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Monday, January 16, 2017

Life hack 14: it's not about you

Life hack for today:  it's not about you.  You live in your own skin, and have never been out of it. So it's natural for you to orient other events to your own self. Most events, though, are not primarily about you.  That's the filter you see them through, but most things do not have you as their intended recipient. You'll know when it's about you, because it might have your name on it.

Even then, don't be too sure.  Even your intimate partner's complaint might not really be about you, but about her father or her own life.  The parking ticket you got has your license plate number on it, and you have to pay it, but it isn't about you, because the parking guy just saw your car and an expired meter, nothing more.

Since it's not about you, you don't have to involve yourself in it.  You can relax about it.


Leslie said...

I have not yet figured this out. Apparently many U.S. people think everything is about them, and it is fashionable to notice this and say to them, "it is not about you."

I, however, don't get it. If I get a parking ticket, it means I am the one who got it, who has to pay it, and who overstayed the meter. Sure, I got it because my car, and not I was noticed -- it is not personal (although in a small town, it can be) -- but it is still about my overstaying the meter, no?

Does the exhortation "it is not about you" mean that most people take parking tickets personally, in a more paranoid way?

Is this a better example? Negative reader report. I actually thought it was quite astute, reader caught everything I would have liked to except that I was trying not to be a perfectionist. Editor said "this person must know you and have something against you." I do not really see why that should be the case.

Jonathan said...

I have such bad luck. Everything is always happening to me. I go for ten minutes longer than my meter and I get a ticket. I make a date for gold and you can bet your life it rains / I try to give a party and the guy above complains. / I guess I'll live my life just catching colds and missing trains. So yes, people do take everyday life in a paranoid style. I think too of over involvement in other peoples' emotions.

Leslie said...

Hmmm, very interesting and also odd. I wonder what the psychoanalytic basis of this is!