There’s an interesting scene in “A Very Brady Christmas” where Mike Brady, the patriarch or the infamous Brady Bunch, is giving a speech before Christmas dinner. Mike’s speech is about the importance of family and traditional values such as honesty. What’s funny is that while Mike’s speech isn’t about anyone in the family in particular, members of his family think that he is talking about them and therefore interrupt him to confess about not being honest with the family.
What’s interesting about this is that it’s something that happens to us in real life — someone makes a statement and we think they are talking about us. I realized this when I first starting posting things on-line. I’d post something on my blog, in my e-zine or on a social media site like Facebook and then get replies from friends who thought I was talking about them — even though I wasn’t.
I try to be careful about what I post and who I talk about because you never know who will see it. The internet is wide open to everyone and even sites like Twitter allow your posts to be indexed by search engines. While I think sharing personal stories helps build one’s credibility and likability, it’s important to consider how those involved in such stories will feel about the story being posted publicly.
So what does all of this have to do with you? Well maybe you’ve heard one of your friends with say something (or write something) that you felt was a message to you. Maybe you think they have something to say to you that their afraid to or that they’re dropping hints. While they might be talking about you, chances are they are talking about someone else (often themselves). Remember this scene from “A Very Brady Christmas:”
Life is full of coincidences and when there’s something on your mind, you tend to see it manifest all over the place — especially in conversation. So don’t worry about it. If the advice or suggestion that your friend communicates is something that’s useful to you, thank him or her. Otherwise, ignore it. Remember that we can’t control how others think or feel or what they say, but we can control how we respond to it.
James Feudo owns the Boston Web Design Agency JVF Solutions and loves blogging about personal development and communication in his spare time.