People have a tendency to take things personally.
It makes sense -- we view the world through our own eyes and process information through our own brains. Thoughts are like waves, each made up of a million drops of observations, that crash in and wash through the filter of you.
But here's a shocker, 9 times out of 10 what someone else says has absolutely nothing to do with you. It's not about anyone in particular, it's about everyone as a whole.
This happens whenever we hear a voice, whether that voice is a private conversation between you and a friend or me publishing this very blog post.
In the last month, some have asked me whether a particular theme in one of my posts is about them or a mutual friend. They saw a connection to their own real life situation.
The short answer is no, none of these posts are about anyone in particular. I would never share anything said to me in private. That feeling belongs to you and our conversation belongs to us.
But I also have my own personal filter. On this blog I write about the way I process and make sense of the world, and that can only ever be the world as I see it. It's a combination of every observation I've ever made -- every conversation, every friend, every person I pass on the street, every Facebook update, every selfie, every text message.
You might feel a personal connection when you read this, and I hope you do, but that's not because I'm writing about you -- it's because even though we each have our own individual collection of observations, somewhere along the line you had the same thought as me.
The reason you think a particular theme is about you is because it's an experience or feeling we all share. We go about our lives individually, but we're all on the same hunt for happiness.
When you start to take something personally, consider it a reminder that you're never alone. There's someone out there who gets it and who hopefully wants to make it better.
There's someone out there just like you.