It's not actually about you

On the weekend, Scarlett lost it. And not just a little bit. It was a complete meltdown, a full on three-year-old tantrum. 


She had just woken up from a rare afternoon sleep, and the world was not a happy place. We had taken her to the WRONG CAFE earlier. 

In between the wailing and gnashing of teeth (OK, no actual gnashing of teeth) and hurling herself onto the couch she let us know how she was feeling (upset), and the cause (not going to the right cafe). 

And she was wrong on both counts. 

Well she was upset, but the real problem was she was hungry. The cause was sleeping through her normal afternoon teatime and subsequent low blood sugar. Of course it’s not the easiest thing to convince a three year old mid-tantrum to pause for a snack, but sure enough as soon as she’d had a slice of bread, the entire café catastrophe was forgotten. 

I reckon the same thing happens with us as adults … it’s just that for most of us, most of the time, it’s a bit subtler.  

As a thought leader publishing ideas that push the envelope you want to have some people love you. You also want to ruffle some feathers. 

If that’s not happening, you’re probably not doing your job.  

And when someone’s feathers do get ruffled you’ll get some version of ‘I’m upset / angry / disappointed / saddened / furious about what you said / wrote / did’. People will tell you how they feel, and why. 

Like Scarlett, they’ll be wrong on both counts. 

The thing is they probably just slept through their afternoon tea time and have low blood sugar. Or they have unresolved issues with their mother that you’ve triggered. Or they have a baby and haven’t slept properly in months. Whatever it is, it's not actually about you. 

And when they love you and your ideas, that’s not actually about you either. 

Either way keep smiling, and move on.