Humans are, by nature, narcissistic.
It’s an evolutionary/survival thing; you know having to make sure you fit in and everyone loves (or, at the very least, likes) you so you’re not marginalised and ostracised and left to fend for yourself, whilst your nomadic caveman buddies wander off into the distance as a lovely little bonded community.
People like to blame social media for the Are You Talking About Me phenomena, but really, it’s been going on for years. Decades. Centuries no doubt.
From the major story line in a majority of rom-com movies; the overheard, misinterpreted portion of a conversation through to somebody candidly sharing their stubbed toe photo on Instagram and suddenly, someone does the “Were you talking about me when you said that?”
Or worse, they jump straight in and attack you, defending their own honour which, in more cases than not, wasn’t even being attacked in the first place.
There is, of course, the reverse, where you are indeed referring to someone and they miss the subtle dig entirely. Most frustrating.
I’ve experienced this a number of times and what I find most ironic when I received the subsequent email … or, in some cases, because people are just so class, a posting on a Facebook page or group for all to see, or a comment on a blog post … is that the person whom I receive the “Was that me you were referring to?” query was the person I was least thinking about.
Many of my friends and colleagues have had similar discussions with me.
Mums, I have found, seem to be the worst for this. Mostly in relation to parenting, sometimes in relation to business or blogging or where some sort of group or community is involved. I find with mothers you merely need mention the words “breastfeeding” or “baby wearing” or “controlled crying” in their presence and their boobs are out, shoulders tense and they commence a defence without considering the options that:
a) they haven’t heard the entire conversation
b) you’re actually on the same ‘side’ as them
c) you weren’t actually talking about them
(I’ve been guilty of this in the past, too.)
Family members are just as bad because, really, who else could you