It's Not About You

You take a family walk in the morning to drop your kids off at school. You want to hold onto your partner during the walk, but so do both of your kids. You feel shunned and decide to break off from the group because "no one wants to hold my hand."


You're a safe driver. You stop, look, and follow the rules. You get to a 4-way intersection. It's your turn to go through, but a car crosses in front of you. You have to wait a few more seconds for that car to pass so you can finally go. You feel disrespected and annoyed. 

You're on vacation. Your boss contacts one of your accounts to let them know that he's changing their terms. You find out when you're back in the office and you're fuming about the sabotage your boss is enacting without talking to you about it first.


In each of these situations, you can read into the other person's #intentions. You can make it about you, which will get you to feel angry at the other person and possibly bad about yourself. 

When you tell yourself that what is happening is about how the other person doesn't care for or respect you, you will get upset. These #interpretations result in a spiral of negative emotions which can sometimes lead to #reactivity.

News flash: It's not always about you.

Think about it. People are sometimes focused on themselves. They want the fastest, biggest, and best rewards and this blinds them to how their actions may cause harm to others.

When your kids are fighting on the walk to school, it's not because they don't want to hold your hand. It's because they are focused on holding your partner's hand.

When that driver takes your turn at the intersection, it's because they are focused on getting to their destination quickly. You just happen to be another car on the road. 

When your boss goes behind your back, it's because he wants to look good and feel in control. He doesn't necessarily have an agenda against you.

The more you can zoom out and look at the big picture and try to think about what makes other people tick, the less you'll personalize what's happening and be able to let things go. So stop inserting yourself into other people's brains, assuming to know why they do what they do. Stop inserting poison into your own brain and filling it with ideas of mal-intent. Adjust your expectations, take a deep breath, and focus on your intentions rather than those of others so you can lighten your load.

Remember, your bad mood is contagious. It affects not only you, but those around you so practice #selfawareness and #selfmanagement. This will help you be more emotionally masterful. Then consider how others feel and by stepping into their shoes, you'll be more masterful at your relationships, too.

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