I thought my friend was avoiding me because I did something wrong. Apparently she was disappointed in herself and was too ashamed for me to see her – even though being able to talk to my friend is more important to me than her being flawless.
I thought my boss was angry with me because he was so impatient about my project. Turns out he has his own insane deadlines and it had nothing to do with me.
I thought my sister was angry with me because she was avoiding me. And then I found out her baby is having health problems.
Why do we run around taking credit for all the disasters in the world? Why do we see someone acting differently and our first thought is “I don’t know how but this must be about me”? Let’s be better friends than that.
When we stop putting ourselves in the center of things (good and bad) we get to enjoy the world more. We get to understand it more. When we stop assuming something is about us and really try to understand where people are coming from that’s where we get closer to our friends – when we stop putting our ego in between us.
The fact of the matter is, it’s easier to spread pain than to sit with it and feel it. Often people that lash out or become distant aren’t actually upset with us, they are just feeling pain they don’t know how to process. Instead of creating a new problem by assuming it is about us, let’s try to understand where their feelings are coming from. You’ll find that most people are in their heads as much as we are in ours.
It’s not about you – and that’s a good thing.
Further Reading: If this resonated with you then you would really benefit from Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. This is not a fluff book of bumper sticker phrases. He is an incredibly pragmatic writer that just wants to answer “How can we enjoy life more?” Turns out “assuming all the world’s problems belong to you” is a bad idea. That was news to me. I’ve been a lot happier since I started enjoying life instead of trying to put myself in the center of it.