Assumptions based on physical appearances | INFJ Forum

Assumptions based on physical appearances

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gist, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. What assumptions do others make based on your physical appearance?

    Sometimes, people judge and assume things about us based on how we look or seem to be. Too often we are misunderstood because of it. Now, this is not new or abnormal. We can't read everyone's minds and know everything about them instantly just by looking. But online takes it to a new level. I think many would say that the person they envision in their minds based on posts, texting, chatting etc. doesn't often fit with the image of the actual person if they were to meet. Now, i'm not referring to someone who misrepresents their identity, etc. I'm simply referring to the idea that we don't look the way others think we would look based on their impression of our personality.

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    i think someone in another thread mentioned that they forget how they look sometimes. I can definitely relate to this in at least two ways. I tend to forget that others don't think of me the way i think of myself. I tend to forget that i may appear very differently to others than the way i think i appear to them. And also, i tend to forget, although i am acutely aware, that our perceptions are based on assumptions based on appearance, and often defines how we see and relate to others. So, sometimes, people will look at you, and "see" or perceive things which aren't there.

    So, how do you relate to this idea of misconceptions or assumptions others may make about your personality based on your physical appearance?
    #1 Gist, Jan 7, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  2. People do not have misconceptions about my personality, but my family does say I should behave a certain way because of it, not that anyone has assumed anything but that I need to be a certain way.

  3. I'm referring to impressions about personality based on appearance. Do you notice any differences with this?
  4. No one has really assumed that I am a cerain way really, my physical apperance is something that goes majorly unoticed.
  5. I've changed my physical appearance a lot over the years, by design, and also my physical appearance has changed against my will, through aging and the side effects of medication. Although my perception of myself has largely been the same throughout, people have believed different things about me according to the physical image I had at the time. People seeing me today, who see photographs of me ten years ago, cannot believe it's the same person. One person even said 'I wish I knew you back then'. Now there's a back handed compliment if I ever heard one. ;) I think all these changes have taught me a valuable lesson though, that I can't in any way control how people will perceive me, and knowing that is great, because I can relax a lot more about how I look, and if I make any changes at all, they're just for me, to feel happy with the way I appear to myself.
  6. That's because it doesn't matter. xD !

    But we still assume it does, because we are raised in the holly-bolly-shmollywood junk-culture, which teaches us that it does matter.
    Seriously, we don't use our natural equipment very well yet. We're like horse-carriages, who have nuclear engines, but can't use them, because we are taught to obey the horse-carriage protocol. (usually by those, whose nuclear engines have not been well enough developed by the circumstances, or because they've been too intimidated to maintain their horse-carriages) Don't worry though, that stage won't last too long.
  7. everyone assumes that I'm this hardcore hard assed guy cos I'm bigger then most of my friends. well I suppose in a way, I do act like that but the good thing of this is that I managed to use this outer appearance to shield and mask my mental workings, which allow me to see right through people with relative ease. Although a few people still confuse me a little. especially those that have gone through shit as well, as we all tend to have masks then.

    but yeah. people make a heck lotta assumptions by the way I appear.
  8. I am not entirely sure I understand what response you are asking for - maybe I am being thick this morning. *yawn*, but..
    From my experience people always get me wrong based on my appearance. I mean people are so complicated and have so many layers, no one is ever going to get it "right" or get you completely. SO I have learned to deal with it to a degree, but sometime I still get very uptight about it.
    I get the short, long blond haired, blue eyed stereotype constantly: dumb blond, ditsy, not intelligent, not professional, 10 years younger than I am, etc etc. Really bugs me sometimes. But I learned to have fun with it too. Or I overcompensate and people think I am this tough, jaded, bad ass chick with a viscous temper. Neither is entirely true.There are so many facets to my personality. I grew up a total tomboy, and I still am - but I also love all things pink and girly, like make-up.

    SO I get my kicks getting all dolled up to go to the shooting range and then kicking ass... or - my personal favorite, tee hee - was when I was running chainsaw on the ground for my husband. It was a very warm day, but you have to wear a helment chainsaw chaps, jeans, longsleeve, etc. SO long story short, when my hubby is up in a tree (we were at a campground) we get a big audience. I'm all covered up and have my hair all tucked into my helment. We get done and there is this pack of guys about our age, all macho, you know, like "I could do that" blah blah They have no idea... So my inner devil comes out and put down my saw (36" bar tyvm) Take off my helment (my hair goes to my ass) strip down to a white sweaty tank top and soccer shorts..... my husband says i am just mean. I wish I had a picture of the looks on their faces!! It was priceless!

    I have learned to use it to my advantage b/c people often underestimate me!
    #8 enigma, Jan 7, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  9. That I am quiet, innocent and friendly.



    Also that I'm a lesbian.
  10. Not necessarily from physical appearance of their body, but the clothes they pick, the style, color, smell, groom, and stature of someone can tell a lot. But as they say, never judge a book by its cover.

    Those traits have influence, for sure, but they don't *make* a person for me.

    As for someone that doesn't know me? I look like a quiet, pissed off brute most of the time, lol.
    #10 NeverAmI, Jan 7, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
    Ria likes this.
  11. I guess it's in the way I walk, mainly. Back straight, no hip rolling, like a man.
  12. Meh. I get the "I thought you were stuck up" or "thought you were a diva" thing most times.

    I think it mostly has to do with me living inside of my head and really not wanting to be bothered if it's not business or if I'm not feeling the person/people period. Which is most of the time anyway. And then this city is comprised of a lot of ESxx's. People seem to always be looking for idle chatter and men are always looking to talk to women, even when they don't necessarily find them attractive, just to be talking, or looking for an easy score. Women seem to always be openly evaluating other women's appearances also, and are generally in competition with each other for the men. I'm very aware of it, but I just choose to pay it little attention. This city is very weird.

    I get the feeling that people know I am hyper-aware of my surroundings but they don't know why, so that may not sit well with them. I also notice that I deal more with people's perceptions within the city, but when I cross 8 Mile, people really don't pay me that much attention.
  13. People often assume that because I look like my father, therefore I must act exactly like him. They're usually blatantly wrong.
  14. I can only go off of what people told me over the years. Many commented on my ambition and drive and the most compliment i always get is "you seems to have your shit together and you have a good head on your shoulders".

    In high school some guys considered me primadonna because I did not care for them and always kept to myself. Also because I always intimidated them.

    In general I can be very intimidating or reserved in person. However, there are many sides to me and thats just the way it is.

    In social context I am like a chameleon. I adapt very easily to the situation and adjust myself according to it and it is always a mask I wear that many people cannot penetrate. I do it for self protection and sensing out people worth knowing without actually revealing myself in the process.

    Lately, Ive been told that I am very intuitive and I appreciative this comment very much. because it is becoming who I am and I have embraced it.
    WellNoWonder likes this.
  15. I think everybody makes some type of subconscious determination based on appearance. One might call this a "first thought." I suppose some people stop there, but I suspect most move instantly on to "second thought"...that of giving people a chance to show us who they really are beyond appearance. We have all probably had the experience of being surprised at someone who is very different from what their appearance would initially dictate. This is why "don't judge a book by it's cover" is such a common maxim.
  16. In years past I was forever being mistaken as being gay. I am sure it had to do with me being quiet, well groomed, and smaller is stature. For some reason small/quiet in many peoples eyes = gay for a guy. I think many INFJ males get this anyways. Again, no problem with any sexual orientation, I just can't stand lazy minds that make snap judgements.

    Nowdays, the thing I get the most is people assuming I'm quite a bit younger than I am. I got this when I was younger too and hated it! When you are 20 and people think your 15 it sucks. When you are 44 like I am, and get mistaken for 34, it's all good! [​IMG]
  17. The best example of this kind of thing is the study done where a knife fight was set up in a subway between a man in a suit and a youth in a hoody. Afterwards, the spectators were asked 'Who was holding the knife' and they nearly all answered the youth in a hoody, but the man in the suit had it.

    As for me, I'm usually assumed to be very serious and studious (which I vaguely am, but not much) so people find me unapproachable. It's not great, 'cause it makes it really difficult to make friends XD
  18. I've heard it all:

    • Male prostitute.
    • Man whore.
    • Assassin.
    • Hitman.
    • Terrorist.
    • Music producer.
    • Rapper.
    • Moviestar.
    • Stock broker.
    • E-Trader.
    ...And all the things that go with those words

    I don't mind these assumptions based on my appearance, it's kind of funny! Especially when new people I meet think they know my ethnicity; almost always they say Arabic or Russian. They are surprised to hear I'm full Latino. Also, with my age, almost all of the people I meet think I'm in my 30's, and first I thought it was over my light beard I sport, but the majority of people say it's "the way you carry yourself" or your "attitude." Again, they are surprised to hear my actual age.

    Obviously there are going to be people who quickly judge and make assumptions; based on their unique experiences they've had in the past.

    What I say to that: It's all good, no worries.
    #18 Timeless, Jan 7, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  19. I think its difficult to isolate impressions based solely on physical appearance from body language and other, subconscious cues in behaviour. That being said, I suppose the most common assumption I get is that I'm a snob or a bitch or some variation thereof whenever I put some sort of special effort into my appearance. If I'm wearing jeans or track pants, and my hair is up in a pony tail, I noticed I'm perceived as friendly. "You seem nice," seems to be the common adage. It's like the Betty-Veronica sort of phenomenon.

    Mind, that's just based on variables of appearance that can be easily modified. When I was overweight, I was largely ignored. Having slimmed down, people seem to pay more attention to what I say; I don't dare think about what the assumptions behind that one are.

  20. x2 although I am still overweight.

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