And the benefits of knowing about the spotlight effect
I watched a video with text that read, “me after running into anyone at the supermarket.” The woman in the video returns to her car, grabs and squeezes the steering wheel before screaming, “Why am I so fucking weird?”
I immediately sent it to my wife, who, on our first weekend after moving to her hometown, called me into an aisle of Target to hide so she wouldn’t have to run into an acquaintance from her high school years.
I couldn’t understand this. If I would’ve run into a similar person in my life, I would run up to them to catch up.
Now, you would never guess this from meeting my wife. She is a great conversationalist. She would put you at ease and show interest in your story by asking poignant insightful questions. You would never guess that she would rather be home chilling on the couch with a warm cup of chamomile tea.
Whenever she returns from social events, she spends a good chunk of the following hours asking out loud, “Oh, my god, why did I say that?”
I, on the other hand, who probably said more than one reproachable thing, spend my time exclaiming, “Oh, my god, I was a delight tonight.”
Maybe this is a natural inclination of extroverts, or maybe is the result of learning about “The Spotlight Effect.”
Everybody thinks people are paying more attention to what they say and do than they actually are. But most people are less worried about what we are doing and more about what they are doing.
The same goes for the art we make.
Instead of worrying about what people would say about our art and making it conform, we should make it unique by making it our own with our twist and flavor.
You will find that the world is largely indifferent, and almost no one is paying attention.