December 6th, 2004

Two Thumbs Down

I am my own worst critic. It’s a rare thing when someone brings up a failing of mine that I haven’t already considered – I actually live in a semi-constant state of failure recognition. I’ve been accused of being too hard on myself, but I honestly think I have a realistic self-view.

It’s weird, then, when something like this happens: I had an improv show on Friday night, and I wasn’t very excited about it. My favorite co-perfomers weren’t in it, for the most part, and I didn’t think it was going to go very well. The “crowd” ended up being rather small, so that didn’t really help my state of mind. We did the show, people laughed, and that was that. My self-rating: not very good. Meh. It happens.

But one of my fellow improv-ers, who came to watch the show and who knows my tendencies toward negative selfward improv ratings told me it was the best they’d ever seen me do.


I replayed the show in my mind, and I still don’t see it, but this person isn’t given to hyperbole.

That kind of thing makes me wonder. When my self-rating conflicts with an outside source, I still give more credence to my rating. It’s because I know my internal processes. I know what I should be capable of and I know my motivations and those things aren’t necessarily visible to an outside observer.

It makes me wonder about perception in general. If people aren’t seeing what I know I’m doing, what am I missing in other people?

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