Beware Perceptions

For those of you who don’t know, this is Winston and this is me badly in need of a shave. Pretty much how I looked this morning. What you can’t see in this photo is that I am 190cm (6’3″ in the old scale) tall and large framed (also referred to as a Nutritional Overachiever or A Big Unit)

As is my wont, upon arising, I took the trusty Winston the Wonder Poodle for a walk, during which I gave one couple the fright of their life.

As I was coming around a bend I saw an older couple (who must have been mid sixties ) see Winston and I and then had their eyes open wide with fear. The man quickly turned around and strode off. Noticing the lead over the ladies shoulder, I guessed they must have had a dog walking behind them off lead.

Suddenly the woman looked down, saw Winston and then noticeably relaxed. She then called to her partner, “it’s just a puppy.”

“Puppy”, I thought. Winston is turning five this year. He is fully grown.

As I got closer to them and said hello, they said, “We saw you coming but didn’t see your dog. We thought you must have had a big dog.”

When their Maltese Princess (their words, not mine) came into view, Winston excitedly said hello and we moved on.

So obviously their perception was that as a scruffy larger fellow, I should have a larger, fiercer dog that could be a danger to Maltese dogs.

A couple of blocks later I passed a mature woman, who had your stereotypical grandmother look, walking her very large Irish Wolfhound.

Perceptions can do you such a disservice, yet we all have them. Stereotypes that enter into everyday thoughts. Sometimes they can negatively impact on us and other times they better prepare us for a situation. One of the best things you can do is become aware of your perceptions and challenge them.

Maybe they are true, maybe they are not or maybe the are partially true.

What perceptions can you challenge and what perceptions do you think people will have about you?

Maybe I need to shave and wear something more formal when taking Winston for a walk!