How often do we perceive that life itself is all about us? How often do we look at relationships we are in (that might not be doing well) and decide that it’s all our fault? How often do we look at some other person’s behavior and decide that we are responsible for it? Or how often, perhaps for the tenth time, do we not get that job we wanted after an interview that seemed to go so well, and then reflect that we had to have done something to alienate the interviewer?
Well, I just wanted to let you know – it’s not all about you. This is a great comfort, I find, when I reflect on it. To know that I don’t have responsibility for all the people I’m on a first-name basis with was really an “Aha!” moment for me. When I realized that people were responsible for their own behavior and feelings and I was not, well, this was just amazing.
As harsh as the reality is in the job market right now, it should also be somewhat of a comfort to realize that, really, it’s not you. When an interviewer has 50 or 100 (at least) good candidates to pick from to fill a position, well, it’s my belief that sometimes they just toss a coin after everyone’s been interviewed. Or maybe they put all of the candidates’ names in a jar and draw one. Or possibly the interviewer selects the person who wore the niftiest clothes – who knows? I do know that when a caller wants to know what I can see that they did “wrong” in the interview, I can honestly tell them they did fine, that it wasn’t them, that someone else just got the luck of the draw. And there will be another interview, where they’ll get the luck of the draw.
In relationships, callers are sometimes puzzled because the last date went just right, everything was great, and promises were made for a phone call. Then… nothing. Absolutely no call, no text, nothing. Dead silence. My callers are not only disappointed but baffled as well. “What did I do?” they’ll ask. And, most of the time, I’ll tell them that they did nothing to affect things in a negative way, that sometimes, believe it or not, some people just can’t deal with success, and so don’t make the phone call for a second date. It happens. Really. Or their date realized that while they had a nice time, they really weren’t over their “ex” and didn’t want to start another relationship just yet. Just because the reasons weren’t laid out, it didn’t mean that anything was personally wrong with my caller.
It’s not all about you. It really isn’t. You are, in all likelihood, a nice person who does your best. You were (there’s no doubt in my mind) the first runner-up to the guy who got the job (he also happens to be the cousin of the company vice-president). You usually try your best not to hurt other people’s feelings and would never fail to make a phone call (or text or e-mail) when you promised to. You handle your bit of responsibility in the world very well and just need to let go and let other people handle theirs. After all, bless your heart, it’s not all about you.