I was thinking last week about how people view each other and whether that's how each person actually wants to be seen. I think everyone has an idea of who he or she is, and how they want everyone else to see them, but since people are so complex it's impossible to convey all of that to everyone you meet. The people with whom you have the closest bonds obviously know a greater part of you than an acquaintance from work or the bar. However, friendships are built on common interests and, especially if your interests are widespread, even good friends may not know all of a person.
With that in mind, I was thinking over who I see myself as and how I want to convey myself to those around me. I started wondering how well that was translating over to those I see regularly, and sent out messages to some of my friends and family asking them to describe me in 3 or 4 different words. The key is to be as specific as possible, not using vague terms such as "cool" or "nice," actually trying to capture the essence of a person in a few words.
I've gotten back quite a few responses, but want to post it here as well. If you happen to read this, either leave me a comment or email me with your descriptions.
(ETA: The key to this is honesty rather than flattery. Allow me to stress that this is not fishing for compliments. If you recognize a personality flaw, please feel free to point it out as well. For instance, I realize that on occasion I come across as overly critical, stubborn, etc...and while that is obviously not my goal for how I would like people to see me, it does happen, especially when I'm having bad days.)
Once I have quite a few gathered up, I plan to do something with all of the responses. I haven't quite figured out exactly what yet, but I'm going to figure out how to put them all together in a way that expresses me.