Have you ever looked through profiles on 2RedBeans and noticed a few people with photos that looked different from their other photos? As if their photos were of two completely different people? How do you know which photo is the one that is truly representative of themselves?

We discovered that when people swipe through profiles, the photo they believe represents the person is the one that looks “most realistic”. However, when our matchmakers met clients who had profiles on 2RedBeans, they realized most of them looked better in real life than they did in their profile photos. In fact, some looked even better than the photos they considered to be their “best”.

Why does this phenomenon occur? According to Bessie, our matchmaker, most people don’t truly understand themselves. They’re unsure of how they should present themselves to others. They don’t realize that others see them differently than they see themselves.

How you see yourself is different than how others see you

Psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram created the Johari window to help people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. The Johari window has four quadrants, as illustrated below:

The top left quadrant, known as the “arena”, represents what is known by a person about themselves and is also known to others. This can include factors such as physical appearance or marital status.

The “blind spot” quadrant represents what a person doesn’t know about themselves but others know.

The “facade” quadrant represents what the person knows about themselves that others do not know.

Lastly, the “unknown” quadrant represents what is unknown by a person about themselves that is also unknown to others.

The objective of the Johari window is to improve our perceptual process. It encourages disclosure and feedback to increase our “arena” and reduce the “blind”, “facade” and “unknown” areas.

The “unknown” area in Johari window also tells us something important.

What you perceive yourself to be, may not be your actual self

Like we mentioned earlier, a lot of our clients look better in real life than in the photos they post online. This could be because they don’t think they’re attractive so they don’t put in the effort to improve themselves in order to show their attractive side to others.

This is common among clients with an engineering background. Having to spend so much time behind a computer looking at code and mathematical models, their social and communication skills become neglected. They often appear timid, lacking confidence and most importantly, unaware of their strengths. They lack the capability to express themselves properly to others. All the above may even lead to psychological projection.

According to Everyday Health, psychological projection is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with those unwanted feelings.

We once had a 31-year-old client, an associate professor at a renowned university. She was an expert in her field. However, her lack of experience made her not much an expert in relationships. She told us that she wanted us to help her find her other half because she didn’t believe any man would want her. When we matched her with someone who was attracted to her, she was skeptical saying, “He must have agreed to go on a date with me out of politeness, not because he really likes me.”

During their first date, topics mainly revolved around her field of research, politics, philosophy and social issues. Because they didn’t talk about anything too personal, she came to the conclusion that he wasn’t interested in her. This was far from the truth. He told us that he thoroughly enjoyed the date and that she was the smartest woman he had ever met. He was a sapiosexual; a person attracted to intelligence.

How should you go about lessening those unknown areas of yourself?

  1. Learn to be open

No matter the situation, be it interacting with the opposite sex or on dating platforms, you can try to be more open about yourself. Create an image of yourself by talking about your experiences your strengths and anything unique about yourself.

  1. Learn not to just hear, but to listen attentively

It is important to listen to feedback from others. There are always things you are blind to that others are aware of, hence, the “blind” spots. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t be defensive when communicating with others. Learn to be accepting of differing points of views, feedback, and opinions. Reason logically but at the same time, express curiosity about others and be proactive!

  1. Seek professional advice

Above all else, you can seek unbiased professional advice from dating experts or professionals! With their experience dealing with these topics and issues, they can provide you with guidance.

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