When you meet someone new, you tend to analyze them, and whether or not you come to a conclusion about that person right away, we can’t help to pass some judgements or even to observe them. However, it’s also true that if we do that to other people, others most likely do that to us. The issue with this is that while it’s human nature to observe and pass judgement, many times we do this without any real thought. For example, if someone cuts you off on the highway, most likely you’ll observe that action and come to the conclusion that, that guy is a jerk, but for the guy who cut you off, lets say he was rushing to the hospital to be with someone very important to him, he would justify his action because he is rushing to help someone else, and wouldn’t see himself as a jerk.
This disconnect between what others perceive about us and what we know to be true based upon context, or the other way around, plays a huge part in how we perceive ourselves vs. how others perceive us. As I read in psychologytoday.com , essentially we can never fully know how others perceive us, so instead we have to interpret as best we can what others think of us. So, “we are left to rely on the accuracy of what psychologists call our “metaperceptions”—the ideas we have about others’ ideas about us.” Using this we can try to gain an understanding of what others think of us to help us build our own perception of ourselves.