I know this for myself, and maybe you do this too: we established opinions about other people, and about what they must think of us. It’s easy to create a lot in our minds on so little information.
Despite what we might tell ourselves or what we hear about others, none of us have the full story; we have a piece of the story, and it’s put through our own filters. And what is repeatedly striking to me, is when what is said about me (or someone else) in my absence is not what I previously had thought.
When we are absent from a conversation, the things said about us can be revealing, both good and bad; often better than we think. The narrative in our minds can lead to negative self-talk and self-doubt. It’s easy to think the worse about others, and even more about ourselves. Better to give the benefit of the doubt, because most likely we don’t have all the information about what others think.