One of my friends who keeps up with the blog asked that I tackle this subject. With the closing of the house quickly approaching, I figured this would be a great time to dive into a non-decor, house, move, meltdown, excitement topic, lol!!! So here we go!
(Photo by @bodyonemedia)
Picture the introduction of two contenders at a boxing match if you will… “In this corner we have WYA, weighing in at… A LOT. And in this corner you have WYD, weighing in at… what we’ve been conditioned to think is A LOT.” In a nutshell, this is how I view the two. Who you are and what you do is always duking it out, vying for the weightier or more valuable spot within the perception of people.It’s the one-two punch when you’re in a social networking session. The first question is, “who are you?” Answer, “I’m Ingrid Bohannon.” The second question is ALWAYS, “what do you do?” It’s so expected until most times I combine the two answers when I introduce myself or when the first inquiry is made. Because that’s what’s really being asked anyway; what do you do? People will forget your name but remember what you said you did. “Honey, what was that girl’s name that said she used to work in the Mayor’s office?”…. right? When people inquire about who you are, all they’re really getting at is WHAT DO YOU DO? So essentially, in this world we live in today, who you are and what you do, seem (operative word) to have become one in the same. Who are you implies, what’s your status? Are you someone important? Based on what you do, where you do it, and who you do it for. The Executive Assistant for the Senior Adviser to the Governor will get more props than the Executive Assistant to the Owner at Pools Plus. It’s the higher-pitched “Oh”, after you tell them that let’s you know you’ve touched their “this is someone to know” or “I’m impressed” button.
This melding into one of two contenders for the top slots of peer perception, is rather unfortunate, because the value-related entirety of one’s existence is summed up with less than a minuscule amount of information about you. It would take a very detailed conversation to get a glimpse into who a person really is, yet when asked and answered, “what they do”, wraps it up from there. Interest in who you are will definitely wane or soar depending on your answer. Which is why many people put a nice bow on what they do that it might register at a higher ranking in someone’s perception. Consider Administrative Assistant vs. Secretary, Front Desk Coordinator vs. Receptionist, Custodial Engineer vs. Janitor, Client Relations Administrator vs. Customer Service Representative, Media Distribution Associate vs. Mailroom Clerk. People tend to place more value on achievements associated with celebrity, prestige or monetary status, as dictated and programmed by society. Which makes it all the more difficult to promote and value inward self-development and character achievements. Who wouldn’t want to be rewarded with the status and fortune? Socially, these bestowments are typically reserved for one’s outward achievements, rarely for the inward.
And then there is gender relativity too. With men, who you are and what you do are definitely one in the same. All their lives their measured by what they do in determining who they are, and their self-esteem is tied to it. For this reason a man will delay getting married until he feels he’s reached a point in his life where what he does is significant enough to him. Asking the “what do you do” question breeds a state of comparison in both men and women once answered, which sometimes leads us to asking that other popular question, (discussed in a post a few weeks ago),“Should I Be Further Along?”And we all begin to feel better or worse about ourselves based on “where we are” in life. But it’s women, who (in my experience) become envious of their peers that have elevated to a level they themselves desire and may have been striving for. I’m not saying men don’t experience these same emotions, but it’s on a whole other level with women. I’ll save that for a later post, lol!
(Photo by @bodyonemedia)
The two contenders continue their fight to remain separate. But in the end, the fight is only in our minds. When we block out all the noise, we realize that what we do is only important to our egos. It’s who we are that matters most, despite what you see and hear all around you. A mindfully healthy individual will focus more on elevating that ranking first and foremost, regardless of the societal bent towards status judging and shaming.
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know your thoughts below in the comments. Until next time….