What Do You Wish People Knew About You?

Suppose you make a new acquaintance at a social gathering. What is the one thing you would like that person to understand about you? Is there some essential bit of information that defines you as a person?

Maybe it is your chosen profession, or a particular hobby you enjoy. Maybe you feel you are defined by your belief on some topic, or your political leanings. Some people seem to think their musical tastes, or the movies they enjoy, is important to understanding who they are.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’


Similarly, even people who have known you for a long time may not know the real you. Do you ever feel as if there is a facet of your personality hidden from your friends and family? That there is something you know about yourself that others don’t seem to understand?

If you could control how others saw you, what would you choose to emphasize? What do you wish people knew about you?

Related questions: Why do we care what strangers think of us? How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better? How do you think others see you?

Can You Be Defined By What You Don’t Like?

I think most people tend to define themselves by listing things that they like. But can you be defined in the opposite way, by listing things that you don’t like?

It is conventional wisdom in politics that you cannot win an election by being against things. You need to tell voters what you are for in order to secure their vote.

Is the same thing true in life? Does it make a difference if you define yourself positively (what you like) rather than negatively (what you don’t)? Does life behave like photography, where everything is captured in a  photographic negative, but then that develops into a full picture?

Might there be a psychological toll associated with being consistently opposed to ideas, concepts, and even material things? Can you be defined by what you don’t like?

Related questions: Why do we like what we like? What music do you dislike that everyone else likes? When should you not follow the law?

What Are You Passionate About?

Each one of us has something that they are passionate about. A topic, a hobby, or a career that they obsess over, and will happily spend free time thinking about or working on. What is yours?

Share why if you wish.