Obvious to everyone else

There are times when we do things for reasons that, despite what we might claim, are obvious to everyone else.

We might say we didn’t mean to be mean or selfish. But, everyone else might feel your intentions were obvious. It happens to most competitive people. They act ridiculous in the heat of the moment and find some justification for their behavior. However, their friends always see through it.

This isn’t limited to individuals. Companies do it too.

For example, when Steve Ballmer laughed at the iPhone, it was obvious to everyone outside Microsoft that they were missing the point.

When Slack recently took out a patronizing full page about Windows and told us it was their way of showing they didn’t care, most of us believed otherwise.

Recognizing this dynamic is a useful skill. It is when everyone around you either rolls their eyes or indulges you with a “Suuuure.”

Once you recognize it, fixing it requires us to be courageous enough to evaluate our narrative. The narrative is what convinces us that the story makes sense when it is obvious to everyone else that it doesn’t.

When in doubt, always examine the narrative.

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