The arrogance of claiming you know someone

Nothing grates on my nerves more than people who claim they know someone. I don’t mean know as in, “oh yeah, I know him. I’ve met him.” I’m talking about that sort of knowing that someone claims they can predict others’ behaviors, and pinpoint their reasons and motivations for doing what they do.

Now, why does it bother me when a person claims they know someone that way?

Here’s why: You can’t say you know someone fully because let’s face it, most people are still figuring out themselves. If they don’t know themselves yet, how could you possibly know them?

People change. Whoever they were in the past, they probably changed through the years. Who they are now is not necessarily the same person they were five years…or even a year ago.

You know someone based on what they share with you. If you haven’t been in touch, then you’d have missed the in-between – what shaped them into the person they are now. Knowing someone doesn’t depend on how long or how short you’ve known them. It depends on whether or not they open themselves to you and let you in. Maybe they’ve only shared crumbs of who they are. If that’s the case, then you’re not even seeing the big picture.

So do we ever really know someone? I don’t think so. What we learn about others is what they allow us to learn about them. We can’t know more than what they’ll allow.

What’s more important is to know yourself fully. Whether you like it or not, someone out there is claiming they know you better than you know yourself. It’s better for you to claim your own story than for others to create your story for you.


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