Bitch on the Blog

February 18, 2012

Fly on the wall

Filed under: Questions — bitchontheblog @ 11:12
Tags: , ,

They say that when you look into a mirror you’ll see yourself differently to those who look at you. I don’t like that notion: I want to see myself as others – in their myriad varieties – do.




  1. O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!

    These days, not a fan of the Scots I but I do make an exception for Burns…… I wonder how many people know that this famous quotation comes from “To Louse: On seeing one on a lady’s bonnet at church.” I’ll post an English translation on my blog….

    In terms of the Physics of mirrors….others view you with your left opposite their right side but in the mirror you view you with your left on your left side. Lateral inversion.

    However, I see you in my imagination and consider you lucky to be able to view yourself using light rays…. there remains the question: Would the reality live up to the imagined or exceed it?

    Comment by magpie11 — February 18, 2012 @ 12:03 | Reply

    • Interesting comment about the lateral inversion. I suppose you could see yourself on video, and for that matter hear yourself speak, which is another shocking revelation, as your own voice sounds quite different when not heard partly from within yourself.

      Comment by Phil — February 19, 2012 @ 02:35 | Reply

  2. It is said that “to acquire understanding at the hands of others is to close the gates of Self-enlightenment.”

    Comment by The Old Fossil — February 18, 2012 @ 18:32 | Reply

    • You make me smile, Fossil: I do believe that “… understanding at the hands of others” does go hand in hand with “self enlightenment”. Both in need of each other. Gates open that way, not “close”. Weaving feedback into our daily life’s cloth vitally important. We need Echo. Otherwise we might as well take ourselves off to a desert island with a football to keep us company. And howl.


      Comment by Ursula — February 18, 2012 @ 20:02 | Reply

      • Others (as we) always perceive through the filters of our own self/world conceptions. The reflection from them that you seek is tinted and distorted somewhat like a funhouse mirror. Given enough input from others, the experience can be disquieting in an unhealthy way.

        To deal with this, we apply our own filters which also filter what we project onto others. It becomes an endless process. It may also prevent us from ever seeing ourselves clearly.

        Comment by The Old Fossil — February 18, 2012 @ 21:21 | Reply

  3. What an interesting notion, to possess a magic mirror on the wall, capable of showing you how you are perceived by others.

    Magic mirror, oh mirror on the wall,
    How do I appear to one and all?

    To be clear, are you asking how others may see you on the surface, in terms of physical presence and appearance? Or does your question hint at a much deeper look, one that transcends what a mirror is capable of showing you physically, but altered by your own bias and knowledge of yourself? It is easy to force a smile on others and have them believe you are happy. It is far tougher to look into that mirror with the same forced smile and convince yourself you are happy. Like I said before, interesting notion.

    Comment by Phil — February 19, 2012 @ 02:31 | Reply

    • “Physical presence and appearance”? No. I know what I look like. Let’s just say that if I hung off your arm you wouldn’t need to take me to a dark place. Though, come to think of it, there will be a time when I’ll bring veils (lacy ones) back into fashion. I am blessed with genes to die for so I’ll probably go to my grave relatively unblemished.

      No, what I want to know is how people perceive me. The person. I recently raised that question in a post which fell badly on its face because readers misunderstood. I asked something along the lines how I would see me if I met myself. WITHOUT knowing that I was sitting there, say, at dinner, next to myself. I cannot begin to tell you how much that scenario amuses me. I siitting next to ME? Dear dog in heaven: Both of us wouldn’t know what’s hit us. For both our sakes I do hope we’ll hit it off.

      Luckily, because I am pretty blunt thus giving people a cue to not mince their words I AM being given fairly honest feedback. Yet, not quite. Not really. There is always something missing. And that’s why I’d love to be that fly on the wall. Unless there is one of those sticky tapes.


      Comment by Ursula — February 19, 2012 @ 23:45 | Reply

      • Oh I remember that post! I recall making a comment that I might initially like myself, but soon after agreeing so much with me, and having so many common interests we both share, I’d rapidly lose interest, as it would be a “been there, done that” kind of thing. I would not be seeking out me in life, I’d seek someone who could transform me, make me into something more, twist me to understand another point of view, take me out of my comfort zone, and challenge me constantly. If I were with me all the time, I’d get rather bored…

        I do wonder what it is you are searching for and why you so eagerly want to know, unless it is mere amusement driving this fascination. Let me ask you a question. You believe there is something missing from feedback your receive from others, so I assume it is your strong belief that people are holding back a little. Do you hold back information when providing feedback to another when it is solicited? If so, why?

        Comment by Phil — February 20, 2012 @ 00:35 | Reply

        • Yes, Phil, I remember your reply.

          Will try again: If I were a total stranger to myself how would I perceive my persona? It’s a very difficult concept to get one’s brain around because, on the surface, it makes little sense. Though to me it makes perfect sense. I want to know how I, Ursula, see Ursula without knowing it’s me. However, as the Old Fossil pointed out, I’d obviously see myself through my own eyes. Now it’s getting even more complicated. Soon I’ll have to take the sword to the knot as Alexander did to the Gordian.

          On the whole I think I and I would get on very well indeed. And we’d never bore each other. And we wouldn’t agree with each other at all. As an intellectual exercise one of us would always play devil’s advocate – pose the counter argument. And then fight it out. Phil, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is for me to live in my company.

          In answer to your question: Yes, like a lot of my thoughts this one too amuses me. A bit like a cat toys with her prey. Till it’s dead. Luckily most thoughts have a longer life span than a mouse, a bird or a butterfly. Thoughts will follow you around, loyally. Until I cross them off.

          Do I hold back “when providing feedback … when it is solicited”? It depends, Phil. If it is “solicited” ie wanted, then probably no, I wouldn’t hold back: I don’t short change people. And I know how vital it can be to get a different perspective on one’s self.

          It’s all in the packaging: How you say it not what you say. Briefly going back to cats: I once observed to the Angel that when I SHOUT an endearment to one of the cats they’d shoot off through the back door. Yet, if I said something really terrible to them (like “I don’t like your gifts of half dead prey”) in a gentle voice they’d purr. Not as doolally as it sounds. Taught me a lot.

          Most people will assume I only refer to negative feedback because who doesn’t like positive? Not so. Not so. Positive feedback may make you quite self conscious even if it tickles you fuchsia. In fact, positive feedback might stop you in your tracks.

          Can I have some positive feedback? Please. I need to be stunted to get on with the bacon.


          Comment by Ursula — February 20, 2012 @ 12:44 | Reply

          • Will try again likewise: I do understand what you are saying with regard to debating with yourself and having the most delightful time doing so. I do not doubt, especially with your wit and intelligence that you would indeed discover many things about yourselves (you and you of course), but quite frankly, it amounts to little more than self discovery you already are capable of making when your mind has those very same conversations, discussions, and arguments with itself (oh, to be a fly on the wall when you are having this kind of deliberation in your mind). And in this regard, I find a long term relationship between Ursula 1 and Ursula 2 to be a limiting one. What discoveries, what other experiences, what growth, what breathtaking delights would you then miss out on if you didn’t supplement your relationship with yourself by expanding it to others with whom you might not share so much commonality in personality?

            Positive feedback dear Ursula? I’m delighted to offer some. There aren’t many who can match your combination of wit, intelligence, humor, and, dare I say, beauty and charm. These are qualities that transfer well into any path of your choosing, and what a wide choice you have available as such. Yet I somehow sense, although it merely a gut feeling and I may be totally off the mark, that you are holding back somewhat to put these all to full use as you ponder those choices. So do this – go off and do what puts bread on the table, as I must do the same. Then come back later and tell me if I am barking up the wrong tree or if you are indeed holding back some. I could use a little feedback too – although it doesn’t have to be positive.

            Comment by Phil — February 20, 2012 @ 14:08 | Reply

  4. I’d prefer to look as I imagine myself – less tired.

    Comment by blackwatertown — February 19, 2012 @ 21:58 | Reply

    • Paul, you are perfect. Tired, are you? I nearly said something really stupid about you getting some beauty sleep. You do know, don’t you, what sleep is really for? Sanity That’s what. Forget about lines and wrinkles. The little grey cells cannot be camouflaged with a bit of Yves St Laurent.


      Comment by Ursula — February 19, 2012 @ 23:58 | Reply

  5. Good luck with that, U. I prefer no mirrors. Look into people’s eyes to see how they see you.

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — February 20, 2012 @ 22:28 | Reply

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