Perception vs Reality, Do You Need to Manage It?




Hope we all have gone through situations where we might be scratching our heads about why our boss, colleague or even friend is not thinking right about you. You might have gotten frustrated over the situation. Then a thought came to our mind ” परसेप्शन ठीक नहीं है ” (his perception is not right).

But have we ever thought of why there is a gap between “Perception” and “Reality? Why does this happen? Ideally, it must be the same. Unfortunately, it is not and this is the reality of life. Before going in for further discussion, let us have a look at the different possibilities we can face in our lives. Look at the options below:

  • Truth is Truth
  • Perception is Reality
  • Reality is Perception

By the time you think of which one is/are true, let us look at the literary definition of these words “Truth and perception”.


“The organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment.” (Wikipedia)


“The real facts about a situationevent, or person”. (Cambridge Dictionary)

So it is very clear, that “Perception” is the opinion made by someone based on sensory or cognitive interpretation of information or environment whereas “Truth is real facts”.

Reality is the “state of things as they are, rather than as they are imagined to be”.

So basically, reality represents truth whereas perception may or may not be reality. There could be a variance of 0% to 100% between perception and reality. So how and when this gap is created?

Please go back to the above definition. Let us talk about how a person perceives another person. It is based on how one person is sending sensory and visual signals to another person through oral and written communication, body language, physical appearance and actions and how the receiving person interprets it for his own understanding. If the other person who is receiving these signals interprets these signals differently than it is intended, then definitely a gap is going to be created.

This kind of gap is obvious as two people can never have the same thought process and the same sensory and cognitive ability. Their upbringing, life experiences, the environment where they are living, and a host of other factors shape up one’s thought processes.

So, the question is how to eliminate or at least minimize these differences in intent and interpretation. The solution may be lying in a closed-loop communication with the receiver, your own ability to explain things at the level of the receiver’s ability to understand. There are a few ways to do the close loop communication as listed below:

  • The communicator must reaffirm from the receiver what he has understood, wherever possible.  
  • Written communication must be clear and simple to understand.
  • Thoughts and actions must be connected to send the right signal to the receiver.

How Important is Creating a Right Perception?

Just think of a situation in your professional life where you want to create a certain image of yourself as a sincere, honest and dedicated team player by your actions. But if your superiors are perceiving you otherwise then it will be very detrimental to your career growth. Your superiors will not be appreciative of your effort and you will not find any motivation to put in effort for a good show. From here a reverse spiral will start if you do not take necessary corrective action to make them believe the way you are thinking of yourself.

The same situation can arise in your personal space and a strong relationship can get destroyed because of differences in perception of others about you and reality as you think for yourself. So it is very important to align the perception closer to reality.

Do we need to manage it?

Yes and No. So you are thinking how it can be both? Either it should be “Yes” or “No”. Let me explain it. You know how important our own image is in other people’s eyes. Their behaviour and approach towards us are totally dependent on what is our perceived image. So we have to be cautious of what kind of impression we are creating in front of others and need to do the course correction or explain it to the other person if he does not perceive the way we want it to be.

So “Yes” we need to manage the perception about ourselves. But if we want to create a false image in public life that is not our true self then it is “No”. Creating a false image is always dangerous for us as it is going to be shattered someday.


Communication in itself is a vast subject for discussion. We will not take it up here but since this is a very critical factor in creating the right perception. Direct one-to-one communication wherever possible is the best remedy to align other people’s perceptions of your real self.

Be your true self, be it your professional space or personal space. Instead of creating a false image, it is always better to work on our weaknesses and improve. But it is not easy to work on our own weakness as we do not accept it. But my strong advice is please go for it, it will be a wonderful journey of self-evolution. This is my own life experience.

If you follow this path of being true to yourself, you do not have to do any kind of perception management rather you have to keep your communication right to be perceived in the right way. Your life will become very simple without any complexity. Non-complex life is always stress-free and joyful. A joyful person spreads happiness and always has a positive impact on the surroundings. He always touches the right cord in his personal and professional space which generates the right kind of music.

I am leaving it up to you to find the Truth of Perceived Reality. You can share your own thoughts based on your experiences in your personal and professional life.

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