The Sin of Omission

Last week Pete Wilson posted on “Impression Management” what he calls “the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. It’s a conscious or unconscious (but usually conscious)  attempt to influence the perceptions of other people through controlling information in social interaction.”

I am pretty skilled in this. Not that it is something to brag about. Maybe my “impression management” skills make me more qualified to be in communications? Maybe it is my WOO factor? But maybe they keep me from ever really feeling completely known?

Here, on the blog, I have figured out how to reveal enough that I seem transparent while leaving out the tidbits that I fear might send you packing.

There are a few things I have conveniently left out. (Like my oh-so-random love for green wigs.)

Don’t get me wrong. I am here. I am honest. I am authentic. What you see is what you get. But there are things I have left out for the sake of “impression management.” Please forgive me. I am just a work in progress. Adding one more thing to my to-do list.

Do you struggle with this? Is there anything you have omitted lately?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • How fun to know you here, even if not IRL yet… (blissdom!) and know that even in print, on a screen you're so good to know! Looking forward to the IRL version soon!

  • I wholeheartedly agree. Working in media, I think there's a natural tendency to spin, either for the company or ourselves, because we want people to think well of us or or workplace. And yet, there is that whatever is good, whatever is lovely, think on these things passage so perhaps it's the motive. Are we just trying to encourage people to think about good things, or image management? That Shine song by the Newsboys runs through my head with it's question, "What's my motivation."

  • I usually face the opposite problem…I pretty much let anything fly. I really don't care if people know some of the more uncomfortable things from my past but when they're out there a lot of people run in fear (so to speak.) I'm having to work on not really omitting but just leaving some things in the "you ask, I'll tell" category.
    My recent post 31 Days in Proverbs Day 31: Bring on the ladies

  • We are all looking for affirmation, validation, and acceptance, and when we take that to anything or anyone but God we become "Impression Managers". Others have called it the 'Poser' or 'Fig Leaf', the false self we present to everyone. We fear what they would think of us, because we are giving them the power to invalidate and reject us.

    When we take those needs to God, and live in who He says we are, then we will not care what others think of us, they will not have the power to invalidate us. Like the woman at the well, Jesus offers us water that will quench our thirst. We can drink that or continue to drink the water from the “Impression Management” well.

    Rocco
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  • Love the green wig, my friend! You wear it well. I don't really know an answer to your question on this post. I think I am sometimes transparent to a fault. Still working through that one. We are all works in progress though. Thank God that he is committed to finishing the job He began in us!
    My recent post The Missing Piece

  • As a professional speaker in training, I did an informal survey the other evening of popular speakers on you-tube and what they looked like and how they dressed. It was really interesting that very few were "great looking" people. There was Seth Godin with his bald head, John Maxwell who could stand to lose a few pounds, and Steve Jobs in jeans and sneakers.

    All insightful people with a great message. It helped me see that a powerful message can be delivered in impressive fashion by ordinary looking people that you may not find on the prime time news. I think this is a more authentic way to go than trying to be someone that you are not.

    But in saying that… maybe Seth Godin should try the green wig… hey purple cow… green wig… it might just work!

    My recent post Shorten Your Tweets For Success

    • Yes, it is amazing the "instruments" used to deliver messages.

      The more I think on this, the more I think that the key to this is sometimes waiting to get to the other side of a problem to share with a lot of people. Then you can be transparent but also have a measure of learning and redemption.

      That being said, we need to find a small community someplace where we can be COMPLETELY REAL AND KNOWN while we are in the midst of stuff. People who can help us bridges the gaps. People who know are downfalls. People who can help pick us up.

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  • I think everyone does this to a degree as a response to social pressure. We have an innate desire to be accepted, so we become what we think others expect us to be, instead of displaying our true selves, and risking rejection.

    Ultimately, this tends to lead to identity crisis, and a lot of frustration, as it is difficult to manage impressions in the long term, especially in personal interactions.

    It doesn’t mean that we have to air all of our dirty laundry. But we should work to cut out the things we do and/or say just to impress or attract other people.

  • oh my dang, i love that picture!

    and i do the exact same thing. i feel as though the "me" that people read and get to know on the grit is authentically me. but it's only a slice of me. there are some slices that i hold back for a variety of reasons. the two biggest are my own image management and the fact that i represent thrive africa.

    and if i'm honest… i think i blame the ministry for things that really fall under image management.

    i think it's okay that i keep some of me back. the internet simply isn't the place to lay it all out there. but i think some of my reservation is straight up pride. and fear (of rejection). and in my year of risk, maybe i'll start putting more out there than i would have in the past.
    My recent post she was my first

    • i LOVE "the alece comment flood." i can always tell when you are catching up on your reading…or can't sleep.

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  • We all want to put our best foot forward. But, people tend to relate to real people. We can kind of like the green wigs, and other little quirks, as they add dimension to the impression that we get. Of course, you have to be careful not to commit the sin of TMI.
    My recent post Now “choice” is controversial?

  • Can I borrow the wig next time we have lunch 😉 it's FAB !
    My recent post God is a God of Second Chances