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How Others See You

Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain Media

Science, Arts, Social Sciences, Performing Arts

4.639.3K Ratings

🗓️ 3 July 2023

⏱️ 51 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


It's not easy to know how we come across to others, especially when we're meeting people for the first time. Psychologist Erica Boothby says many of us underestimate how much other people actually like us. This week, we revisit one of our most popular episodes to look at how certain social illusions give us a distorted picture of ourselves.

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This is Hidden Brain. I'm Shankar Vedanta. Many of us spend enormous amounts of time asking ourselves what other people think of us.


Do they notice our flaws? Are they mocking us behind our backs? Do they think we're boring?


This sort of rumination can be exhausting, anxiety provoking, and above all else it's often spectacularly wrong.


There's just so many things that we mistakes that we fall into these sort of


social traps that lead us to be a lot more pessimistic about


our social lives than kind of reality warrants.


Today on the show, why are assessments of how people see us can be so off base and how these incorrect


impressions shape our relationships at home and in the workplace. How to see the


world with greater clarity and walk with greater confidence, this week on Hidden


Brain. When we talk talk to other people, we are often trying to figure them out, but we also try to guess what the other person thinks of us.


We worry, how am I coming across? Are my flaws on


prominent display? Or does this person think I'm cool? Most of us think we are good


judges of our social interactions, that we can tell if other people like us.


But new research suggests this is often not the case.


Our perceptions of our social interactions are often distorted. At the University of Pennsylvania's


Wharton School, psychologist Erica Boothby studies these distortions and what we can do about them.


Erica Boothby, welcome to Hidden Brain.


Thanks for having me.


I'd like to take you back to the start of your interest in this topic, Erica.


You were in grad school and sitting at a cafe with a


friend and you'd also plan to meet a potential collaborator at the cafe. She


showed up and you went over and started chatting. What happened next?


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