Most of us know the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It works fine in many circumstances. If you’re tempted to yell at the guy who just cut you off in traffic, you take a deep breath and give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, it could be you someday. You follow the Golden Rule when you visit a friend who’s sick because you would want the same treatment if you were to become sick.
The problem is, however, that the Golden Rule often does not work with close relationships, especially when it gets down to specific actions. For example, you may be content with not hearing from your mother for a week, so you don’t call her for seven days. She, however, may worry about you if you let a whole week go by without calling her. Oops, that one was for me.