Friday, January 28, 2011

Food for Thought: Character Assignments

Yesterday I received a message from someone which was written in a seemingly supportive way, but felt incredibly condescending.

Since the flat tone of email allows ample room for projection, I worried I was reading too far into things.
But I realized that with this particular person, I have come to generally assume that her comments will be made in that a sense, I've assigned condescension to her as one of her principal characteristics.

Which led me to wonder: Are there some adjectives we cannot determine FOR ourselves ABOUT ourselves? Some characteristics that must, instead, be decided by others?

I doubt someone would ever feel that they are purposely condescending, but perhaps it's not something for them to decide; in all likelihood they wouldn't recognize the quality in themselves. Rather, someone who is the direct recipient of the condescension can be the only best judge.

It's disconcerting to think that our self-assessments aren't the only opinions that matter. I was recently told that there are three stories in life: Yours, The Other Guy's, and The Truth. They all matter, and all factor in, but there are so many shades of gray between them.

How much of your opinion versus the other guy's makes the truth of who you are?

What do you think?

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