Every single person you interact with is a role you play. Every single one. Let that sink in for a minute – if asked about the roles you play, you may have chosen a handful – mother/father, son/daughter, husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend, friend, lover, grandchild. That’s normal because these may be the most important roles we play out in our lifetimes – but they are not the only ones. As you walk into a store, you become a customer. As you sit down in the dentist’s chair, you become a patient. As you wait in the playground you are either a member or a non-member of the PTA.
Each interaction you have with others creates a role that you must play. If it’s not a role that you are aware of or used to, you can get really reactive to how the other participants are acting, and with this you start losing control and can feel guilty about not getting your actions ‘correct’.
Think about your day, and how many people you have interacted with in any form (even by reading this blog!) How many of those roles were you really conscious and aware of, so you controlled them? And how many, upon reflection, did you feel anxious or guilty that you may have slipped up or was going to?