1. Listening to someone talk about a personal problem only to immediately make it about you and a problem you are going through when they stop talking. You might think you’re empathizing, but it usually just comes off as “My turn to talk about problems.”
2. Lying to someone about why you are late or have to cancel for something, because you don’t want them to get mad at you, even though it totally screws it up for the rest of us who actually do have a reason to be late.
3. Answer question after question about yourself without stopping to ask the other person a question. Even if it feels unnatural to shift the conversation around and focus it on them, it’s still an important thing to do.
4. Complaining about your job in front of someone who is having a really hard time finding one.
5. Allowing yourself to think, when you cheat or cut corners on something, that it’s okay if you do it just this one time (but you wouldn’t forgive anyone else doing it, of course).
6. Forgetting to take time to call and personally thank the family members who send gifts or cards to you, even though you know it would make all the difference in the world to them.
7. Insulting yourself with the intention of having someone compliment you to reassure you.
8. Watching someone call you and not answering the phone, and sending them a text message because you don’t want to have to deal with an actual vocal conversation.
9. Not replying to emails in a timely fashion because you open up the tab to do it, go to do something else, and then forget about it for the next few days.
10. Not mastering the proper use of a roundabout before entering one, and therefore making everyone else’s roundabout experience terrible.
11. Being very hard on the new significant other of a close friend because part of you not-so-secretly feels like no one will ever be good enough for them. (Meeting the friends is stressful enough already, it’s important to be friendly off the bat, even if it feels forced.)
12. Making fun of someone (either a stranger or an acquaintance) for their clothes or their hair, and yet getting really irrationally angry when someone does it to you or someone you care about.
13. Using an illegal parking spot because you’re just “running in for two minutes and you’ll be right out,” but being totally outraged if and when you get a ticket for it.
14. Engaging in any kind of I-told-you-so behavior when a friend finally breaks up with an ex that you’ve never liked and always disagreed with. Even if you were right, and even if you had their best interest at heart, the last thing anyone needs in a tough moment is to feel like their failure is vindicating.
15. Attempting, when busted on a lie, to go farther in the lie and paint yourself more and more into a corner because you have too much pride to admit that you’re wrong and that you said something stupid.
16. Not really paying attention to what someone else is saying because you’re waiting for them to shut up so you can talk.
17. Starting off, when a friend or family member tells you about a life choice you don’t like, with a judgment or criticism, because you basically can’t help yourself. The desire to make a disapproving comment is strong, yes, but even for things you really can’t support — like, say, taking out big loans for what you perceive to be a useless degree — every dream needs to be treated gently. Support first, then reasonable discussion.