How We See Ourselves

Question: Does cohabitation change the equation?

 

Sam Gosling: Oh, absolutely, and I think that’s very important. I mean, we want to be- we want people to see us in a certain way. Usually, I think, as I said, we want people to see us as we see ourselves. But absolutely- and I think that’s why we naturally look at spaces. I mean, other people in our world are the items that afford us the greatest threats and the greatest opportunities, whether they’re gonna be an enemy, a co-worker or a mate, or something like that, so I think that’s why we become highly-attuned to picking up these items in people’s spaces.

 

Question: What was the most remarkable thing you learned from writing the book?

 

Sam Gosling: I think I learned that- how closely-tied we are to the spaces in which we live and work. I think that I didn’t before realize how many different things we are doing with our physical space- in terms of how we’re making ourselves feel, in terms of the messages we’re sending to others.

And I didn’t really realize, I think, how- once you begin to see it from this perspective, you can look at all the items in your space and think, what is that doing? Why did I put that up there- that photo- rather than the other photo? Why do I have the photo on my desk facing me rather than facing the people who are coming in to visit me? And so, I think it has really sort of sensitized me to this really tight connection between ourselves and our spaces.

 

Recorded on: June 13, 2008.

 

 

Even if you live with someone else, your personal space says a lot about you, whether you want it to or not, says Sam Gosling.

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