This question provoked me tonight just the right way. I responded to it in twitter with three tweets, and will copypasta them over here as well – it’s a good thing to think about a few times in your life. I find that my outlook has changed quite a bit from the last time I really thought about it.
Who am I trying to impress? Maybe myself. But not really trying – it’s not the sort of a thing I can try. Impressiveness is never really anything planned or intentional. Opportunities for impressiveness emerge spontaneously, they are very much reliant on unexpected situations – overcome with pure victory any challenge I couldn’t predict or prepare for – consider me surprised+impressed!
Catch an open bottle flying without spilling a single drop over – unexpected and impressive every time someone pulls it off. There are, of course, more complex issues that can occasionally be tackled with unexpected elegance, as well – impressive.
In other words – be the only time I consider myself impressed is when I can say, “wow, I didn’t know I had it in me.”
Of course there were times I wanted to impress some guy so much I eventually stopped being myself, trying to do what I thought would be impressive to him – my clothing style, my direction in art or other interests, my manners, my attitude… But I say that’s some real bad soul sickness right there.
No more! I’ve not tried to intentionally impress anyone, as far as I know, for a long while. I like to think when I do things it will be with a direct agency – sure, if I wanted to get hired, I should go about it by trying to impress the person who is in charge of the choice – BUT if that situation requires me to dramatically change how I do things, why I do things – it would be deceit, an attempt at manipulation – and I have a feeling these kinds of deals do not last for very long.
Giving up on my own interests/talents to try to impress someone else for whatever reasons – putting an awful lot of energy into anticipating and guessing what they might like or expect of me – it’s sort of like a con game – not only will I pretend I’m into that stuff – but possibly also end up deluding myself into believing I really am into what they are into.
If you’re trying to hard to impress me – the signal I get is that you’re trying to con me into liking you – you shouldn’t have to. I’d like to like someone for who they really are 🙂 No need to pretend.
Source of the thread to see other answers by other people, too:
Who are YOU trying to impress.
— Paul Portesi ن (@paulportesi) October 16, 2019