Your Feelings Are Not Unique

June 2, 2022

One of my favorite mantras in life is:

Your feelings are not unique.

It’s the idea that, whatever you’re feeling, other people feel the same way. There’s no way that you’re the only way that feels that way. And if you feel like you’re the only one, then other people are probably just hiding it well.

Most commonly: You feel like you’re the only person who’s feeling lonely and like they’re having trouble making friends? No. Most people around you probably feel that way too. You’re not that unique. People are just good at hiding vulnerabilities, while you’re forced to have a front row seat to your own.

So however you feel is how you can assume other people feel, too. If you aren’t sure whether someone would like you to do something — like inviting someone you don’t know very well to get lunch randomly — you can use yourself as a proxy. Would I enjoy that? You probably would. And since you’re not that unique, they probably would as well.