I’m only responsible for what I say. Not for what you understand.
I came across this statement and the statement in the photo several times over the years and it makes things pretty clear for me. There will always be a myriad of ways in which ones words and actions can be interpreted depending on the individual doing the interpreting. A what point does your truth supersede their own perception? I remember telling a coworker “Thanks a lot” because he did a great job on an assignment. Truth is, I was very sincere in my thanks. His understanding however was that I was being sarcastic. Stunned by his reaction I found myself in an argument over my truth vs. his understanding/perception. It was insanity. Even after I explained just how honestly thankful I was and how much his work helped me, I could not convince him that her understanding and perception was not the truth.
To me, it was an absolute waste of time to continue on such a moot course because people choose to look at things through their own lens and I find little can be done to convince them that their incorrect. Of course, if said coworker would have taken a moment to ask for clarity prior to running with his assumption, the whole issue could have been avoided. At some point before responding the thought of “did he just…” pops into our minds. Thats a great time to ask or clarity, because you’re not 100% sure that person tried to offend you. It takes a slight amount of pride swallowing to check ourselves, i’ll admit to that. But the outcome of seeking clarity first is almost always more favorable than not.
Why is it humans can be 100% sure of 50% of the evidence? Is it carnal nature that causes us to default to the worst case instead of being optimistic in the positive outlook that it really could be a kind gesture or honest thought? Something’s to think about.
That scenario taught me a lesson. I’m only responsible for what I say. Not for what you understand. And to that former coworker… The photo is for you.