was real was a very unpredictable person. These are major factors on how the human person develops perceptions of each other.
People develop perceptions about the world around them, which feeds to how they perceive themselves and other people. Like in self-perception, and even perception of other, the way we see the world is all depended on society and the media. They all tell us how to look and how to act to be accepted in our world , by Brian washing us into what we think is right. As I mentioned before Abby, Brian, and Noelle were all victims of this brain washing all for different reasons. Abby for believing the world and thinking that her appearance was unexceptable, Noelle for being used by the media to show what the perfect women should be, and Brian for believing it all. The world can be a cruel place, and even though you may think everything around is perfect and there are no problems, there always are because of the conflicts in us, and around us.
The Truth about Cats and Dogs is a very good example in showing how we as people create the perceptions of ourselves, others, and everything around us. It shows many many examples of how people act and react in all of those situations . We put each other into categories and judge each other on how we act, look, and think. The way we as people classify and characterise things, cannot be helped, it is the way we have been brought up for centuries, and it most likely will not change. A lot of people are suffering because they feel they don t fit the description of the ideal person, and it s a strange thing in how we decide on what is ideal. I think we should all wake up, and be who we are no matter how tall, short, fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, smart, or stupid we are.