Sometimes people feel uncomfortable when someone near them is speaking in another language. "What if they're talking about me?", they wonder.
There are two ways of knowing whether you are a subconsciously self-centered individual - if you meet a gay person and immediately become uncomfortable because you are operating under the assumption that they've automatically got the hots for you, and if you hear a foreign language being spoken in your general vicinity and you think that they're trash-talking you behind your back (or, if you're that kind of woman, that they're complimenting you in a lascivious manner).
It's not all about you. But, as proof, I'll recount some conversations I've overheard in Spanish.
Conversation #1: two guys, overheard while standing in line at Ross Dress for Less:
Fulano: Hey, those are nice pants you got there.
Mengano: Thanks, they're linen.
Mengano: Usually I don't like linen because it wrinkles easily, but the cut of these pants is really nice, like they were Italian or something.
Fulano: I see.
Mengano: Plus they'll look really nice with that black shirt I have.
Fulano: Would you like a sewing machine for your birthday, corazón?
Mengano: Shut up, pendejo. I have class.
Conversation #2: four guys sitting behind me on the bus, apparently just off of work:
Guy #1: The job's okay, but it gets boring after a while. I need to bring in a radio or something.
Guy #2: Yeah, listening to music helps.
Guy #1: They have one at work but it doesn't get good reception and it only takes cassettes. I don't have cassettes.
Guy #3: I have one on me, do you want to borrow it?
Guy #1: Sure, what's on it?
Guy #3: It's all Tigres del Norte.
They all laugh hard.
Guy #1: No, pendejo, seriously, what's on it?
Conversation #3: two guys, one a teenager, one in his thirties, on the bus:
Teenager: I want to ask Maribel out.
Older guy: She's going to slap you if you do.
Teenager: That's okay, I'll probably like it.
Older guy: Yeah, but that means she doesn't like you.
Older guy, shaking his head: Idiot.
So, you see, not only were these conversations not about you, all trash-talking was directed at a participant in the conversation. No one was calling you a pendejo or an idiot, they weren't laughing at you, and ladies, they weren't checking you out and saying slimy things in Spanish.
Not to say I haven't overheard conversations about someone nearby. On the rare occasion that it happens, it's pretty harmless. I heard this one while walking down the street.
Guy #1: That girl is beautiful. If only she were ten years older...
Guy #2: Don't you mean, what if you were ten years younger?
Guy #1: No, the older you get, the more interesting you get. I like women who are interesting.
See? They were talking about you, but nice things were said. Don't you wish you could have understood that conversation? Of course you do. Now go learn Spanish, because if nothing else, maybe that will make you less paranoid.