Perception and Perspective
Perception and perspective are not the same things, they differ in the following way: Perception is the interpretation (or the understanding) we give circumstances and situations we experience, while perspective is the point of view we see (or come at) those things from.
I think it makes sense to give an example of both perspective and perception:
For these two examples, I will use the idea of being cut off in traffic.
Perception- When you are cut off you may think or say, “Wow, they are such an inconsiderate jerk!” Or you might say “Woah, they are in a dangerous hurry, they must be having a very rough day.”
Perspective- Where you are emotionally when you get cut off, will determine the likelihood of your perception of the event.
What do we mean by perspective?
Perspective is the frame of mind we see things from. If we aren’t seeing things from a positive perspective, we are looking at the best possible meanings and outcomes. when we view things from a negative perspective, we are often imagining all of the worst-case scenarios that could happen. it is far easier to see things from a positive light when you are in a better mood. The mood we are in will absolutely bias our understanding of reality.
Regardless of your thoughts or beliefs on the subject, be sure to be mindful of your moods when thinking about something.
What determines our perspective?
Our perspectives change regularly even multiple times throughout the day. even something as simple as hunger can drastically alter your perspective. as an example, people who grocery shop while hungry are far more likely to make impulse purchases for snack items while at the store.
You have probably heard the example of the half-full glass. The one where you are asked if the glass is half full or half empty. Whether you see the glass as half full depends on your perspective. Our perspective changes not just by our fluctuations in mood but also by our life circumstances. for instance, our perspective on staying out late will depend greatly on whether we are the one who’s staying out or the one waiting up.
What is perception in simple words?
In simple words, perception is our understanding of what is taking place at any given time. Perception is the meaning we give to what is happening. In essence, our perception is often what we read between the lines. This is why our perception of something is often different than what our friends and family perceive.
It also explains why we can watch movies and TV shows multiple times. Each time we see new things in them we didn’t see before. This is because we perceive them differently because of the frame of mind we are in when we watch them.
One of my favorite examples of perception happened one Sunday morning after listening to the message at church. I commented to my father I couldn’t believe that the pastor seemed to be talking directly to me. Talking about the things I was going through that very week. My dad looked at me bewildered. He said that’s amazing. But I’m surprised to hear that you are having issues with your coworkers. Considering you are only in the 8th grade.
This was because our perceptions of what was said in the message at church were completely different. We both perceived the message to be about different things. We laughed about how we both heard the pastor say something completely different while sitting next to each other. While we were laughing a friend sitting in the row behind us said he had actually heard something completely different than either of us had.
The key takeaway is that our perception of something does not necessarily have anything to do with the reality of that thing.