Daneen Skube

Don't take people personally

Q. I want to enjoy my job, but so often I find people are grumpy, paranoid or critical of me that it makes me not want to go to work. How can I have peace of mind in my work and navigate all the interpersonal huffiness?

A. The main mistake most of us make in trying to understand other people is the belief that people are reacting uniquely to us. The truth is most people don't think about us much at all. They react to the inner demons, memories and fears that we may trigger, but the reactions are not about us specifically.

The other truth is these reactions are not uniquely in response to us; it's how they generally react to everyone. You may feel less special if you realize...