Interpretation is a funny thing.
As part of my job, I am often involved with many different kinds of communications.
As a result, I am hyper sensitive to that word, communication.
Whenever it comes up in a conversation or a meeting, immediately I think, "Oh this is me. This is my domain. This must be about me."
When I make this interpretation, several things happen.
The first, and most dangerous, is that my already self-centric view on the world, becomes even more self-centric.
My ego is alerted and starts looking for all kinds of ways to protect itself.
Secondly, I might tune in only to what's being said about communication and tune out of the bigger picture.
My mind might start to wander down toward the tactical, when the conversation may still only be several layers above that.
In the example above, I've detailed what happens to me with a specific word. The truth is this can happen with things far less specific than single words. It can stretch as far as anything to do with what I would consider to be my domain.
Many things to unpack here, but let's start simple. Reframing.
Here's something I've started asking myself whenever this type of situation comes up.
Is this thing being said to me or about me?
It is so unbelievably easy to confuse these two things.
We often default to thinking that something is being said about us, rather than to us.
I've found this to be a helpful way to pause my mind from jumping automatically into places it doesn't need to go to.