I wrote, a month or two ago, about an exercise in which one attempts to describe himself from the perspective of someone he has just met. I will do that here, basing my description on a specific person to whom I’d been introduced an hour or so before, during a social gathering. Below is how I expect that person would describe me, based on our interactions.
He is a rather short, stocky guy with an unremarkable head of hair and a well-developed double chin. He attempts to be affable, but you can tell he’s a bit uncomfortable with new people. He doesn’t have a genuine “happy to meet you” smile; it’s more of a stress smile, the sort of response you’d expect during a first meeting with a new doctor.
He’s not unfriendly, he’s just a little withdrawn, except for his strained attempt to be outgoing. I’m a little embarrassed for his efforts; almost anyone should be able to see through them. He’s a little like a lonely puppy, starved for attention but afraid of rejection.
It’s hard to tell, at this stage, whether he’s unusually bright or extraordinarily dull; he could be either. Or neither. I’d probably not invite him to a dinner party, expecting him to strike up conversations.
I’m not suggesting the person’s description of me is spot on, only that I think that’s the way he’d describe me shortly after the first meeting.