I asked Oldest, and he said "Yeah, I used to think you fought all the time, but I started noticing that you just get frustrated for a minute and then it's over."
I said, "Hmm... I don't even notice. Maybe it's because of stress? I mean, we do live with a fair amount of stress."
Oldest said "Are you kidding me? You live under an unbelievable amount of stress! I don't know how you deal with it!"
I'll admit, I felt better. Primarily because he noticed.
I repeated the conversation to a married friend, who said "Yeah, that kind of fighting is called 'marriage'."
It made me think, though, about perceptions. I try really hard not to judge people, to always think about what kind of day that person might be having, or under what kind of stress they live. I always wonder about how people perceive me, and how close to true those perceptions are. I like to think I've got everyone fooled into thinking I'm on top of things.
(That was a joke, I don't really think I've got everyone fooled.)
I wonder, though, about everyone else. So I'll throw this out there for my readers:
- Do you think the public perception of you matches up with the "real" you?
- Do you think your family's perception of you is accurate?
- Do you fight with your significant other? More or less than an observer would perceive?
- Are you more or less stressed than people think?
Inquiring minds want to know.