A Tale Of A Person Who Misunderstood ‘Himself’

Note: This is a fictional story to make a point.

There was a guy named Raj who was an engineering student. He was quite keen on exploring new things in life, meeting new girls, etc.

Once Raj and his friend Nitin both went to explore a computer training center (NIIT).

When they entered the office there were two separate cabins in the front. One manned by an average-looking sales girl (on the left) and the other manned by a very beautiful sales girl (on the right).

Nitin wanted to go to the beautiful girl’s cabin. He started moving in that direction, but Raj has already moved close to the average girl’s cabin. So, Nitin also had to unhappily follow.

After the meeting, Nitin was very angry with Raj. For understandable reasons.

Raj was also confused. Why the hell did he move to the cabin on the left? He was not able to make sense of it. After all he too was attracted towards beauty, right?

After some time, both Raj and Nitin discovered an insight about Raj: Raj usually displayed some kind of hesitation in front of beautiful girls.

This insight helped Nitin and Raj make sense of the NIIT event:

Raj hesitates in meeting beautiful girls. This is why he instinctively chose the left cabin.

Now, this theory made Raj very uncomfortable. So he took a decision:

“In future, I will never be see talking to average looking girls. And I will try hard to interact with beautiful girls.” 

In some time, Raj became known as a rude person who was only after physical beauty.

He got rejected by a very beautiful girl, as a consequence. Because, mature girls know that their physical beauty will one day fade. So, they understandably will not go for a guy who so clearly only likes attractive bodies.

Now, Raj is totally confused. As he introspects, he is unable to understand how come he became such an insensitive guy. After all his mother and sister are also only average looking. He knows pretty well that he comes from an average family. And that his parents are very nice people. So, how come he made himself into such as person? He has no clue.

In this post I want to tell you how accurate sensemaking about ourselves can change our life.

In the above story, Raj’s mistake has been to not sensemake himself well and get influenced by others’ (Nitin’s theory in this case) theories about him.

So, let us go back to that NIIT incident.

The theory that Raj had accepted earlier about his choosing the left cabin:

Raj hesitates in meeting beautiful girls. This is why he instinctively chose the left cabin.

Well, what if this sensemaking was inaccurate or incomplete?

So, let me give you another richer theory here:

Raj indeed hesitates in meeting beautiful girls. But, Raj is also a sensitive guy. He comes from a average-looking but nice family.

He instinctively chose the left cabin because he was hesitant, but also because he did not want to hurt the average-looking girl. He figured instinctively that all other guys would be choosing the beautiful girl’s cabin, and he did not want to do that!

Now, just imagine that if Raj were able to use the above theory for sensemaking his behavior, how different would life be for him! He would not only retain his good quality of being sensitive to others, but he would also be able to fix his problem of being hesitant towards beautiful girls. In all likelihood, he would be able to find a very apt girl-friend for him in some time!