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Be gentle with people (alternate title: Some people are dick heads)

Be gentle with people.

Perception is not reality. When we say people live in their own reality we mean their perception is unique to them. What is a big deal to one person is trivial to somebody else.

“What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly[1].”

And even when we are spiders our perceptions are vastly different at different times.

You can put thought and effort and prioritize something for someone, believe you’re making a significant difference in their lives and they just appreciate it.

At the same time you can have an of the cuff conversation with someone at a dinner party or do someone a favour and then when you see them 10 years later, and don’t even remember who they are, they’ll tell you what a difference you made to their lives and how much they appreciate it.

Perceptions are based on experience, context, chemicals, hunger, desires, wants, moods, medications – you can’t predict them in any individual.

Sometimes when you meet someone new you can’t even tell what they think about you or what you’re discussing. Sometimes when you meet someone new you know they like you. And sometimes you get it totally wrong. Life is all about perspective. And one of the greatest philosophical debates of all time is whether the lens through which we see the world is a zoom lens or fixed focus? And do we control the aperture?

Like everything in the universe ultimately someone’s perception of you is chance. You can increase your odds substantially and even skew the game in your direction but at the end of the day everyone lives in their own heads and even their own patterns, behaviours and interpretations fluctuate and change.

So when you’re out in the world trying to convince people to like you, give you an upgrade, fall in love with you, give you a discount or just simply fuck off and give you space – be gentle and understand you don’t know their battles. Though, some people, of course, are just dick heads.

[1] Charles Addams

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