I was thinking back recently about how the words we use and the statements we make help define who we are, especially with others. You form an opinion about others by the words that escape from their world into yours. You are even forming one about me right now!
The trouble is, at least for me, is that the distance between my brain and my mouth is incredibly short. Words travel that distance at such a quick pace, that most of the time they escape from my lips without the benefit of a much-needed filter.
Thinking about this made me remember a time when we were in Virginia having dinner with a group of friends. The discussion shifted towards everyone’s place of origin and what foods we grew up eating.
“Obviously, I had lobster as a child” blurted out one friend.
The room erupted. This friend always gave off the impression of affluence anyway, and this statement sealed the deal. It took us a good five minutes to stop the incessant giggling and this friend was trying desperately to clarify the statement. This is what they meant to say.
“I grew up in New England. Frankly, it is hard to throw a rock in the summer and not hit a lobster. Traditionally most families in New England treat themselves to lobster, at least once a year, so since I am from New England, one could conclude logically that I had lobster as a child.”
Take a moment to think about your impression of others. If you catch someone on a bad day, or when they are in a rush, you still form your opinion about them. Is it that opinion accurate? Is that who they really are? Be careful. What they say, what you hear, and what they mean may be worlds apart. Maybe you should see how obvious it is that they had lobster as a child.