It’s Not All About You

I’m very pleased to say that my PIP tribunal was successful and I’ve received the back pay I was owed. As a result, I’ve started buying the aids and adaptations I’ve needed for more than a year. One of the things I’ve ordered is a leg raiser, to help me with my PoTS. Once I’d placed my order, I messaged the seller to ask about what I need to fill in because I am eligible for VAT relief. The email I received back told me that “I assume you need to contact HMRC.” This response prompted me to cancel my order. It also lead me to think about all the things we assume and the effect they have on others. After all, it’s not all about you.

It's Not All About You

The reason I was annoyed with the seller’s message was that they ‘assumed’. It’s their job to know, or at least take the time to find out. I’ve had to fight really hard for my PIP money, and I’m not prepared to VAT on a product when I don’t have to. Previously when anything’s been bought for me, the seller provides a form to fill in and then we’re reimbursed the VAT. I’ve never had to contact HMRC. I’m not even sure they would deal with this!

It's Not All About You

This isn’t the only incident where someone’s assumed something without checking their facts. I’ve seen a few things popping up on social media where an assumption has been made about something someone’s said. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t make assumptions. They’re necessary for us to make sense of the world. We don’t have the time to process everything and fact check every little detail. We’re built as creatures who learn from previous experiences in order to keep us safe, but this can impact the assumptions we make about the world.

It's Not All About You

We’ve all come across that person who makes EVERYTHING about them. Sometimes to the point of being narcissistic. It’s frustrating when all you want to do is shout at a person “It’s not all about you!”

Something I’ve noticed, particularly amoung the chronic illness community, is that sometimes comments that are meant in solidarity come across as self centred. One person tweets something and they get a reply along the lines of “I get that too, but [insets personal experience].” Sharing our own experience can be meant as supportive. They show the other person that they aren’t alone and that you understand. However, at times it can come across as ‘I’m sicker than you/have it worse than you.’ I say this not in relation to a particular conversation or person, but general experience and from things I’ve seen on twitter.

It's Not All About You

At the end of the day, it’s not all about you. So when I respond to tweets or comments in solidarity, I try to include some words of support as well as my own story. You’d be surprised how far an “I’m so sorry you’re going through this” goes.

I guess the point of this post is to say that it’s not all about you. Sometimes when people make assumptions about a situation, they make it all about themselves. They may not mean to, but that’s how it comes across. So it’s worth taking a moment to think about other people’s motives in what they say and do. Avoid jumping to a conclusion that may not be accurate. It’s not all about you, so don’t make it that way.

It's Not All About You

Think someone’s deliberately avoiding you? Chances are they’ve just been busy. Before you jump to conclusions, why not pick up the phone and ask them if they’re ok. Making accusations in situations like this can be upsetting for everyone involved. Do you want to be that person? Remember, it’s not all about you!

I will just add a caveat in here, that this can be a particularly difficult thing to do when you’re affected by a mental illness. A mental illness can take over what your rational brain is telling you. These are issues that a person has no control over and can’t be overcome easily.

It's Not All About You

So when your’e on social media, or talking with people in real life, have a think about how you’re coming across. Don’t get too deep with these thoughts though, because that can hit your self-esteem. But don’t stop there. If someone says something that you think comes across as all ‘me-me-me’ take a moment to consider whether this is how it’s meant.

It's Not All About You

We all need to be kind to one another, but also protect ourselves from being hurt. It’s a hard thing to balance, but if you know it’s not all about you, it can be a little easier to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

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It's Not All About You

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Tania Jayne


  1. I’ve really been trying to take this into consideration recently. Sometimes it’s really hard to accept that when someone’s not replying to you, or being a bit cold that it has nothing to do with you, and all to do with how they’re feeling

    Steph –

    • It can be such a difficult thing to do and our previous experiences and insecurities can make it even harder. It’s great that you’re trying hard to think about things like this. The more you do, the easier it gets. Not that it ever becomes easy, just not quite as hard! Xx

  2. I’m really glad to hear that you’ve received the payment that you’ve been owed. I only wish you hadn’t had to fight for what you are entitled to! I can understand making assumptions, we all do it at times, however as a seller also doing customer service, they should have found out the correct information and not assumed. That’s lazy service as well as being rude!

    I really like this post. It can be very easy for us to make assumptions about what people are saying or doing, but I think we often miss the mark. And it can also be very easy for us to say something without realising how it might affect people. I do try to be as conscious as I can about the way that I say things, but I know I have made mistakes with it!

    Beccah xx

    • Thank you so much darling. Unfortunately many people have to go through the same fight. Currently 65% of people who appeal their decision have it overturned. So many people who are entitled to financial help are being turned down. That’s not to mention those who are turned down but don’t contest the decision because they’re not well enough to but fit the criteria.

      I was shocked that they made didn’t take the time to find out the information. As you say, it’s very poor customer service. You’re so right about it being easy to say things without realising the impact they’ll have on someone else. We’ll never be able to get it right all of the time, but I think it’s really important that we’re mindful as often as we can be. Xx

  3. I posted something really long but it didn’t go through. But I know what you mean, I’ve definitely been in situations where I thought people were mad at me and made a huge deal about it. I’ve lost friends in the process (I was in high school back then) and there was just too much drama, but I have learned and grown from it and to not make assumptions with the friends I have right now. My mom reminds me to be careful about how I come across, especially in body language because I tend to not make eye contact when I talk to people. I guess I feel intimidated and worry about what they think of me, which is another negative assumption. I’ve definitely experienced that with healthcare stuff too. Sometimes it feels like the people dealing with our health issues don’t care or bother, but then there’s a lot of beaucreacy involved and they have to deal with other patients who are a lot nastier, so it stresses everyone out on all ends!


    • It’s so hard isn’t it! We always got to our worst fears, however unlikely they may be. High school seems to be the worst for it. When I was about 15/16, I got really upset when my boyfriend at the time started putting fewer kisses at the end of his messages. I was so worried that he was upset with me. He wasn’t at all. I feel like we’re seeing this more in adults now though, particularly on social media. Certainly my experiences of people over reacting have been through social media. It’s so nice to see lots of people saying that they try to always be conscious about how the come across. It’s great that people like you and me are actively trying to avoid giving people a reason to jump to assumptions. I don’t think it’ll ever be possible to completely avoid this.

      Ugh! I know exactly what you mean about healthcare assumptions. I’ve realised quite a few times after an appointment that doctors have made assumptions without asking me how I feel, what I do, etc. It’s to the point with one consultant where I’m thinking of asking to see someone else. Xx

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