I tell people that I used to be socially abysmal. And it’s true that I was ostracized, bullied, and heavily disliked as a kid. It’s also true that I taught myself social skills by paying close attention to subtext, and I became more likable.
However, I sometimes feel there is something wrong with this narrative and the fact that I use it to persuade others that they can learn social skills too.
I was already extroverted, funny, confident, and genuinely interested in people. The only thing missing was my ability to notice subtext. I had a slipped bike chain. It’s impossible to ride without a bike chain, but my bike was in pristine condition otherwise.
But some people have slipped bike chains, and other people have broken bottom brackets, a stuck seat post, untrue wheels, a cracked frame, *and* a slipped chain.
(I googled difficult bike repairs.)
Some people’s problems have multiple simultaneous causes. Not everyone’s bike is as easy to fix as everyone else’s. It’s good for people to have a growth mindset, but remember that the bikes of the people around you may have more than a slipped chain.