Making sense of people


One way to think of people is to think of them as random and unpredictable.

A better way is to think of them as strategists. They know exactly what they are doing, even when it doesn’t make sense to you.

They are always telling themselves a story. And every single thing they do is consistent with that story.

If you ever get to know it, the one they tell themselves, people begin to make sense. You begin to understand why they do what they do.

But, then, no one is going to tell you that one they tell themselves. It makes them vulnerable. And we don’t like to be vulnerable.

We keep secrets because secrets protect us.

Do you know why some people are so mysterious? Why do they feel like an impenetrable fortress? Why they don’t realize that you are trying to love them, share the joy with them and make them a part of yourself? They are afraid to let the world know their story. They are afraid of hurting themselves one more time.

I get complete strangers to share their deepest secrets. I get to share their joy and their sufferings. Sometimes, I get to know a part of them nobody knows.

And how do I do that? I just show them how vulnerable I am. I just help them realize how vulnerable we all are. And that, secrets do protect us, but they also isolate us. They make us invisible. They make people love us less.

The only way you can be loved is to be vulnerable, to make yourself be seen and to let the world know your story. But as I have come to realize, for some people, that’s not always so easy.

(Why the picture of a tree? It made me think how all these complex behavioural patterns are liked to a simple story we all tell ourselves.)