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You are always the Other Person.

Good morning, money nerds.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the gap between how we perceives ourselves and how others perceive us.

A life-long friend “broke up” with me last week. He told me I’m dysfunctional and said he never wants to see me again. This came as a shock. For one, I had no inkling I’d done anything to offend him. For another, I’ve never had anyone tell me anything remotely close to this.

I value my friends and do my best to prioritize and support them. Yet, I obviously failed in this case. I cannot discount this fellow’s perception because that’s his lived experience of who I am. To me, I’m true and loyal friend. To him, I’m a selfish asshole.

Anyhow, that’s all a lead-in to today’s set of articles. Each is sort of related to my experience. It was a little eerie to find them all, actually, and to realize they applied to me…

You are always the Other Person. [Raptitude] — “Recognizing our status as a full-time Other Person could certainly help us be more humble and more aware of our effect on others, on the energy we bring into a room (or suck from it). We all know how deflating it is when an Other Person is being difficult, self-absorbed, overly negative, or uninterested. We also know how welcome it is when the person you’re dealing with is easygoing, interested, and pleasant. Simply by remembering that your role to everyone else is that of Mostly-Not-There Other Person (and that everyone else is also a Protagonist) it’s easy to be a better Other Person.”

Our stories are all we really know. [Seth’s Blog] — “When someone rejects you for a job, they’re not rejecting you. How could they be? They don’t know you. Instead, they’re rejecting their story of you, the best approximation they had combined with the complicated story they (all of us) tell ourselves about our needs, dreams and fears.” Short but sweet.

How to stay cool when you’re put on the spot. [Harvard Business Review] — “A strong or surprising statement from a client or colleague can trigger a rush of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol as the brain’s amygdala activates a fight-or-flight response. I’ve seen people go red in the face, appear stunned, and look tearful. While it’s hard to stop this immediate, biological response, you can recognize it for what it is and take time to center yourself, rather than letting yourself become more emotional.”

Today’s video is related to personal finance for once. My pal Stevie B organizes the regional Camp FI events around the U.S. These are weekend retreats where like-minded folks can come together in a casual setting to talk about financial independence and early retirement. I’ve been to several, and they’ve all been great.

Anyhow, Steve asked me to help publicize the upcoming Camp FI: Texas. This year’s event will take the weekend of September 9th to 12 just north of Dallas in Denton, Texas. Apex Money readers who register for Camp FI: Texas by Monday, August 15th, will receive a $50 discount on adult tickets when they use the promo code Apex at checkout.

Here’s an eight-minute video highlight what Camp FI: Texas is all about.

It’s been two years now since I last visited a Camp FI. I can’t make it to any for the rest of 2022, but I fully intend to attend one (or more) in 2023. I miss them.

Okay, that’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow to take us into the weekend. Wheeeee!