Existential Psychology

Common Denominator Is You

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If you have noticed a pattern of how people behave towards you, in other words the same things seem to always end up happening to you, the people doing it seem pretty much interchangeable, there is an uncomfortable truth embedded in there. The common denominator is you.

If you feel you’re constantly being abandoned, betrayed, lied to, or whatever, you’re either the most unlucky person in the world or there is something you are doing to provoke these behaviors. It’s much more comfortable to blame everybody else than it is to look honestly at our own behaviors, but this strategy pretty much guarantees that the same thing is going to keep happening. It’s like a poker player, unaware of his tell, who wonders how it could be that he keeps losing hands in spite of his brilliant play.

The paradox is that as long as you put the responsibility for what happens to you on everyone except yourself, you make yourself completely powerless. There is nothing you can do until you accept some amount of responsibility for the situation, however small, and then change that facet of your life.