At one time or another, we all judge or perceive certain things to be true. It’s inevitable. Much as we might try to avoid it, it’s difficult not to. Sometimes we’re right on the money, sometimes we are painfully wrong – but each time we have formed an opinion. It’s just the way we humans function.
I think of the times that I’ve gotten into a discussion or an argument with someone where they’ve said to me “well, that’s just your perception.” Clearly there is a strong difference of opinion at hand and the “mental impressions” that each person has formed in his or her mind are differing for one reason or another. I have learned that in this life, people can form very strong opinions about anything and everything – topics minute and seemingly inconsequential to some may be HUGELY significant and important to others.
Take, for example, the fabric selection for a new sofa. This is something that I deal with on a pretty regular basis with some of my clients. While to some folks it may be such a minor decision that they almost don’t even care to make it, to others it is a pain-staking process to choose the right fabric, one that takes hours, days, sometimes weeks to perfect. Some might perceive that person as, well, a little nutso.
And in the past, I would have been all over that. But I have come to understand that there are all types of reasons why people go through the decision making process the way that they do… Some don’t care because they have jobs where they are forced to make major decisions all day long and they just want someone else to make the decision for them. I get that. As for the pain-staking choice makers, those people often haven’t had the opportunity to get it right in the past. Maybe this is their first major furniture and/or financial purchase. Maybe they’ve made a poor choice in the past and they want to be extra-involved this go-around to make sure everything is “just so.” (I’ve had several folks who made poor fabric choices on previous custom sofa orders and never forgave themselves! One chose velvet that she thought she was going to love, but found that it was like velcro for lint. Now she knows never to choose it again, and she and her husband both are very involved and opinionated when it comes to textiles, which I love). Maybe they’re just really picky! Who knows. Either way, it’s not my job to judge, it’s simply my job to help facilitate the decision-making process.
Another instance where you might commonly experience perception is when you’re out shopping – so the perceived value of an item. When it comes to home goods, often times we can perceive something to be valuable when in reality, it’s far from it. Say for example, you’re shopping for a new upholstered chair. Just because something has a LARGE price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best quality and vice versa. Retailers all have markups that are determined based on several different factors, including the base cost from the manufacturer, other retailers either in the area or online selling similar goods, transportation costs, customer base, sales volume, etc.
So let’s say you see a chair you fall in love with and it’s retail price is $2999. You also see another chair that you also love but it’s only $499. Right away, you are inclined to think that the more expensive chair is better because it costs more.
However, as someone who has been to many furniture factories and seen first-hand the build process, I can attest to the fact that there are well-made lines at every price point.
Do your research when it comes to furniture shopping, ask questions about construction, and don’t rush the purchase. In my experience, there are things that are worth splurging on (a good, solid, nicely made piece of furniture that will last and can be recovered later if necessary), while others are best found while embracing your inner Maxxinista. No need to completely break the bank or put yourself into heart failure when the credit card statements start to roll in.
One last note about perception, and the deception of perception. Sometimes you can perceive a situation to be what’s best for you. On the exterior, it may look lovely, it may seem like it’s perfect. But if it doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition, listen to your gut, and run like the wind. That certainly doesn’t always apply, and I don’t usually subscribe to this philosophy as a general practice (aka “meh, I give up). Situations need to be looked at from every angle and decisions needn’t be rash. But typically when you know, you KNOW. So go with your gut, back it up with some homework, and make the best choice for you.
Much love, and so happy to be back. Thank you for beckoning me!