Projecting "Out War"

Published on November 11th, 2019

Ducking Siri!

If you get the joke, then you are probably used to the wonderful world of autocorrect fails. And if you didn't get it, just realize that Siri doesn't like you to use curse words, and will attempt to find family-friendly substitutes.

Autocorrect fails are annoying, but they are sometimes hysterically funny. My wife has had dozens of WTF moments as she attempts to unpack what I intended to say versus what actually came through in the text. Fortunately, none of them have put me in the dog house (yet).

Autocorrect fails can also offer little gems of insight for self-reflection. Take the title of this article as an example: "Projecting Out War." I had meant to say "projecting outward," which is what one tends to do when trying to mind read the thoughts and feelings of another person from the vantage point of one's own insecurities. I do this from time to time (ok ok, frequently). My go-to style is worrying about whether I hurt someone's feelings. Usually, the other person wasn't upset at all, and yet I'm already responding as if it was true.

That's why I love this particular autocorrect slip up. Projecting outward often feels like I'm projecting "out war" because it almost always results in my mind gearing up for battle. I want to defend myself because I don't think I did something wrong. I want to attack the other person for being so sensitive or for holding a petty grievance. Of course, this is sometimes a total fantasy. If I take the time to hash out the issue with the other person, I often find they too had their own projected outward out war about what I was thinking or feeling, most or all of which wasn't true.

To that end, while I still direct a lot of profanity as Siri's translation fails and duck-ups (get it?), I do appreciate the occasional moments of serendipity.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.