Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


It's not about you

This one is a bit of a mind-bender, but it’s true: when someone gets mad at you, it’s not about you. It’s about them. And when they praise you, it’s also not about you. It’s about them.

This may sound absurd, but the fact is, we all live in our own minds. What we “know” about the world, is really what we think we know. And that goes for people, too. When we say we “know” someone, what we really know is a version of that person in our own mind. And that version may be similar to, or quit different from, how the person sees themselves.

Often when someone gets mad at us, it’s because we did something that they didn’t expect we would do. So it’s really about their expectations, which is based on who they thought we were. And similarly when someone praises us, it’s often because our behavior happened to match their expectations.

It’s worth reflecting on this and remembering the next time you’re blamed or praised that it’s not about you. It makes it easier to take it a little less personally, and it also gives a chance to learn more about the person who is doing the blaming or praising.

18 September 2022

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