Signs You See Yourself Differently Than You Others Do

by Carina Wolff

We all have our own perception of ourselves, but it can be hard to tell if this self-image is accurate or not. Unless you're checking in with your friends or doing some frequent self-reflecting, you may be exhibiting some signs that you don't view yourself the same way other people do. Sometimes this can mean that others have a more favorable impression of you, such as the case of people who have lower self-esteem, but other times, it means that people view your actions as malicious or annoying when you see them as totally innocent. Recognizing this disparity can help you improve not only yourself, but your relationships as well.

"There is one thing in this life that you will never get to see with your own eyes and it is the one thing that you spend more time with than anything else: you," says Scott Dehorty, LCSW-C over email. "Others are able to see us, but there is one thing they will never see: what is inside of us. It makes sense that there is a disconnect between how we see ourselves and how others see us. This is just a basic fact of life, but it can lead to significant mental distress if there is a vast discrepancy."

If you're not sure if how you see yourself is the same way other people see you, pay attention to these seven signs that you don't view yourself the same way as other people do.


Compliments Are Difficult To Hear


Reacting oddly to someone's genuine compliment can be a sign that your self-perception is off. "When you hear a compliment, it is automatically dismissed and feels very uncomfortable," says Dehorty. "There is not even a consideration that the one giving the compliment has any idea what they are talking about. The positive words absolutely conflict to how you feel about you, so they must be untrue."


You Experience Imposter Syndrome


Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in accomplished people who feel that they aren't deserving of their success or have reached it out of luck, and they fear that eventually people will discover that they're a "fraud." "You may have the feeling that if people did know who you were, they would immediately 'out' you and you would lose your job, relationship, or friends," says Dehorty.


You Feel Alone


People spend time alone because they feel like others don't want them around or they believe they have nothing to offer. "You may turn down invitations and make up excuses as to why you cannot go somewhere with others," says Dehorty. "They are seeking your company, but you do not see the value they are seeing."


You Feel Like No One Really Knows You


If you feel like no one really knows or understands you, you might not see yourself in the same way everyone else does. "You may often feel misunderstood or not heard," says Dehorty. "This becomes frustrating, leading to a further feeling that no one knows you."


You Feel Significantly Better/Worse Than Others


Constant comparison to others can warp your view of yourself. "You have an inflated sense of self and feel that those around you are 'less-than,'" says Dehorty. "They are not as smart, skilled, or insightful as you. The other side of the coin is feeling that everyone is better than you."


You're Extremely Introverted


"People who view themselves as shy typically identify with feelings of anxiety and worry about social engagement," says Mayra Mendez, Ph.D., LMFT over email. "Others may make different attributions perceiving the shy person as disengaged, stand-offish, and egocentric."


You're Extremely Extroverted


Extroverts can also be misinterpreted as ewll. "People who view themselves as extroverted may describe themselves as friendly, socially engaged, endearing, and involved," says Mendez. "Others may view the extroverted person as intrusive, invasive, lacking boundaries, and a know-it-all."