Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

You’re Not Rational

You don’t have a realistic view of the world. None of us do. That’s because we twist and knead every shred of information we get into something that feels good to us. 

It’s why some people with two ears and a heart can listen to Billy Joel and not feel anything. And it’s also why you don’t conduct surveys in a morgue.

Regardless of our exact biases, motivations and values, we almost always interpret things in a way that serves us. 

When we get hired for a job, we trust that our abilities and drive landed us the position. If luck played a role, we reckon it was minor. 

And when we fail to get the results we want, we tell ourselves something else was at play. Perhaps the person who was hired got in because daddy put in a good word for them. Or maybe an unrestful sleep made us a little dopey during the interview.

So we’re very good at protecting our egos.

And we might be even better at tearing down the egos and reputations of others

The kindness we grant ourselves for our mistakes is usually not extended to those who accidentally affect us with their mistakes. 

A meandering driver on the highway isn’t seen as someone temporarily lost in thought or being a little tired. We look at them as a lousy motorist. We may even think of them as a lousy person.

The worst of it all?

We tend to think we’re rational beings. Objective even. And we’re clearly not. Unless we correct our thinking, we look at things from our own selfish point of view.

We complain and curse when the toast falls jelly-side down on the carpet, but overlook all the countless times the toast fell jelly-side up. 

And we do the same with people. Rather than being thankful for all the countless good drivers in traffic, we condemn and loathe the ones who are having an off day.

Something we’d never do to ourselves. 

So let’s golden rule it. Treat others as you’d wanted to be treated yourself.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach