I guess I’m no different than a lot of people; I always want to know why certain people did or did not do something that I expected them to do. Why didn’t Fred ever answer my email? Why did Susan get so angry over that simple remark I made? Why did Charlie quit that great job he had?
I recently attended, with a large group of other people, a meeting that was scheduled for the whole day. It started around 8:30 a.m., and around noon the leader called for a lunch break.
Before leaving for lunch, I approached the speaker and gave her some information that I felt was pertinent to the subject of the meeting. We spoke briefly, and then I left to return home. I did not attend the second half of the meeting.
Several days later, a friend who sat through the entire meeting told me something interesting. Soon after the meeting restarted, the same speaker called out my name; I’m not sure why. When I did not respond, she remarked, “Well, I hope I didn’t scare him away by what I said to him at the break.”
Friends and associates who know me will know that the chances of her remarks scaring me away are slim to none. I am just not that kind of person. I often say things — sometimes even the wrong thing or at the wrong time — when others are afraid to raise their hand. (I am also the kid in class who has his hand up asking a question.)
The whole thing illustrates something that I find interesting. People are fond of making up stories about why or why not certain things happen or why some people do or do not do things.
Back to my initial question of why Fred never answered my email. Here are my made-up answers. “There was something in it that offended him. I wonder what it was?” “He is very busy at his job the past week.” “He’s distracted because he and his wife has been fighting lately.” Your turn. You create a few answers.
Or maybe he never got the email because I typed his email address incorrectly and it went to a complete stranger.
Or maybe I should call him and ask him directly? What a concept!
So why didn’t I attend the second half of the meeting? Was it because I had another meeting to go to? Was it because it was too hot in the meeting room? Was it because I didn’t like the speaker? Was it because I suddenly got a stomach cramp?
The truth about why I didn’t attend the second half of that meeting? I suspected — correctly — that it would be more of the same and I didn’t want to waste my time.
If you want to know, just ask me.