We humans are experts on creating problems that doesn’t exist.
We overthink things.
We create scenarios in our heads.
We make our own perceptions of what other people thinks about us or we judge other people based on their actions without having no idea why they did as they did.
Think about it. You’re in your car driving happily and all of a sudden someone makes a strange passing. You get angry and curse the person with all the bad words for being such an idiot and all of sudden your good mood is gone. Of course, chances are that person really is an idiot. But what if that person got a call that a relative was in an accident? What if they are on their way to the hospital? What if they had a valid reason for acting that way? Would you still be that upset? And what if you where in the same situation, how would you act? And even if that person really is an idiot, do you solve the problem by cursing and ruining your good mood? Probably not.
New scenario. You just arrived to work where you meet your boss. You say Good morning with a kind voice and gets noting in response, your boss just walks past you with a angry face. Your mind immediately starts to think what you could have done to upset your boss. Will I get fired? What should I do to fix this? Why is everything happening to me? In reality your bosses mode have nothing to do with you. Maybe there was a fight at home with the kids or the partner? Maybe it was your colleague who forgot a deadline which put your boss in an bad situation? You don’t know, and if you can’t figure out why your boss should be mad at you, you probably had nothing to do with it.
I am an expert on this. I constantly tell myself that people doesn’t like me. That I’m not good enough. That they think this or that about me. When I’m teaching a class and someone look a bit angry it’s because I’m a bad coach. When someone doesn’t answer my text it’s because they don’t like me. When I meet a new person and says something weird it’s because I’m an idiot. When in reality it can be anything but that and I have so much evidence that it’s not true.
I’m getting better at it. I try to be rational and consider other options and trying to see things from their perspective. Finally and maybe most important, I’m starting to accept that it’s okay if someone thinks I’m a bad coach or an idiot. I can’t please everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like me.
So what can you do?
You can start to think. Could there be another reason why someone acts the way they do?
You can ask. Did something happen? Is it anything you can do to help
You can tell. If you’re in a bad mood, just tell your partner, your kids, your friends or wherever you are that it has nothing to do with them and spare them the overthinking.
The cool thing about us humans, except that we are experts at creating problems, is that we have the ability to communicate. Use it!