When How You Think It Is Is Not How It Is

About eight years ago, my friend Matt and I were writing a song. With a notebook and our voices, we sat at the piano and teased out lyrics and a melody. When we finished, we decided to record a video of it and share it online. I pressed record, and we were off!

When we were about mid-recording, I looked at the camera screen in front of us and noticed there was something going on in the background. I turned around to see my sister doing a goofy interpretive dance to our composition…

“Daria!” I exclaimed in frustration, “We’re recording!!!” She, feeling sheepish, confessed she had no idea we were filming and left the room.

She disappeared for an hour and eventually returned with a bruised ego. Once Matt left, she told me I had made her feel really stupid – that the tone of my voice was harsh! She had put herself out there to bring a little fun to the afternoon, and I simply shut her down. Not to mention, Matt was the guy she had a big crush on…

I explained to her that her dance had ruined what was about to be a really good take, and I really didn’t think I was being that harsh.

That night, as I was sifting through takes to decide which one to post of our song, I stumbled upon the one that contained my sister’s theatrics. It was quite entertaining to observe her sneak onto the scene, obviously enjoying herself.

But Then It Happened.

I saw the replay of my face and heard the tone of my voice when I scolded her, and she was right – I was harsh. Totally harsh. Although in my heart of hearts I was sure I didn’t sound thaaaat bad, the proof was in the recording. Busted!

My sister and I talked it through and apologized to one another. Me, for being a jerk, and she for ruining our perfect take. As I reflected on what happened later on, I was humbled in a way I’d never been.

Most of the time in life, I don’t have the luxury of an instant replay to observe what I’m really like. All I have is my interpretation of what I think I’m like, and what that situation showed me is that my interpretation is not always accurate. This one happening eight years ago has stuck with me until this day to remind me to always remain open to feedback and to always remain open to discovering a blind spot I may have about how I’m showing up to others.

As for my friend Matt, well, he wasn’t too thrown off by any of what happened. As a matter of fact, he thought my sister’s interpretive dance was pretty cute and married her a few years later!

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