Making Excuses To Strangers Is A Sign Of Self-Orientation

Earlier this week, I wrote about the critical role played in the Trust Equation by the factor of Self-Orientation.   The brief version is:

The biggest killer of trustworthiness is high self-orientation – a tendency to focus too much on ourselves.

That’s the theory. Now let’s have fun with some examples.

With a tip o’ the hat to Jeff Foxworthy, who invented this peculiarly American quasi-haiku format:

·    If you find yourself making excuses to a stranger for something a good friend would have forgotten about days ago – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you lose more than 45 minutes of sleep re-running what you should have said in that conversation – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you go from thinking you’re the greatest to thinking you are worthless – and back again – within two minutes – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you apologize more than three times for something pretty trivial – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you are pretty sure that that song really was about you – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you immediately lose interest in a potential customer when it appears they won’t buy this month – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If it bothers you that probably no song will ever be about you – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you take great pride in beating your grandmother at Scrabble (and you’re over 20, and she’s over 80) – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you are presenting to a client, and the client disagrees about an issue, and your pulse rate goes up 20 points – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you’re worried that everyone’s always talking about you – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If it worries you that no one is ever talking about you – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If someone suggests a change in something you did, and you respond by explaining why you did it — three times in a row – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you think, “wow, I just did the same thing last month” constitutes empathy – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If a potential client says, “your prices are too high,” and it makes you feel attacked or angry – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you think self-flagellation is a virtue – you might be highly self-oriented.

·    If you were in charge of the company picnic and it rained, and you feel guilty – you might be highly self-oriented.

Here’s a hint. Your job is to do the best you can to help others—and to give up control over the outcome. An expectation on your part is just a pre-meditated resentment.