How others perceive us often differs dramatically from how we think we are perceived, writes social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson. She explains that emotions and facial expression aren’t all that easy to read: What looks like interest to one observer reads like boredom or frustration to another.
In addition, our conscious and subconscious biases influence how we see and are seen. Halvorson makes readers aware of those biases and how to get around them, while detailing the three lenses (trust, power and ego) that shape how others perceive us. She also identifies certain personality types, such as “the clingy, anxious perceiver” who responds best to clear and patient direction, and “the aloof, avoidant perceiver” who isn’t likely to show gratitude or appreciation.
Halvorson teaches readers how to deal with those personalities and, most important, how to react and how not to react to minimize misunderstanding and conflict. The author easily achieves her goal to help readers learn to communicate more effectively, renew and strengthen relationships, and come across as they intended. No One Understands You and What to Do About It is a fascinating book overflowing with fresh insights and advice.
by Heidi Grant Halvorson
April; Harvard Business Review Press; $22