The next time you’re worried about the impression you just made on someone, relax. Chances are, they’re not thinking about what you did wrong or right—they’re thinking about themselves.

Nicholas Epley, a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago, says people are naturally ‘self-centered.’ His reasoning? No one knows you better than yourself, so you notice details that others don’t. While we might not entirely agree with calling it ‘self-centeredness’ (perhaps ‘self-awareness’ is a more apt description), it’s a good reminder that there’s no need to stress over what people may or may not be thinking (the latter of which is far more likely).

What’s your take on this characterization of people’s ‘self-centered’ behavior? Do you find yourself being too preoccupied with others’ potential perceptions of you, and if so, how do you overcome it?



Science of Us: You Are Probably Pretty Self-Centered, But So Is Everyone Else