No one really knows you, save for the people whom you allow into your personal circle. Everything they discern about you comes from the clothes you wear, the way you speak, and sometimes even something as empty as your skin color. This creates a picture in the person's mind, allowing them to "know" you before they know you. However, these misconceptions can sometimes lead to wildly incorrect assumptions about you, which you can then share on the internet.
Reddit user, u/bikechich, wanted to know how someone misunderstood you when they asked:
It's All About The Fingernails
People in high school assumed I was gay based on...I'm not actually even sure. And it wasn't even like them being curious, they straight up assigned that sexuality to me and refused to believe otherwise. The things they would use as "proof" were some of the biggest stretches I've ever heard. One time they took a look at my nails and were like "you paint your nails, you're clearly gay!" My nails weren't painted, it just didn't look like I clawed my way out of a hole with my bare hands. I'm sure some of them still think I'm gay years later.
The reality of the situation is that I just don't talk about the women I'm interested in openly. It doesn't seem like that should be anyone's business except for mine and the woman in question.
Lots Of People Use Canes...Right?
I've been using a walking stick for the last four years due to disability (I'm 33). People have a tendency to confuse walking sticks with the white sticks blind people use (somehow, they look nothing alike), but on top of that my condition makes my eyes extremely light sensitive, so I have to wear sunglasses even in overcast weather.
So now like half the people in the town I live in think I'm blind—an older guy once grabbed my elbow as I was preparing to cross the road, to "assist me"—only I guess some of them have gotten suspicious because they've seen me doing things you need vision for. Once some kids stood in my way as I was out walking, then when I swerved around them started triumphantly yelling about how they had tricked me into revealing that I was faking it. I let them have their moment of satisfaction and didn't say anything.
It's Always The Quiet Ones
All throughout school I was the quiet kid so people had to make up their own stories, since I never interrupted class they figured I was a golden rule follower. In reality I was using my reputation to fly under the radar so I could get away with just about anything because the teachers never thought I would do anything rebellious.
Don't Let My Height Fool You
My age. I've always been short and baby-faced, and growing up that was always a pain.
As I kid, I also seemed uncertain and unsure of myself a lot, so adults who didn't know me always felt like I might be lost, or needed help with something (if that makes sense).
One year, I showed up to my math class a few minutes early on the first day, before everybody else, and the teacher was one who I had never met. She saw me, and clearly thought I was lost. She made a comment that indicated she thought I was in the wrong class, and asked if I was looking for the 4th grade class that was next door.
She was shocked to find out the kid in front of her wasn't actually a 4th grader, but actually a 6th grader in her accelerated 8th grade math class.
Dressed For The Part
I started at a new high school my junior year. For starters, I looked like a hippy. I have very long wavy hair and dressed pretty boyish. Everyone, including the school administrators/nuns, assumed I was a drug dealer of sorts. I had never even seen weed or any drug at that point. I got "randomly" chosen for our schools monthly drug tests several months in a row and periodically there after.
People constantly asked me for hookups or where to find hookups. On the plus side, the other hippy types gravitated and became some lifelong friends of mine, though their proximity to me was still suspicious at the time.
Dude Sounds Lame
Had a friend I was crushing on that I felt liked me too. We were talking online one day and he had to go to work, he says "I'll bbl and then get to spend more time with my favorite Asian."
I asked, "who's that?"
For as long as I knew him he thought I was Asian. Once he found out I wasn't he ghosted me.
ETA: Just to say, I'm Hispanic American lol enough ppl were wondering I figured it was a good enough reason to add it here.
Secretly Listening In
I've shared this before, but I am 100% Mexican, but I don't obviously look it and even though Spanish is my first language, I speak English without an accent.
Back in college I started this job as a delivery driver/cashier at this Japanese restaurant. My first day there I was being trained by a girl that worked there, who was around my age. Most of the kitchen was Mexican or from somewhere in South/Central America where they spoke Spanish. As she is training me and teaching about the orders, I could hear comments from the back that were in the line of "Oh, I bet they're gonna f-ck" and "They want each other." It was funny to me because it was a bunch of grown men gossiping like they were in high school. I didn't really get a chance to talk to them because I was so busy learning the ropes, so I stayed quiet.
At the end of the day the owner asked me if I could could drive the cooks back home since it was on my way. I agreed and we all got in my car and I asked them in Spanish how to get to their place. They were all awkwardly silent for a bit, but then they started laughing and said, "You speak Spanish! Well, sh-t, why the f-ck didn't you say so?"
It became a lighthearted car ride and I enjoyed it and their company. We all became friends during my time working there and I would often drive them home because I enjoyed talking with them outside of work.
There's A Secret Underneath
During high school, like since I was 15, I kept falling asleep in class and looked like sh-t most of the time. Everyone (and I mean everyone, it was a small town) thought I was on drugs. I didn't know what was wrong with me but it felt like I was dying. Turns out I'm type 1 diabetic and didn't get diagnosed until I was 19.
Long Hair, DO Care
As a guy with long hair, people assume I'm a 'slacker' or something. I'm a high school English teacher. When I tell people that it usually catches them off guard.
A Charity Case
I live in a place where one religion dominates the region and it is common for the assumption of everyone being a member. You are kind of treated like a charity case if you aren't a member. I have lived here all my life and it is still constantly assumed that I am a member because I choose not to swear or I eat healthy and usually don't drink. The assumption is there because if you aren't a member you must not be willing to make choices based off of your own merit and not what people tell you is right.
Not Everyone In Service Is Voting For The Pumpkin
I had a bunch of co-workers assume I was a trump supporter because I was in the military. They treated me like ABSOLUTE sh-t for like six months. I couldn't figure it out, I hated my job because everyone hated me for no reason. I literally almost quit over how badly my co-workers treated me.
Eventually we had a conversation about politics and I mentioned something and they were all like "oh we thought you were a trump supporter". They all of a sudden became super friendly and warm toward me. I was so f-cking disgusted with those people I just continued doing my job for a little bit while I looked for new work.
The Glasses Make The Man
I sound like a major nerd and often talk to work contacts for months over the phone before meeting them in person.
I've lost count of the number of times someone has told me they thought I had glasses. But my vision is perfect.
I have 20/15 vision, am currently 6'2, am muscular, and I am a massive nerd. I've been asked to join the football team, I was pressured into playing basketball last year, but I just hate all ball sports. The only athletic thing I do is run track
Around the holidays my students often wish me Happy Hanukah. The exchange usually follows this pattern:
Student: Happy Hanukah, professor!
Me: Uh . . . thanks, Happy Hanukah!
Student: Oh, I'm not Jewish.
Me: Neither am I . . . but thanks for the sentiment. Happy Holidays!
I'm a college teacher in a Brooklyn school, so a lot of my students simply assume I'm Jewish.
This Might Break Your Brain Trying To Understand
I live in a very Hispanic/Latino area and one woman heard me speak English and yelled at me for not speaking Spanish, calling me a traitor to my ancestors and bringing shame to my past family history in Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Imagine her surprise when I told her I was Arab and Middle-Eastern. Still felt guilty for not knowing Spanish for some reason lmao.
Definitely A Big Difference Between Those Two Things
I was at a dinner party and people kept offering me drinks that I continued to decline. Eventually one woman's eyes lit up as she looked between me and my husband and then she asked, "oh my gosh, are you pregnant?" Everyone around us got quiet and I laughed and said "no, I have epilepsy."
I was handed no more glasses of wine after that!
No. Nope. No.
My ex wife was convinced I had another family in another state. Simply because she heard a kids voice in the background when I was traveling for work and sitting in a restaurant once.
During divorce depositions, i once spent a full day being questioned, and half the questions were slightly different wordings of "so you have another family/child/spouse/kid/dependent/etc..."
I Just Want To Know Where To Go
One time in Japan I asked an old lady for directions (in Japanese). I was still a beginner but I tried my best to speak in their language rather than asking stuff in English. So this lady assumed I spoke very good Japanese and started chatting. I tried telling her I couldn't understand and everyone else on the bus was trying to hide their laughter. The conversation went on for 10 minutes and I still have no idea what she was saying. She was very nice though!
Rumors Spread Far And Wide
People in high school spread rumors I was ALWAYS having sex. I'll be the first to say that nothing could've been farther from the truth, and many girls couldn't even stand me. I have no idea where the rumors came from or how they started. Some of them even made their way to the local civic theater and other high schools.
I actually had a couple instances where someone would tell me (fake name used as an example) "Sam Holtman from South High said you were having sex with blah blah blah" and I had never met the people mentioned, or even knew anyone from the other school. It happened my last two years of high school and it was very surreal. It followed me to my Sophomore year of college, but it happened significantly less often.
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