Wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could know exactly what people think of you? Well according to one study there’s a very simple technique that could help you understand what people really think of you.
The idea behind the technique is to realise that despite what you may think people don’t actually scrutinise you as much as you scrutinise yourself, The Independent reports.
This means that while you’re aware that you’ve put on a few pounds or that you’re having a bad hair day most people don’t even realise because they care about themselves more.
The study which was first published in 2010 by two behavioural experts Nicholas Epley, a behavioural scientist at the University of Chicago, and Tal Eyal, a psychologist at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University, claims that by realising this you can start to work out how people think.
Epley and Eval argue that because no one knows you like you tend to judge yourself more harshly than others and that there’s a disparity in the way you compare yourself compared to a stranger.
While most of us make quick judgements about people’s overall level of attractiveness, their outfit, their mannerisms, we don’t really care enough to find out more.
We’re experts about ourselves, and others aren’t. That makes it hard for us to understand what we look like in the eyes of others.
The way to figure what people think of you is to distance yourself from this knowledge, which is easier said than done but can be done using a time based mental technique.
Basically if you judge a photograph of yourself from yesterday you’ll be very critical, while if you see a photo of you from a few months ago you’re more removed from the picture and therefore see yourself in a way similar to a stranger.
Epley and Eval proved that you can induce this way of thinking by asking students to predict how other students would rate their attractiveness based on a photograph, on a scale of one to nine.
Some of the students were told their photograph would be rated later that day, while others were told that it was going to be rated several months later.
The researchers found that those who were told their photo would be rated months later accurately predicted how they’d be rated compared to those who thought they were being rated that day.
The lesson Epley says is not to be so anxious about social circumstances as people don’t judge us with anywhere near the same level of scrutiny with which we judge ourselves.