Journey Learning #7: Mind-Reading

Mind-reading got me through my young life — constantly scanning faces, words, inflection and situations for the teeniest clues of disapproval, displeasure or impending danger, and then adjusting my actions accordingly.

It helped me negotiate volatile and irrational authority figures.
It likely improved my software analysis and design.

But I’m learning that, when dealing with fairly decent human beings, my hyper-vigilance often backfires.

Disguised fear may look like dismissal. Extreme sympathy may be disguised as awkward rudeness. Colossal insecurity may be disguised as arrogance and (in the grand scheme of things, harmless) hostility.

And that, disguises or not, I’m safe.

So, thank you, Mind-reading, for getting me to safety.
Enjoy your long-overdue retirement.

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • Ginny

    Oh my gosh! I could have written this—minus the programming! I have to share this with my husband. I have been trying to fit the words right into why and who I am and this post did just that. Through your learning, I've gained something, too. Thank you for sharing this with the net. Wow! I had to reread it.

  • Laurie

    I relate very strongly to this post, too. Very strongly.

  • steve

    Well said (you've got the gift) but: Don't retire it, bury it.
    There are over 6 billion people in the world, and they (we) will all be dead someday; it doesn't really matter much if we're irrational, authoritarian, whatever. It's semi-interesting, but that's it. Andrea must work at caring less. Take care of yourself, Kid; don't fret about everybody else.
    (except the lucky few, naturally)
    btw: Speaking of the lucky few, do your Chidlets write that stuff on their own?

  • Andrea Ross

    Thanks for the advice, Steve. You know me too well.

    And, yes, the chidlets write that stuff on their own. They're both awesome!

  • Andrea Ross

    Ginny & Laurie, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's nice to know I'm not alone in working to shake this outgrown tendency. Wishing you both success in shaking yours.

  • Pingback: Andrea Needs to Care Less | We Can Rebuild Her()

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