In what seems like another life, I spent a few years working for massive corporations. You know the type. Thousands of employees with several layers of bureaucracy yet you only actually speak to a handful of them. Communication was stale and cold, filtered through HR and marketing teams before it hit your inbox. There was no emotion in them, no story telling and very little actual communication.

You learnt to de-cdoe the words in to their actual meanings. Read between the lines and work out what was actually being said. Far too much energy had to go towards the interpretation of the false words and how best to action them. Unfortunately, in this dog-eat-dog world, in many situations this meant working out how to protect yourself. The burning realisation that at any moment the company could change the way they do things, and you could be surplus to requirements leads to constant paranoia.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity — Hanlon's razor

This wasn’t all bad, I suppose. I did develop a pretty thick skin as well as becoming pretty good at reading people. Now, in my calmer days, working in a job I love to bits, I have come to realise that worrying about what other people think is a fool's game. Trying to second guess things, and read between the lines in most situations gives you nothing but a headache and paranoid delusions. My approach to the actions of others now follows Hanlon’s razor above.

Once you adopt this viewpoint, it’s surprising how a large portion of what you may have previously worried about is just the stupidity of others. When the reality is that no one really cares about you, or puts as much though into you as you do towards them. Having a scout mindset and giving people the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise is the best way to be.