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Don’t try to figure them out (all the time)

You don’t need to understand the inner psychological workings of every single person who frustrates you.

In many cases, the pursuit of such knowledge is just a distraction from the real issue;

Frustration is what results when you feel like you’re not in control of the process of ensuring that your core needs are being met.

When you learn how to assert yourself, you automatically spend less time analyzing other people’s motives and more time figuring out how to get what you need out of your experiences with them.

For instance, if someone you depend on is late on a regular basis, you don’t need to have a conversation with them or anyone else about “why some people just don’t know how to be punctual.” What you need is…

1) that person to be on time

or

2) another more reliable person who can meet the same needs

or

3) a new way of seeing the situation that allows you to let it go and stop feeling bothered.

In the above instance, any information that you seek about people who are chronically late, should be limited to what is practically useful in helping you get what you need.

If you attempt to do more than that, you can very easily think yourself into a frenzy.

If you happen to be the type of person who actually enjoys pyscho-analyzing people, then you should follow your bliss and keep doing what excites you.

If, on the other hand, you frequently find yourself getting angrier and angrier at your repeatedly failed attempts to make sense out of questions like, “Why does she always talk to me that way?”; “Why hasn’t he paid me back?”; or “Why hasn’t she returned my phone call?”, then it might be time to shift your focus towards asking questions like, “What are my core needs?”; “How can I improve on my ability to articulate my needs?”; and “How can I become better at placing myself in situations where my needs are honored?”

Understanding others can be a highly useful exercise in problem-solving. But if your efforts are not geared towards obtaining insights that increase your capacity to meet your needs, then you’ll probably just end up being one of those really “smart”, but lonely and bitter people, who always whines and wonders about all the “idiots” who never seem to get it right.

Is that the person you want to be?

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