The Golden Rule – doesn’t really work for adults

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Sure when you are a kid, it makes sense that you want people to be nice to you, and so you should be nice to them.  But as we become adults and have specific preferences and desires, this is really bad advice.

For example, I’m not big on celebrating my Birthday.  To me it just like any other day.  I do have friends who care a lot about people making their birthday special.  So I should treat them as they want to be treated, not as I would prefer.  There are so many other examples.  When I’m angry or upset, I first go through a phase of wanting to be left alone.  Then after a bit, I just want to do something positive and get over whatever was bothering me.  That routine does not seem to match with the routine of many people around me.

So we have to learn to accommodate what other people want.  But many times people do not communicate what they need/want.  We can all improve our communication skills, and try to ask for what we want.  While at the same time, we should be mindful of what people ask.  If someone says they need space, or they don’t want to talk about it right then, respect their wishes.  Which came first, people not talking about what they need, or requests being ignored so that we decided it’s not worth asking?

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