Sign Language

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)As outgoing as you usually are, most Pisces need a significant amount of alone time to recharge. You become virtually unbearable when you don’t get it. Here’s the problem: You’re not always the best at making sure you take the downtime you need, especially when other people are making demands on your time and attention. Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of your own needs, who the hell will? This isn’t purely about selfishly looking out for #1. Taking care of yourself is also going to make you much better at taking care of everyone else—so make sure you do.Aries (March 21-April 19)Don’t let emotional bullies manipulate you into behaving out of character. The drama queens in your life should be making your life more entertaining and interesting, not more aggravating and nerve-wracking. If, on balance, their shenanigans are more irritating than delightful, consider sidelining them until they can learn to be less of a drag. Don’t get sucked into their melodrama. They may make you feel like you have no choice, but you totally do, even if it involves you being ever so slightly harsh; when they begin the theatrics, don’t wait until intermission—just get up and leave the theater. Taurus (April 20-May 20)Other people are not you. Don’t project yourself onto them. Some will fail where you succeeded, and some will succeed where you could not. That doesn’t mean you’re not “right” when you observe that something is overwhelmingly difficult, but being a naysayer and telling someone they can’t do something is a pretty lame (and possibly even mean) thing to do. Don’t be such a downer. Try to offer your support, even if you feel cynical or jealous. Perhaps all they need to flourish is what you might have lacked: someone amazing, like you, who’s willing to help.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)So their methods aren’t your methods. Instead of rejecting them purely on that basis, consider this: Are their techniques reasonably effective (even if they’re not as “good” in some way as yours)? Are they being ethical and more or less reasonable? If so, then stop condemning them just because they don’t do things the way you do or think they ought to. You did your honorable duty, by clearly stating your opinion, once—and that’s plenty. Now you have a clear choice: Stay and help them out, their way—or just get out of the way. Cancer (June 21-July 22)Please, never feel like you’re trapped in a situation. Unless you’re duct-taped to a chair in someone’s basement, you have options and choices. They may not always be ideal or even feel tolerable, but they’re there. Telling yourself you don’t have any alternative is a sad story that plays handily right into your martyr complex. Stop repeating that pathetic tale. You’re stronger and more resourceful than that, and even if you’re not enthusiastic about the paths immediately available to you, you’re certainly capable of pursuing them and getting out of the lame circumstances you’ve felt stuck in. Quit whining and get to it.Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)People change. Sometimes those changes are temporary, sometimes they’re for good. Being able to figure out which is which is an important skill for you to cultivate. If you like the changes—and a reversion to someone’s old habits would be a deal-breaker, for instance—knowing whether or not they can be counted on is really valuable information. And if you don’t like the changes, being sure things will be back to normal in a month or two will help you “stick it out” instead of freaking out. This week, try to notice the differences between the two kinds of transformations—being able to accurately tell which is which will help you make better decisions in the month to come.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)Being micromanaged sucks, doesn’t it? The next time you’ve got someone breathing down your neck to make sure you do something “right,” try to remember the feeling, so you can suppress such urges in yourself whenever you’re in charge. You’ve got strong (and often “correct”) ideas about how things should be done, and your intentions in sharing them with others are good and noble. They’re also mightily annoying. Learning to bite your tongue and leave other people to their own (admittedly less efficient and effective) methods is a wonderful lesson—and this week’s experiences should help you master it.Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)What you think are actually “standards” would more accurately be labeled “rules to needlessly limit my life by.” That’s not to say you should abandon all ideas about who or what you want in your life. But you do need to become much, much more flexible regarding them. No one can jump through the series of hoops you’ve set up, and even if there is someone who’s capable, you’ll have no luck getting them to try, because who’d want to be with someone that demanding and particular? Your life’s limitations are completely self-inflicted—and most of them are not actually serving or helping you. Abandon some (or preferably most) of them, and see what magic consequently unfolds. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)Sometimes we just have to deal with someone’s drama (because the alternatives are worse). However, this isn’t one of those times. Sure, you’ve tried everything you can think of to minimize the aggravation, and it’s true there’s not much else you can personally do. However, there’s plenty a third party might do to improve the situation (and thus your overall quality of life). Resist engaging the first person who comes to mind. Instead of aiming for someone who is the most willing or most available, shoot for the one who is neither—but is likely to be the most effective.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)Animals and humans alike react violently when they feel cornered or trapped. You can’t blame a dog for biting you if he feels like he has no other choice—if, say, he’d rather run but doesn’t have that option. Be aware of the situations you’re putting others in. Even if they actually have other “outs,” some people may feel like they’re boxed in anyway, and consequently could lash out in surprising and probably unpleasant ways. You can avoid these situations with clear communication and taking care to put yourself in others’ shoes before you make demands. Have you done that? This week, be sure—before you get into biting range.Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)Collaborating with other people requires sharing control—something that’s not always easy for you. Here’s the quandary. You know that by maintaining full control over something you can make it at least reasonably successful. By sharing that power, you run the risk of utter failure, or at least something less successful than if you’d just maintained a firm grasp of the situation. However, you also create the possibility of the end result being something greater and cooler than you ever imagined. Isn’t that worth the risk, even though it might be frightening? It’s a trade-off, to be sure—but one worth attempting this week and in the weeks to come.Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)It’s great to have a plan, but please try to think of it as Plan B instead of the plan. This should be your fallback scenario—the thing you do if nothing better, more immediate, or more compelling happens. Since life has an occasional tendency to throw surprises your way, trying to steer things back onto your predetermined course will only be exhausting and mostly pointless. Going with the flow is a powerful tool. That doesn’t mean you need to let the current carry you wherever it wants—feel free to steer! But trying to make this the best and most successful ride, in the moment, is not the same thing as trying to make this into the ride you’d previously imagined.

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