It’s not all about you. I mean, this blog might be, but the world is not. I think on some level we know this, but it doesn’t stop us from reacting to things as if they were personal, or expecting a lot more from people than we should.

A lot of times, people are not aiming their crap at you on purpose. Most friction interactions we have with people are based on their feelings at the time, and not about us. OK, sometimes we might have something to do with it, but a lot of the time it’s literally not about us or what we did or said – it’s about what is going on in that person. Those days when you feel like you want to kick the dog (please don’t!), are they really the dog’s fault? Or are you just in a bad mood?

When we put ourselves in the centre, we push out other people, which might seem fine until you realise that you can only take from people for so long, until they get wise to it and stop giving. If you want to be able to benefit from people for a long time, you have to give back as well. Imagine trying to get fruit from a tree but not giving it any water. You might get a little bit of fruit the first time, until it dries up and dies. But if you take care of it, it will still be there year after year. People are like that too.

Funnily enough, the best way to help you is to help someone else. This helps you at the same time, first as you learn more about yourself and later as you make them more likely to help you when they’re in a position to. Go for the win-win situations, not just the ones where you get what you want from people, and you’ll often find that you get more out of it in the long run. Make it all about you, though, and whatever benefit you get will be short-lived.