The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

The Reexplaining of Reality

Your life is based on the way you understand reality. Your life is based on how you define your interpersonal relationship. Your life is defined by the way in which you act and react towards others. Your life is based on the way you interpret the way other people have treated you.

Throughout your life you have interpersonal relationships with people. The way they treat you comes define the elements of how you feel about people, the way you trust or do not trust people, and the way you act and/or react to other people in future relationships. In other words, you learn by experience. How someone treats you, what they do to you or for you, sets the stage in how you will analyze, chart, and gage the next and the next and the next person in your life.

How a person treats you has the potential to define how you will judge all other people because we all learn from experience. If your personal interactions are positive, then you will come to view all (or at least most) people from a positive perspective. If your interactions are negative, then you have the potential to, more than likely, see other people through an untrusting eye.

One of the main things to remember in this process, however, is that it is all based on your interpretation. How you have interpreted the actions of others is how you define that experience and how you define others. But, your definition is not necessarily the truth. It is simply your definition. It is how you have judged and how you have interpreted what that someone else did or said to you. But, the fact is, you do not truly know what was in their mind. You do not truly know why they did what they did or said what they said. All you have—all you are working off of is what you think but what you think is all in your head, it is not in their head, so you may be completely wrong.

For example, I had an interesting reinterpretation of a situation that happened to me many-many years ago. I don’t know why this situation came to mind but it did.

The story is, a friend of mine literately insisted that I meet him in a city several hundred miles away from L.A., up along the Eastern Sierras, as his stepson, someone I had trained extensively in long-distance bike racing, was doing a race. I didn’t really want to go. But, my friend insisted. Due to our long years of friendship, I gave in.

I had a new girlfriend at the time, so instead of taking my vintage Porsche, whose heater didn’t work, we decided to take her car. Though the car was new, it broke down. I had it towed to the city where we were to meet my friend hoping to find a mechanic who could fix it. As it was a small town, there were none. When we arrived at the motel, I explained the situation to my friend and his ultimate words to me were, “Sorry, but this is my only vacation…” He left us stranded.

Though those words basically ended our friendship, as I believed they were beyond selfish, I always took them at face value. The other day, when the incident popped into my mind, this weird realization came over.

To go back in time a little bit… This guy forever attempted to mess up any relationship I was in. He would always talk trash about the girls I was with and coax me to go out and hang out with him instead of them. As time when on, he met this older woman, who was just two years younger than his mother. She had two kids, they became a couple, got married, and had their own kid. But, he never really changed how he reacted to me and my relationships. I would occasionally bring girls over for Sunday dinner, every now and then, and the like, but he forever maintained his negative appraisal of all of them. Where all of this came from, who knows??? We all have our inner programing and our unknown reason’s why. But, what I realized about the aforementioned situation, where the car broke down, was that what he really wanted was for me to go off with him, his wife, and his stepson and leave my girlfriend behind. After replaying his words, I realized that was his motivation. After all of our years of friendship, he was asking me to choose him over choosing her. But, that is not just the kind of person I am. I would never leave anyone stranded and alone.

So, was what he did simply seeking attention and hoping that his best friend would choose him over her? Yeah, maybe… But, it was all in the presentation.

Now, there can be all kinds of debate about his psychological makeup and what motivated him to behave in this manner in the first place. He, like I, had a really fucked up childhood leading to a not very well-balance adulthood. But, all that we have when dealing and interacting with other people is what is presented to us. Then, it is only us, who comes up with a definition. But, all a definition is, is our interpretation of what took place—what someone else did to us, and how we feel about that doing. Is that definition the truth? No, it is only our interpretation.

So, think about it… …When someone does something to you and you think you know why; think again. Because you can never truly know what is in someone’s mind.