Starting a conversation with how the whole situation makes you feel, instead of with what the other person did, may not be as selfish as it is often made out to be. Expressions like, “When you said/did xyz, I really felt abc” are in fact reflections of self-awareness. Such phrases give a fair chance for the other person to understand what the situation means to you. Most importantly, this shows a mark of respect for the person’s ability to understand what you really want to communicate.
This applies to a closer circle of people where you can have one on one communication.
However, the same chance of addressing a similar unfair situation is denied when a larger community is involved in the conversation. In fact, the conversation itself, in this case, is largely perceptions and hearsays.
People’s narrative about you will always, always suit what gives them solace. It is not about you and will not be about you. And that is alright. That is exactly how it is supposed to be.
There is hardly a reason to act out or respond to any biased untrue narrative about you or your work or behaviour with anger or worse, with vengeance. No string of words, no matter how many times it may be repeated, can alter your fundamental character. And that is enough to be grateful for.
The caveat here is to be mindful of this human tendency when we share any narrative about a third person, especially in his/her absence.
The best we can do in any given interaction is to choose what we can rationalise to be the right thing to do with the known facts and patterns, and leave room to accept not knowing better as and when needed over due course of time.
That’s Decision Making 101 for You:
“Acknowledge Emotions, Act upon Observable Facts.”