Instead, it’s about all of us.
Humans are inherently selfish and self-centered.
Everything we do is colored by our own opinions about ourselves.
Even – maybe especially – the negative thoughts we have.
If you’re like most people, you’ve read a post, blog, or article that elicits a response of “how dare you say that about me!”
More than likely, said post, blog, or article doesn’t call you out by name, and it’s probably not a blind item-style like “what mom-of-two recently posted on Facebook?” (Seriously though, what mom-of-two hasn’t recently posted on Facebook?)
So why do we respond as if it’s a personal attack?
Guilt? The assumption that people are thinking the worst of us? Fear? Imposter syndrome? All of the above?
Like most people, I’m my own worst enemy. I know my darkest secrets and fears; I know my past failures; I’m acutely familiar with my personal and professional deficiencies.
You’re probably the same.
Everyone’s the same.
That’s why any time a woman posts about the men who have mistreated her, some guy pipes up with “Not all men!”
It’s why every time a woman of color calls out white feminists who aren’t advocating for intersectionality, some white girl has to reply with, “well, I support black people.”
It’s the same reason the first defense from anti-gay rights activists is “But I have gay friends!”
We all know our own failings. We know when we’re wrong.
So we get defensive when we think someone has exposed our faults.
But here’s the thing.
Most of the time, it’s not about you (or me) specifically.
So what do you do if you think it is about you?
Do you behave like that?
Do you treat people like that?
If you do, change how you are.
If you don’t want to change, be okay with the fact that you’ll always think people are talking about you.