Do you sometimes feel like there is a conspiracy and that the whole world is picking on you—your friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers? You know that they are really talking about you, even though they are making general statements. Who do they think they’re kidding? Strangers even seem to be going out of their way to make your day difficult—you’ve been bumped with shopping carts and cut off on the road by inconsiderate people. Sound a little familiar? Here’s the question: is everyone really out to get you, or is it your own baggage that makes you perceive that everyone has an agenda with your name on it?

Is it possible that people are just carrying on with their lives and that the things that are happening are just . . . happening? Perhaps people really are speaking in generalities, but you are taking it personally? Here’s a scenario: Glen is driving home from work in his sleek, low-to-the-ground sports car. He’s had an incredibly bad day and cannot wait to get home and relax. He is almost near his exit and needs to merge from the middle lane to get to the off-ramp. He puts on his signal, sees an opening, and starts to go for it when the person behind him jumps right in. Glen is livid! He calls the person a few well-chosen names and stews about it the rest of the way home. Glen knows that the person behind him did it on purpose.

In reality the person behind Glen had not noticed Glen’s signal. He had not been sure how to reach his destination and had asked his wife for directions. At the last minute she had realized that their exit was fast approaching and had told him to get over right away. He had not been out to get Glen. He never even saw him. Boy, talk about two different perceptions of the same situation.

Ironically, this week has not been a good one for Glen. Earlier, a deer had darted out from the woods as he had been driving along, bounced off the top of his car, spun around, and returned to the woods from where it had come. Just yesterday, as he was pulling into his driveway after a long day, he heard that all too familiar sound of pavement scraping the bottom of his beautiful car. Glen was not having a wonderful week. Funny, though, in these instances Glen had not been pleased at what had occurred, but he had not blamed the deer or the pavement or swear that they had been out to get him. If someone had even suggested such an idea to Glen, he might have even considered them a little silly. It never occurred to him to take these situations personally, yet he was completely convinced that the other driver was purposefully provoking him. Is the answer because it had been a person and not a thing? Probably. If so, Glen could work on changing his perspective.

What might a change in perspective accomplish for Glen? For starters he would not be in a bad mood about being cut off. It might also help him to lighten up and relax—it takes a great deal of emotional energy to be angry and defensive. Glen would probably also laugh a little more. When you stop taking things personally, you can see the humor in situations. Wow, a change in perspective could make a dramatic difference in his life. What about in yours?

So, what is the right perspective to have toward people who mean no more harm to you than the deer or the pavement did to Glen? It can be different for each person. Is it tolerance, or acceptance, or perhaps even ignorance? If you find yourself reacting like Glen, try exploring a few different perspectives as an exercise to find the one that works best for you, the one that will help you to shrug it off and not take it personally. You’ll be amazed at how you can change the quality of your life, simply by changing perspectives!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Eva Gregory is a master coach, speaker, and the author of The Feel Good Guide to Prosperity. Her internationally acclaimed Leading Edge Living One Year Success Program? ( is based on her unwavering belief that we all have the power to change anything in our lives and design it purposefully. Eva is currently working on her next book, Chicken Soup for the Prosperous Soul, with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup® fame. She is regularly featured on radio and in the media and is a recognized authority on the Laws of Attraction. Her radio show, “The Thrive Factor”
(, can be heard globally on VoiceAmerica Radio.