The Pygmalion Effect

I was doing my psychology the other day when I came across a picture that made me think. (On a side note: I love the pictures in my psych book! They are always really deep and thought provoking! I wish I could share all of them with you!) I don’t know if you’ll be able to read it but here it is.

   In case you can’t read it, it says “Do people hate us because we dress this way, or do we dress this way because people hate us?” In this chapter I was learning about the Pygmalion Effect. If you are unfamiliar with this term, here is an idea of what it is. The effect can be explained 3 steps. 1.) The perceiver gets a certain impression on a person, 2.) the perceiver then behaves in a way that affirms the persons impression, and 3. the target person then unknowingly adjusts their behavior to fit the perceivers actions. Here is another picture to describe this.

 
   See, its hard to find the problem in this cycle. Is it the perceivers behavior or the targets behavior towards the perceiver? What about the perceivers expectations? Because its just a cycle. A rough cycle at that. Now, lets go back to the first picture, the one that initially caught my attention. That’s the kind of thing I used to ask myself all the time, though not about me and not about witches either. But you should see what I’m getting at. The people that no one talks to because they dress weird, because they look all dark and creepy.

   Kinda like these people. (These are actually two of characters from my sisters favorite movie, Hangman’s Curse. But it gets the point across.) So you see someone like that walking down the street or you run into them at school, what do you think? The sad truth is that most people think “Freak.” “Weirdo.” “Attention seeker.” I explained in my last post that I see things differently, this is one thing I see totally different. Because I don’t see that. I see hurt, sad, needing to be loved, and I see potential. Because what we see isn’t always all there is.

   But the question that always plagued me was “Why?” Why do they dress the way they do? Of course I always got people who told me “Because they’re Satan worshippers” or “They just want to be ‘different'” or blah blah blah. No. Your argument is invalid. They were created by God too. They are sinners just like you. They need to be loved just like you. Really, we’re all the same in a lot of ways. Each of us wants to be loved and cared for. No one wants to feel unwanted. So why do we hate on people who stand out? As Hayley Williams so wonderfully put it “Its the people who are ‘different’ that are going to make a difference in the world.” I agree.

   I have always had it on my heart to bring someone to Christ, ever since I got saved. That has been my desire. I want to live my life to reach the broken. This is something that God has placed so heavily on my heart. When I see people, no matter what they look like, my heart breaks for them. I pray for random people all the time. God always sets people on my heart to pray for and sometimes I hardly know those people, but I want them to come to know Christ.

   I encourage you to be audacious. Do sometime courageous or brave. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Try and see people for who they really are.  Because maybe they just act or dress the way they do because people hate them. And maybe one person stepping up in faith can change their life. But even if it doesn’t, we should love them anyone. Because thats what Christ would do. When He was on earth He talked to tax collectors and prostitutes. He looked deeper and saw who they could be. I know thats what He did with me. I still can’t comprehend that; how He looked at me in all my sin and filth and saw the person I could be. If we were given that chance, we should give that same thing to others.

   So we may never know where it begins, but we can do our part. We have a mission: shine God’s light. So stop judging people because they sin differently than you.

Published by faithmariephoto

follower of Jesus. Artist. Feminist. Life enthusiast.

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