It’s Not Me — It’s You

Why do we tend to blame ourselves first?

I’m at an offsite workshop for a couple of days and yesterday a fellow participant mentioned to the group where he went to college. It happens to be an ACC school, something you don’t often hear in these parts (the Midwest). So, being a UVa. alum, I tried to strike up a conversation about our common background during a break.

It didn’t go particularly well. I got short answers and it quickly ended with one of those awkward pauses where we both sort of smile and nod, realizing there’s not much more to say.

So all morning I was thinking I was the problem. Then in a later session he revealed he was an introvert and very bad at “the small talk.”

Such a relief! Suddenly I realized the problem wasn’t me, it was us. Two small-talk averse individuals stuck in a forced, awkward encounter.

I’m glad I’m not one of those people who reflexively blames others for everything. But I do sometimes envy their uncomplicated world view.

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