Perception (especially the difference between self-perception and how others see us) is a topic I find fascinating and could go on and on about; in fact, I have done so several times on my blog: here, here and here.
Recently, I was once again strongly reminded of the subject by two situations that occurred with RJ at work. The week before last, I left the office on Friday, looking like this:
Saturday morning, I went to the hairdresser's, and when RJ next saw me on the following Tuesday at the office, I looked like this:
You guessed it - he never even noticed I'd had my hair cut. One of the ladies working there remarked upon my much shorter hair when we bumped into her at the coffee machine (which is traditionally the place in all offices where the really important information is exchanged), and only then did RJ notice he hadn't noticed :-)
Never mind - he just looks at me in a different way. If he had to report me missing, he wouldn't be able to describe my outfit of the day; he'd be very well able to describe my body, though, and how he perceives my personality.
Then last week, we had a meeting with two of the people at our customer's office; we needed their input for a specific project we are working on at the moment. One of them was a lady I had not met yet, and while she was listening to RJ's explanations and answering his questions (I was there mainly to protocol what was being said), I had plenty of time to study her looks, her gesturing and facial expression. When RJ and I summed up the meeting afterwards, I mentioned a few details about her (grey stretch trousers, huge belt buckle and a necklace with an equally huge pendant, among other things), and was not amazed that he had not noticed a single one of them. Of course, he had been focusing more on what she said than on what she wore, but as I said, this incident made me realize once more how different we are in which and how many things we notice about our environment and the people around us.
Do you have an eye for detail, or do you rather go by a more general impression of your surroundings?