Hosted by: Cynthia Swanson & Andrew Swanson

Promoting the Real Me

I was intrigued by a paraphrased statement in writer John Scalzi’s post today called “Being Fictional”:

I am not responsible for actions of the imaginary version of me you have inside your head.

The post was in reference to micro celebrities like authors, etc. and the fictionalized personality that people build in their head based solely on the fiction that they read. There’s definitely something to be said about that, but I think the phenomenon extends into the everyday world of highly successful people.

At my day job, I like to think I’m fairly open about who I am, but when I lift my head from the computer screen I find I still run into situations where 1) people tell me I’m incredibly difficult to read unless they really know me and therefore make stuff up that has no bearing on what I’m thinking or feeling, and 2) I find people assigning fictional motives to me that I have never discussed or even contemplated.  It’s pretty daunting to be labeled by something so opposite of who you are.  Case in point:

  • MY VIEW: I’m a generally nice person.  I try to be open and welcoming, and don’t consider myself intimidating at all.  One of my key drivers is to help people: help them to get a job done, achieve their potential, rise to the occasion, realize a dream, etc.
  • FICTIONALIZED ME: Apparently, in some circles I’m a terrifying, uncompromisingly witch with impossibly high standards who tries to intimidate everyone around her.  My motives are evil to the core.
  • FICTIONALIZED ME: Closed book who works like an automaton, never showing true emotion.

The latter two are so far from who I am, how am I supposed to respond?

Until now, I haven’t known what to do or say.  But from now on, I’m going to say,

I am not responsible for actions of the imaginary version of me you have inside your head.

Not that it will help those people any.  Most of them are determined to see me in a bad light because they didn’t get what they wanted.  But it will certainly make me feel better. 

Categories: Random Thoughts

1 reply

  1. I like this quote very much.

    As for the rest, screw ’em.

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