There’s a liberation in discovering that what other people think of you is not the same as who you are. When you can stop identifying yourself with the stories and assessments of others, you can also free yourself from the constant inner pressure to appear as you think people want you to.
But once you know this, you have to understand that other people are not the same as your stories or assessments either. That means that whatever you think you know about them can only ever be partial, one angle on a situation way more complex than you’ve allowed for.
It means you’re going to have to learn to be way more imaginative and listen much more deeply, if you’re ever going to understand what’s going on when others are involved.