Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/21/2022
Many years ago I perpetuated a myth. I thought at the time it was ridiculous and funny but, as often happens, I was proved wrong.
I told people that I was an introvert. I pointed out that I’d rather be home with a bad book than at a party. And while it’s true that “small talk” causes my eyes to roll back in my head, it’s clearly untrue that I’m an introvert: “a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.”
People cited my introversion, reflected on it with others. It became a matter of fact, a trait to consider, an aspect of my description as “factual” as my brown eyes.
Yet, what is the empirical evidence? I drive exotic cars. I dress (I’m told) well and I engage at cocktail parties and events. I’ve been called “flamboyant” on stage. One of my brands is that of contrarian and I’m constantly poking at established beliefs. I can be very funny, absolutely charming, and the life of the party. (I have references.)
Finally, one day, a group of my clients were all sitting in first class on an American flight that was boarding to take us to a retreat in the Caribbean. I was kibitzing and joking with the people coming down the aisle headed for coach, having a great time. Just before takeoff, one of my party stepped over and said, “You are no introvert!”
I was exposed. Perhaps the empyrean was to be denied me for being duplicitous.
This little ruse I perpetuated got out of hand, but for goodness sake, how can you look at me and my lifestyle and conclude I’m an introvert?! When I coach people who hold invalid beliefs I tell them, “Despite all evidence to the contrary….”
Be careful about what you advertently or inadvertently create about yourself and your passion. The answer to “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” is often stunningly wrong.
And, by the way, my eyes are kind of hazel.
We live in such a gullible world. Anything that’s written, anything that’s posted, anything pictured that is interpreted one way is taken as truth. —Keri Hilson
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatsoever that it is not utterly absurd. —Bertrand Russell