We see ourselves from the inside. We see all the reasons why we do things and all the rationalizations and motives and becauses. Our behavior is complex, but still usually makes sense to us. We are a full color diagram of a human being. However, this is an incorrect view. Other people see themselves in full color. They have reasons and motivations we know nothing of. I have a cousin who is always complaining about everything. She won’t stop calling my mother to talk about her problems. It’s easy for me to say, “She should learn to be grateful for what she has.”
And yet I go to my mother to talk about my problems all the time and feel no guilt for doing so. Because I’m me, I don’t feel as though I complain all the time — I have reasons for my problems and thus my concerns seem more relevant than my cousin’s. I am a hypocrite; I don’t know what my cousin gets out of her talks with my mother. They may be the only thing that keeps her from killing herself. I don’t know and I doubt she’d ever tell me. The illusion I have that her problems are simple and straightforward is just an illusion — as is the illusion that my problems are complex and deserve attention while hers do not.