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 Managing Peoples Perception of you

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Richard Grannon
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PostSubject: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:21 am

this kind of ties together two other threads "is it better to look like a fighter or a nerd" and the "going into the bronx" thread

I said in the first thread I thought looking like a nerd would be better for SP than looking like a fighter and in the second thread that whilst I expected people to be all tough and posturing in a Liverpool city centre shopping district they surprisingly werent.

So fast forward two weeks later, I have to go back to the same shopping centre in Liverpool to pick up a visa. I get my head shaved before I go because I want to shoot some more material and stick a black tracksuit on because Im going to go straight the gym after.

Well

the difference between walking through the same area in one disguise compared to another was huge.

Looking more "hard" got me loads more negativity and the wrong kind of attention. A lot, lot more.

I got a lot of dirty/fearful looks and people (usually younger males who also consider thmeselves of the "hard" variety) properly eyeballing me.
I think I wrote on the forum a while ago about walking with 3 lads who I used to do the doors with through town and them getting loads of dirty looks and border line kick offs within like the first half an hour of being out with them. I was right there with them and I got nothing at all. I was taking the piss out of them for it, telling them they were a liability, but in the end I did just decide to go home before it went wrong Wink

I dont go into Liverpool much any more since I stopped doin doors over there a few years ago so my memory of it is my perception from the time: people round there are insecure kick off merchants who are just needlessly aggressive.

But back then I was always working so Id always be in one kind of uniform or another.

When I dress a bit more smartly (and probably look like Im from out of town, Liverpool fashion is... um... a bit backward by anyones standards), have a bit of hair I think a lot of the kick off merchants just write me off as "no threat".

We all know you shouldnt judge a book by its cover, but the fact is people do. We take a visual cue and in fractions of a second we have formed a perception and already decided unconsciously how to respond.

We are never "not communicating" we are always communicating something whether we like it or not.

Might be worth taking a step back and havin a look at yourself and wondering what kind of impression you make on people.

WHat would YOU think of you if you met you?
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maija
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:30 pm

Hey Richie,
Do you think you change the way you walk and your facial expression depending on what you are wearing? Does it manifest when you perceive the reaction that you are getting? Can you mitigate your appearance by facial expression, eye contact etc? Or is it just the outfit?

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thugsage
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:54 pm

it's enormous, the connection of hair and cloth. track suit vs. sports coat [blazer]. bald vs. school boy haircut.
facial hair. whatever. it's so fooking weird if you think about it. what the hell are we judging--in the end [i say
it in a removed philosophical way].

oddly enough, though, that doesn't really work in the area i'm in now as the standard outer garment for male
couples [of which there is a high frequency in my newly gentrifying neighborhood] is:
muscles
baldness
tattoos

way to tilt the scales and rewrite the script. now, no one knows who the tough nuts are, and who the pretty
boys in the weight room are.

it must be very confusing for the up and coming thugs lol!

"HEY YOU!!!"
"YEAH SWEETIE"
affraid
"D'OH!!!"

lol!

the hard fookers in my area tend to be slovenly, unkempt, messy haired, drunken nutters who
appear to have chosen this area as their home to retire from wilder times. mixed with those on
the dole, who are in point of fact the US version of CHAVS. and the brave gay crowd who fearlessly
buy property until the value in the neighborhood rises, and restaurants come in the area...then
sell. i reckon it'll mean we have a good chance to sell and all.

it ain't liverpool, the crack den that was decomissioned [next door] just got upgraded by a builder
and turned into expensive condo units--with new tenants Laughing
we're still throw back, pooling our resources, from different times scratch

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Blakops

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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:07 pm

Hmmm. interesting.

I would think that I come across as non-threatening, though my height can cause problems.

Walked the 5 mins from my home through the city centre last night to the Tesco Metro, last night, just after 9. Got a "what the fuck you staring at!" from a group of three, down a side street. I wasnt staring.

On the return to home, had 2 attempted staring matches with 2 different people about 2 minutes apart.

Very strange. Was it me? Was i doing something?

I do have absolutely atrocious eyesight. I always wonder if people think I am staring, when I am in effect, peering.

I will be honest. I dont play staring contests. If someone is trying to make glaring eye contact with me. I just act bored. & If I have to look at them then I take them in as a whole. So I look unfocussed.
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Richard Grannon
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:26 pm

maija wrote:
Hey Richie,
Do you think you change the way you walk and your facial expression depending on what you are wearing? Does it manifest when you perceive the reaction that you are getting? Can you mitigate your appearance by facial expression, eye contact etc? Or is it just the outfit?

It might do yeah, my awareness (shame Laughing ) at how I look might effect microexpression and meta communication

I tried mitigating my appearance with state alteration and "friendly" tactics but it wont really do much in this "uniform" in this area but create confusion

"why is that thug trying to be friendly with me? maybe so he can trick me and hit me in the head with a brick..."

I had to pick up a visa from an eastern country consul which is attached to boodles (posh jewellers) in town

they have a security system, the door is locked automatically until they buzz it open

the first time I went they had no idea who I was but they buzzed me in straight away (based soley on "thin slicing" my appearance within a few seconds... the second time I went, just two weeks later, she refused to open the door until I explained over the intercom who I was(I had phoned just two hours earlier to say I was coming)... same woman! even when she realised it was me and she had let me in she was MARKEDLY less friendly than the last time I had been

What a difference a haircut makes eh? scratch

prejudice exists for a reason though, if they arent confirmed by reality they will eventually die out

We have to take responsibility for how we come across, its all part of the "target hardening" "avoidance" " pre pre pre pre fight" thing
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darktim99

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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:23 pm

my motto is "TALK QUIETLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK"

underplay yourself and when its dancing time its MORE of a shock!
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:31 pm

I do smile more now, Because I cant see peoples expressions until they are quite close, and I used to carry just a blank expression most of the time, so as to detract from making their attention. Then i realized that it was coming across as vaguely negative, perhaps slightly aggressive, so now I smile, just friendly.
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Sharif H



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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:42 pm

I consciously change the way I carry myself all the time. Depending on where I am. It only changes slightly though. Generally, I always look switched on. Code yellow and all that.

If i know I'll be going to a particular place I often dress appropriately too. I like to blend in, be the gray man. But if anybody does happen to notice me, then they'll see an alert person.

Although I've never tried to consciously give off this vibe, I often hear the same thing from people when first meeting them; that I look like I'm a nice enough guy but they wouldn't mess with me. It's not like I ask them, people just feel the need to tell me this for some reason scratch Either way, I'm happy with their observations Smile I guess on some level it's the way I want to be perceived...
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Mike2010

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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:34 pm

Good point this, about how you dress and your hair shaping how people think of you. (I know there's more to it but this interests me)

I recently started Uni, and I've deliberately bought a lot of clothes that make me look a bit more like a chav (i.e. striped jumpers and Fred Perry polos). I really didn't want to meet people on the first day and appear weak. Odd I suppose, but i'd rather be in the driving seat than let some lads slighly younger than me and a lot less mature see me as one of them.


Has anybody considered what happens when everyone HAS to dress the same? When I was [briefly] at Catterick with the army I was in a Platoon of 60 lads, all as hard as nails (it was a Parachute Reg intake).
When we were all at the station waiting to be picked up and taken to the base for the first time (dressed in civvies and hair uncut) there was a huge amount of 'offensive defence' posturing (and jockeying with words/volume) to figure out who was the loudest. It was a very tense environment. Some [most?] lads coped by being quiet and sitting down, others joined the 'loud' group.

About 3x days later, everyone had a uniform and a grade 2 haircut. We didn't know each other. Only about 2 in the group were still being loud, and even then they weren't aggressively loud - my point is that EVERYONE WAS FRIENDS. Language was almost always 'Oi MATE' rather than 'Oi YOU!'
I know that's a different example to, say, being in prison. But it's food for thought, surely. Everyone was still anonymous, but nobody wanted to isolate themselves by being a dick.


Also what always confuses me in the pubs round our way is that 'pretty boys' in pink shirts with spiked up hair, weigh 50kg etc never get into fights/started on. (Actually one guy I know did actually get headbutted, and another got his jaw broken..).

I have a mate though who's big, always drunk, dresses and acts like a repressed homosexual and has the danger avoidance skills of a hedgehog. He has never, ever, been the victim of any unpleasantries from people he didn't know. Bizzarre world.
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:32 pm

A haircut certainly does make a huge difference.

There was another thread "the image we project" where I mentioned how just changing my haircut alone made me an instant threat and other "hard" looking people would glare and stare etc. That's all a little amusing in daylight, but I wouldn't want to have that same "amusing experiment" occur at night when I'm walking through a potential dodgey area.

The flip side of that was that the "passive/aggressive angry/disfunctional NON hard/NON fighter" type of people would gladly get out of my way. It was nice, for once, not be "casually" elbowed and "discretely" shouldered on purpose trying to get to the subway/tube. I hate that. Evil or Very Mad

I've since let my hair grow back in again just enough to not be mistaken for a drug dealer or criminal, but still short enough that it's not a liability.

What I always find funny is where someone looks the part and acts totally differently. Sometimes you see little guys in suits/ties/ etc trying to "walk tough" and I think it's kinda funny.

or how about when the big, shaved head, looks like a biker fellow, ends up being Mr.Jollygreen Giant.
scratch


This has led me to (maybe wrongly) pay more attention to how people walk, their gait, and how they carry themselves instead of actually how they look on the surface. It's interesting, what you can pick up, just by observing mannerisms and eyes/facial expressions.

flower
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thugsage
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:42 pm

D.M.B. wrote:
This has led me to (maybe wrongly) pay more attention to how people walk, their gait, and how they carry themselves instead of actually how they look on the surface. It's interesting, what you can pick up, just by observing mannerisms and eyes/facial expressions. flower

i think i do that...but it's still hard to absorb. sometimes i see alpha qualities, and agro expressions and i'm still thinking,
"are you fooking serious?" possibly to a flaw--me. but i also look for that volatile expression of being sort of 'bugged' and
kind of relaxed. i've known a few who seemed possitively bonkers, either in a numb and slothful dopey mode, or all out
"where the hell did that come from" state. possibly psychotic, or just weird. impressive for the results though. i think i make
a personal inward study out of watching people move and trying to gain insights. study

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D.M.B.

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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:09 pm

Russ the Muss wrote:
D.M.B. wrote:
This has led me to (maybe wrongly) pay more attention to how people walk, their gait, and how they carry themselves instead of actually how they look on the surface. It's interesting, what you can pick up, just by observing mannerisms and eyes/facial expressions. flower

i think i do that...but it's still hard to absorb. sometimes i see alpha qualities, and agro expressions and i'm still thinking,
"are you fooking serious?" possibly to a flaw--me. but i also look for that volatile expression of being sort of 'bugged' and
kind of relaxed. i've known a few who seemed possitively bonkers, either in a numb and slothful dopey mode, or all out
"where the hell did that come from" state. possibly psychotic, or just weird. impressive for the results though. i think i make
a personal inward study out of watching people move and trying to gain insights. study

Yeah, I think you're on to something and I didn't even know I was doing that... but by dissecting and breaking down qualities and mannerisms in other people, I've also been examining my own a lot more as a result. Like Richie said, we are communicating something one way or another... guess I want to make sure I'm only understood when I want to be, not before lol!

cheers Russ!

cheers
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maija
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:32 pm

I agree with you both about watching how people walk and carry themselves. I do think we pick up on mannerisms and body language much more than we know, however I'm sure I'm wrong about people sometimes so I feel it's good to practice to pick up on the CORRECT clues and not the incorrect ones.
I personally take a somewhat perverse pleasure in giving mixed messages - how I dress/how I act, for no real reason but my own amusement . I'm irritated by peoples' assumptions when they are not warranted and I guess that's why I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt for their LOOKS, but try to watch what is underneath.
Now, obviously there are 'uniforms' that do distinguish certain 'types', and I know that sometimes what you see, is indeed what you get.

Oh, I was going to add - if there is a thug uniform, is there a victim uniform/manner? I remember Richie, you wrote about your friend as an outward 'nerd' who never gets fra*%ed with, so it's obviously not so simple.
My Eskrima teacher always said it was good to have acting skills. Perhaps this ability to morph is a good one too ...?

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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:39 pm

maija wrote:
I agree with you both about watching how people walk and carry themselves. I do think we pick up on mannerisms and body language much more than we know, however I'm sure I'm wrong about people sometimes so I feel it's good to practice to pick up on the CORRECT clues and not the incorrect ones.
I personally take a somewhat perverse pleasure in giving mixed messages - how I dress/how I act, for no real reason but my own amusement . I'm irritated by peoples' assumptions when they are not warranted and I guess that's why I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt for their LOOKS, but try to watch what is underneath.
Now, obviously there are 'uniforms' that do distinguish certain 'types', and I know that sometimes what you see, is indeed what you get.

Just watched this... it definitely ties into what we are talking about. Being perceptive + self awareness = Target Hardening

mentioned about halfway thru ....

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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:52 pm

Richie some forms of prejudice survive repeated encounters with the facts because it fills an important role for some people to continue to believe in their prejudices.
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:57 pm

I find part of the probelm is that our society has degenerated to the point where we even have to think about what we look like and its relation to the chances of being attacked. For me, I dress the way I feel and do what I want, and if anyopne has an issue then fuck them, what do I care what neanderthals and other assorted A holes think of me.Just by the way I can walk and "feel" is enough to keep the little crappers away from me.if I must be in a rough area I dress like "regualr guy" ( which I do anyway) and just go about my buisness with self centered determination not showing intrest in anybody or anything( but with radar on of course)
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:25 pm

Hey Richie, I wonder what kind of reaction you would have got if you wore your black tracksuit, shaved your head, and skipped through the town centre with a big smile and waving at everyone? Same clothing, but who is going to stare you out when your acting like that? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:13 am

Danite wrote:
Richie some forms of prejudice survive repeated encounters with the facts because it fills an important role for some people to continue to believe in their prejudices.

Osu! you are quite correct and I shouldnt have said that a prejudices survival is soley reality based, for a prejudices survival is not *bows*



Quote :
Hey Richie, I wonder what kind of reaction you would have got if you wore your black tracksuit, shaved your head, and skipped through the town centre with a big smile and waving at everyone? Same clothing, but who is going to stare you out when your acting like that?

Maija kinda already asked me that one, would make a good youtube video though eh?

Maija, a victim uniform would be environment specific:

a mate of mine told me last night of his time in new york, some doormen (bouncers) pulled him and his friends to one side and told them not to bar hop by foot whilst wearing suits becuase they would get clocked, followed and mugged in that area

in that context, suits would have been the "victim uniform"

here in liverpool, in certain clubs, it would mean something else entirely, perhaps even the opposite- context, context, context though eh?



...he also told me a tale of running out of money, not being able to afford the ymca (???) and being advised by a new york cop to stay the night in a knocking shop in hells kitchen, his description of the bedroom nearly made me puke
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Danite



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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:20 am

Hey Richie I knew you knew that! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:07 pm

Weird day today (Sunday). No son this weekend so went clothes shopping. I have been followed by a store detective or member of staff in every shop! I am assuming that 1 of them was suspicious of me & passed my description round, but bloody hell, beyond a joke!!! Cant figure out why? Dressed normally, trousers and top. I should hire myself out as a proffessional distractor for shoplifters. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Managing Peoples Perception of you   Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:44 pm

Just buy some Deidre glasses mate What a Face
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