What Color are Your Glasses?


You know what rose colored glasses are, right? People who are said to be wearing rose colored glasses are said to be seeing the world as only pleasant and happy. We scoff at people wearing rose colored glasses. They are naive, sanguine, and overly optimistic. But, glasses come in all colors. They all distort your perception.

It’s important to know what color your glasses are, so that you know how you are misperceiving the world and the impact you have on it. The glasses you wear change both how you see the world and how the world sees you.

There are red colored glasses. People wearing them walk around seeing red. Everything is a threat to them and they must take action immediately to remove it. They’re on edge, ready for anything. They get angry all the time and figure that everyone is angry with them.

If you don’t know what color glasses you wear, you can check by comparing your perception with someone else’s. If they’re looking at the same thing you are, but coming up with vastly different conclusions about it, then you know that one of you, or both, are wearing colored glasses. However, you’ve got to pick someone who thinks differently than you and sees the world as a different place; otherwise you are only confirming your own bias.

There are blue colored glasses. You put them on and you get the blues. Perhaps having the blues helps you sing well, but you’re so preoccupied by what you don’t have and what you’ve lost that you forget what you do have.

Having colored glasses is a lot like having a car that needs a front end alignment and pulls to one direction. If you keep your hand on the wheel and compensate, you’re fine. If you let go and allow the car to steer itself, you drift off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Back when I ran a sawmill, I couldn’t look at a tree without counting up how many two by fours I could get out of it. I don’t know what color glasses those were, but it was hard to simply get pleasure from trees. You find a lot of people like that, so preoccupied with their work that they can’t kick back and enjoy.

There are some that have a different pair of glasses on every day and see the world differently on Tuesday than they do on Thursday. They may believe they had it all wrong before, but now they have it right; or they may conclude that they can’t trust their own perception on any day of the week.

I suppose there are yellow colored glasses that expose cowardice, green colored glasses that make everything look like money, and purple colored glasses that allow you to see fairies and unicorns. The colors and varieties are endless because there are infinite mistaken ways we can perceive; but, because there is only one world out there, there is only one way we can perceive accurately.

The worst are the shit colored glasses. Wear them and everything looks like shit.

If your view of the world does not change from day to day, then maybe it’s not colored glasses that are affecting your view of the world, maybe it’s your eyeballs that are tinted. Maybe you can’t do anything to significantly change your perception. People are born with different temperaments; they have different happiness set points, degrees of reactivity, and levels of affability. You’re well off when you just know what your default setting is, and make adjustments accordingly.

Is there anyone who sees the world accurately? Anyone whose view is not tinted by their own biases, prejudices, and preconceptions? I don’t see anyone, but maybe that’s my bias; I haven’t checked everyone yet; and, even if I did meet someone who had it all right; how would I know?

This, I can say for certain, though. The person who questions her judgment, who checks out her perceptions with others, who is always willing to be proven wrong and to learn something new is more likely to be more right than anyone else.

Published by Keith R Wilson

I'm a licensed mental health counselor and certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor in private practice with more than 30 years experience. My newest book is The Road to Reconciliation: A Comprehensive Guide to Peace When Relationships Go Bad. I recently published a workbook connected to it titled, How to Make an Apology You’ll Never Have to Make Again. I also have another self help book, Constructive Conflict: Building Something Good Out of All Those Arguments. I’ve also published two novels, a satire of the mental health field: Fate’s Janitors: Mopping Up Madness at a Mental Health Clinic, and Intersections , which takes readers on a road trip with a suicidal therapist. If you prefer your reading in easily digestible bits, with or without with pictures, I have created a Twitter account @theshrinkslinks. MyFacebook page is called Keith R Wilson – Author.

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