People’s behaviour is rarely what it seems but, instead, is enormously complex.

In fact, people are wonderfully complex.

As Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou say in this video (here - https://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/when-people-show-you-who-they-are-believe-them-video ) “When people show you who they are – believe them!”

Alain de Botton says the same thing in different words, “When you meet someone (romantically) for the first time, ask, ‘In what ways are you mad?’” (I paraphrase.)

Thus, if I say, “I am messy,” when demonstrate how messy I am, believe me… don’t be surprised!

In which ways are you ‘mad’? I’m mad about manners, I’m mad about plants, I’m mad about going barefoot as soon as possible in the Spring, I’m mad about saving the Planet, and, to my cost, I’m mad about justice, fairness, and speaking my mind.

Behind the veil, beneath the surface, lies the truth. But what if we had the confidence to pull back the veil with people? I don’t need to be proud about being messy – I simply need to recognise it as a potential weakness. But I do feel free to acknowledge it up front. Hording (being messy) is a trait I have met in many people. It’s usually a sign.

Next time something doesn’t seem quite right with someone, I hope you will find it in your heart to say, “What’s behind the veil? What’s beneath the surface?” And, if you’ve built enough rapport with them, gently ask if they are OK and how specifically you could support them.


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