Are other people really people to you?

Or are they just characters in a drama that has you in the central role?

If you’ll have them be people you’ll need to give up using them or trying to force them to suit the story you think you’re living out. You’re going to have to allow them the space to surprise you – again and again – and you’ll need to learn to listen for all the ways they’re not how you expected them to be, even if you’ve known them intimately for years. You’ll need to accord them the dignity of at least some of the time being a ‘you’ to your ‘I’, rather than an ‘it’.

If you do all of this, you can give up all the effort and vigilance it takes to have the story turn out always how you’re expecting it. And maybe you’ll also let people relax their attempts to have you fit in to their story too.