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Show ALL Forums  > Over 45  > Are we really who we think we are?      Home login  
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 zippytwo
Joined: 6/7/2006
Msg: 1
Are we really who we think we are?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I've always considered myself an extrovert, turns out I'm quite shy...in a group of people I know I'm fine and am funny and talkative. But if I'm in a group of people I don't know...I want to melt into the background.

I was thinking about this and wondering if this is why so many 'first meets' don't work out. We arrive thinking we're all open to meeting the person, and have imagined ourselves being funny and charming but once we're sitting across from each other we squirm and just want it to end. The person we're meeting may also think they are someone they're not. I've had phonecalls with men that are a hoot on the phone, but in person had nothing to say.

What part of our personality do we lose on our way to meeting someone. Is it doubt? Is it fear? Are we afraid to be ourselves and not wanting to disappoint we put on an act we think the other person wants to see?
 motown_cowgirl
Joined: 12/22/2011
Msg: 2
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/29/2013 2:19:39 AM
i'm a lot less sarcastic in person.

go ahead, roll your eyes.

I agree that most first meets don't work out, but I don't think it's really for the reason you suggest. I think it's simply that most people aren't going to be a good match for each other (for whatever reason), but since they're all on dating sites and wanting to meet someone, they're more motivated than they might have otherwise been to meet people.

IME, I've never had dates where I squirmed and wanted it to end although I can't say as much for what's his face over there at the other side of the table. I've always had dates that were pleasant enough and at least mildly entertaining. I can get through an hour of small talk with just about anyone, especially if we've exchanged a few emails & phone calls before we decided to meet. first dates are not hard for me. but do I want to see them again???

nah.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/29/2013 5:33:24 AM
I am confident that most of us perceive ourselves differently from how others perceive us, to one degree or another. That's bound to be the case, for the simple reason that we can see what's inside our heads at all times, but no one else can. That's how what we know to be kidding around can occasionally come across as rudeness to others.

You are talking about not being aware of how important the framework of the social interaction is, to how comfortable you are in it. Also, perhaps, you have an extra social rule set rattling around in your semi-conscious mind, which tells you to "step back" when with strangers.

We don't "lose a part of our personality" in such situations. We often DISPLAY a part of our personality which we previously didn't recognize, however.

Something to take note of next time you are being funny and talkative with people you know, is how much of this is a result of your reacting to their cues, and knowing little things about them, such that you realize when it is your "turn" to speak, and also know what subject matter to speak about. Compare that to strangers, especially those whom you simultaneously hope to impress, AND fear that you will inadvertently give the impression to, that you are more interested in them than you actually are, and I expect you will discover some of the details that you are currently mystified by.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 4
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/29/2013 6:49:43 AM

What part of our personality do we lose on our way to meeting someone. Is it doubt? Is it fear? Are we afraid to be ourselves and not wanting to disappoint we put on an act we think the other person wants to see?


Much of the answer may lie in the realm of subconscious mind.
On the surface you want to "meet" someone new
But there is something within you that produces apprehension when the moment arrives
Perhaps subconsciously, you are ill at ease as to how you are presenting yourself to others
which, by the same token, is making you feel or believe that everyone else you meet is doing the same thing.
 LiliMarleen
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 5
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/29/2013 7:17:40 AM
I think I am the way I think I am because most people who have known me for a while act as if they think I am the way I think I am, too.

But, joking aside, and to answer your specific question, if you're nervous on a first date, that is part of who you are. It is one aspect of your personality. If you're the kind of person who is much more charming after she warms up and feels less nervous, that's who you are.

I think when we get to know somebody, it is a process of slowly getting to know different aspects of his or her personality, until we get a full picture. That's why I didn't believe in necessarily deciding that I didn't want to see a person again, even after a less than perfect first date, unless there was a deal breaker. I realized that a short first meet was nothing but a snapshot of a person, and especially with respect of nerves and seeming lack of confidence, I was willing to see what would happen, as we got to know each other better.

My man is a shy introvert on the autism spectrum, and there were definitely issues with eye contact, confidence, and physical contact (such as hugs) on the first few dates.

I'm so glad I realized that this would change over time, because he's one of the most affectionate, loving people I've ever known. It just took him some time to warm up and be comfortable. So, I'm very glad I merely focused on having a good time in the beginning and chose to accept him the way he is (which is shy and reserved with a new person), because that's certainly not something that matters in a long-term relationship.
 Proteaus
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 6
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/29/2013 7:40:33 AM
From what I see in the profiles and read here from time to time on the forums . I would think one of the reason first meets do not work out is because either one or both people always think they can do better .Basically getting stuck on the pof merry go round . Seems that with so many choices available people have lost the decision making ability of making a choice. If people want off the merry go round , make a choice , otherwise enjoy the ride . The whole concept of getting to know some one has basically been eliminated by this need for instant chemistry . With instant chemistry in play , no one takes the time to get to know any one .
 deere_rancher
Joined: 4/4/2012
Msg: 7
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/29/2013 7:50:55 AM

in a group of people I know I'm fine and am funny and talkative. But if I'm in a group of people I don't know...I want to melt into the background


OP.. I would have thought at your age , you would have had this figured out.
I only attend venvues in which I'm reasonably comfortable. Occassionally I"ll feel like branching out
but I don't put pressure on myself to meet a certain participation standard or personality. I'm there to simply experience whatever's there ... I'm happy with who I am
 phoenix_55
Joined: 7/25/2012
Msg: 8
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/30/2013 7:02:45 AM
Like that Brad Paisley song says ... "I'm so much cooler on line" ... that's me.

I'm actually way more reserved until I get to know someone. Oh, I can be charming and witty on a first meet, but it's a little forced and, like you, I usually can't wait for it to end so I can go back to my comfort zone.
 pageforyou
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 9
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/30/2013 3:53:07 PM

So it is inherent survival instinct to remain quiet for a while with unknown strangers, and to somewhat inhibit your usual self-perceived lively personality, especially in the presence of someone considered powerful or "worthier" than yourself.


Inherent? Really? Not for me. But, certainly makes sense. When I just come as I am ( polite and outgoing) in a new group that knows each other well (and in particular kowtows to someone powerful in that group) I am perceived to challenge them, by my very personality alone, this happens, so now I know it is a natural thing for groups and not just the cutthroat business I am in! lol

Certainly the "circling the wagons thing" ,with new groups, seems very childish to me. And I have no inclination to do it ... never have. But, I moved a lot as a child (with a military father) and made friends who were strangers, with ease if they would LET me, all my life.
 usmale6
Joined: 9/14/2013
Msg: 10
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 9/30/2013 5:54:00 PM
When they love you, they think you are better than you really are!
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 11
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/1/2013 12:59:18 AM

I dont think a lot of men really have nearly as much choice as women on dating sites. They may think they have.
However chemistry and some sort of connection has to be there at the getgo, otherwise why would we bother.
SUre it takes time to know someone and to really love them but attraction needs to be there at first. Hoping it will grow or suddenly manifest with further dates, hardly ever happens.


So you think women have chemistry with many random men, therefor they have more choices than men?

Or are you saying women don't need chemistry and men do?

Do you think there are a lot more high quality men on dating sites, and that is what gives women more choices?
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 12
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/1/2013 1:11:30 AM



I've always considered myself an extrovert, turns out I'm quite shy...in a group of people I know I'm fine and am funny and talkative. But if I'm in a group of people I don't know...I want to melt into the background.

I was thinking about this and wondering if this is why so many 'first meets' don't work out. We arrive thinking we're all open to meeting the person, and have imagined ourselves being funny and charming but once we're sitting across from each other we squirm and just want it to end. The person we're meeting may also think they are someone they're not. I've had phonecalls with men that are a hoot on the phone, but in person had nothing to say.

What part of our personality do we lose on our way to meeting someone. Is it doubt? Is it fear? Are we afraid to be ourselves and not wanting to disappoint we put on an act we think the other person wants to see?


The popular forum thinking about meeting is one should meet quickly after a few emails. If many follow that line of thinking, then they won't really know a lot about those they first meet. One good reason first meets result in a lot of surprises.

But I think you pretty much said it in you first paragraph, you really aren't an extrovert. We don't really know ourselves well and what we really want in a relationship. So many search for the wrong types of people.

Then how many are really good at discerning what other people are like even after knowing them for a few months. How many have been surprised by something a person they thought they knew doing something totally unexpected? People can be very deceptive and put of a false front that makes them appear socially acceptable when in reality they are in turmoil.

If you put these all these together, meeting many strange quickly, looking for people that we aren't really comfortable with, and not being that observant in the first place, you will get a lot of surprises.
 Foodfan
Joined: 9/26/2013
Msg: 13
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/1/2013 6:29:26 AM
For me, success breeds success so...

...if the other person REACTS to me positively right off the bat by either smiling, laughing at my humour, giving off a friendly vibe, all of the above then I will respond like I'm a suave James Bond personality.

On the other hand, if they are cool, my humour falls flat, convo is like pulling teeth, etc then I will lose interest fast and to me equates to :

NO CHEMISTRY !
 SWEET_MAVERICK
Joined: 9/28/2013
Msg: 14
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/1/2013 8:14:40 AM
My persona has been changing in mid-life, so I am not who I used to be, but I am who I am. I haven't done the online thing much at all, I went years dating from IRL, met 3 last yr. from online & they all sucked! Went back to IRL & have a better relationship that way. But that is me.

I think to work on who you are as a whole, your behaviors, your strengths, flaws & your physical health will yield better results- when you change yourself, you change who you attract into your life.
 Theme_Pack
Joined: 5/3/2013
Msg: 15
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/1/2013 4:06:14 PM
I was a Liaison Officer with the Special Forces....part of my duties entailed meeting VIP's such as Foreign Dignitaries, Presidents and CEO's of large corporation's etc...As a civilian I was also a CEO of a Military contracting firm... Entertaining people during dinners, luncheons etc... was my forte. But put a beautiful damsel in distress in front of me and I am a little shy...ok not really I just said that to make some of you feel better...

I have great confidence in every facet of my life and my annual personal evaluations would reflect that and it was me .The only area I lack confidence is spelling and grammar...but that is due to a TBI, even when I write this I have to look at it 50 times...
When I go on dates I can tell they want to know what the large scare is on the left side of my head....It doesn't bother me, but to put them at ease I usually add that if they rub that spot its almost as good as having an orgasm...most of them believe me...
I know I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago ...I'm better, I know I have a large ego, I have always been that way. My ego and other outstanding personal qualities has made me very successful in all facets of my life.
 Zuglo65
Joined: 4/19/2012
Msg: 16
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/3/2013 6:21:13 AM
The only time I was squirming, and just wanted to end when I was disappointed with her.
Either with her looks, or she was not as talkative, funny as she was on the phone.
Course it could be because she was disappointed with me.
I myself don't think I lose anything on my way to meet someone, and not afraid to be myself.
Putting up an act isn't my thing, I want her to see the real me, let it be good or bad. Prefer a same.
 Ready_Real
Joined: 5/2/2013
Msg: 17
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/3/2013 11:10:05 AM
No.

But then again, what do the people who "see" us know?
 browneyesboo
Joined: 5/19/2005
Msg: 18
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/3/2013 11:37:53 AM
I know exactly who I am.
It's taken me 61 years to perfect my persona.

I'm constantly underestimated.
But I consider that a good thing.

I think people see us as we allow ourselves to be seen.
My work personality and my outside personality are
quite different. You know at first glance not to mess with
me in the workplace, outside, you'd be a little unsure.
I'm really the same person, just a little more forgiving
of ineptness outside the workplace.

:o)
 LiterateHiker
Joined: 11/30/2012
Msg: 19
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/3/2013 12:51:17 PM
Our "frame of reference"- the way we view the world- is influenced by our education and life experience. This colors our perceptions of ourselves, other people and the world.

Since age 7 I have considered myself Mighty Mouse. I was born prematurely with one lung collapsed, and spent two months in an incubator. "The nurses had never seen such a tenacious baby," my mother told me. "You were such a tiny thing- your head was the size of an orange- yet you fought furiously whenever you wanted something."

My tremendous tenacity has helped me in life. I see myself as a strong, tough, athletic Mighty Mouse. "Here she comes, to save the day!" In reality I am petite and delicate-boned. It's laughable.
 phule
Joined: 4/8/2004
Msg: 20
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/3/2013 10:42:57 PM
I consider myself lucky, in that I've always known who I am. Back in 7th grade, I remember being pulled into the guidance counselor's office. He sat me down, moved to his side of the desk, and stared at me for a few long minutes. He opens the dialog with "You know... you are an individualist." I was actually cheeky enough to come back with "Yeah... and?"

It doesn't matter who I'm with, I am still this person. If you read my posts here, I'm an opinionated, verbose, observer who doesn't have an issue with calling them as I see them. Right or wrong, I'm going to make what I believe known, and I'm going to back up what I believe with as much evidence and observation as I possibly can. When I'm wrong, I'll be right there owning up to it... maybe not the first to see it though.

It doesn't matter if I'm at a keyboard, using a pen, or in person. It will look different in person, since observing a situation face to face requires listening and watching... which takes time. That's a quiet thing. Online, observing means reading, re-reading, paying attention to context and sub-context, looking for indicators, etc. The time that takes isn't perceived in the same way as it is in a face-to-face meeting. I'm still the same though. I call 'em like I see 'em.

I've put it in my profile... I've never really dated. I've gotten together with women, but by the time we are getting together, it's not really dating. Getting involved with a woman who started off as a client, where I repaired her laptop. Business first, more time spent together, and the next thing you know I'm at her house using very different tools, and I'm not working on hardware. You might say it was like a date, but the getting to know each other part was incidental... even though it was there. Then there were the times hanging out with friends... and then there'd be another time hanging with almost the same group... and this would continue until two of us realize we have been in the same circle for a month, and we always spend time talking... and then it's just a circle of us two, etc.

So I guess I can't speak as to whether I would be a different person on an official date. I can only say I don't believe I would be, because I have always been me in every other situation I have ever been in.
 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 21
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/4/2013 4:54:24 AM
Even gregarious, extroverted, talkative people can freeze on a first meet.

I suggest an adult beverage. ONE , maybe TWO max..You dont want to walk in shy and reserved then go into overdrive in an hour.

I think its fear in some way or another.

I'm who I think I am and so are most people unless delusional.

But we aren't the same/behave the same way in every circumstance with everybody.
 ICtheLite
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 22
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Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/6/2013 6:10:47 PM
What part of our personality do we lose on our way to meeting someone. Is it doubt? Is it fear? Are we afraid to be ourselves and not wanting to disappoint we put on an act we think the other person wants to see?


I don't think you lose anything permanently. Shyness due to doubt, fear or nervousness is short lived (hopefully). Relax and be yourself, the ones that matter won't mind, and the ones that mind don't matter. Yes, easier said than done. I usually don't have problem being myself unless I meet someone I'm highly attracted to; then I get more reserved ..... GREAT, right? lol.
 ChancesRMD
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 23
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/11/2013 3:33:26 PM
It's also alittle about being in a comfort zone.

Afraid in one and totally at ease in another.

Expectations plays into it as well. The more you expect from a first meet the more pressure you put on it.
 SWEET_MAVERICK
Joined: 9/28/2013
Msg: 24
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/11/2013 5:49:36 PM
I know I am, the last time I looked in my panties, I saw her...The Silver Beaver. Yep, that's who I am. Just don't try to skin her to make a fur coat! LOL!
 CaptainTeebs
Joined: 11/10/2012
Msg: 25
Are we really who we think we are?
Posted: 10/11/2013 7:12:15 PM
What part of our personality do we lose?
Amazingly, a lot of us don't lose our negative qualities, our ball-scratching, clueless, gold digging, self-aggrandizing, insecure, inconsiderate, flakey, clingy, tasteless, classless, cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless,****ess, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit....
I digress.
Point is, we shouldn't try to be ourselves. Lose yourself. Lose yourself in the moment of carpe tunnel diem.
uh..oops.
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