Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)When someone tells you something that’s hard to hear, take a moment to consider what might be behind their words. Before you bristle with indignation or slouch off to sulk, imagine why they might have said what they did. Did they really want to hurt you? Or was telling this truth actually a sign that there’s a problem they want to solve (rather than walk away from)? Consider the possibility that speaking up might have been nearly as hard for them as it was for you to listen to. Hopefully, this rather mature insight will help you have a different—and ultimately more productive—response to their words than you’d have had otherwise.Aries (March 21-April 19)Your efforts to help someone may be so unwelcome that they become fuel for a battle between you two. That’s unfortunate, but mostly out of your hands. Trying to look out for someone who needs it is something that’s in your nature, and I’d hate for you to stop doing it just because they might not be able to accept it or appreciate your efforts. Please do the right thing and offer aid—but at the same time also collect the information and allies you might need should things turn sour instead of sunny as a result of your actions.Taurus (April 20-May 20)There comes a time when parents must finally accept their children’s autonomy and let go of control. That’s not to say they’ll necessarily ever stop caring or worrying, but butting out and letting their kids make their own decisions (and yes, mistakes) is necessary. The same goes for other kinds of relationships. You may not be able to help what you actually feel, but what you do is still under your control. In this case, even if you know better, or even exactly what someone should do (instead of what they’re doing), what you do is mind your own business and keep your mouth shut.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)There’s a tremendous difference between offering aid and stepping in and taking over. Even though you may very well be able to make someone’s life much easier in the moment, you’re not helping them in the long run if you just do something for them. Even though they’d be enduringly grateful, you actually wouldn’t be doing them any favors. Quite the contrary. Let them be sour and resentful that you stepped aside and forced them to sink or swim mostly on their own. They may not thank you for it later—but they really ought to.Cancer (June 21-July 22)Establishing ground rules for your relationships is sometimes very important—to you. I understand: When you let someone inside your protective shell, they have tremendous capacity to hurt you, and you want to try to keep that from happening. Most other people don’t necessarily need all those rules and don’t worry about this stuff, so forcing them to have this kind of conversation is a special form of torture—which they understandably won’t appreciate. See if you can forgo it this time. If you absolutely must say something, edit it as much as you can. The shorter and sweeter, the better.Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)Apologies are only worthwhile if sincere. If you can’t mean it when you say you’re sorry, please try not to say it at all. Doing it only because it’s expected of you is pretty lame. Here’s hoping you can come up with valid reasons of your own to deliver an apology when one’s called for, so it’s genuine and not forced and fake—which would be completely counterproductive. If you can’t, that’s far from ideal, but it’s still better to be real about it then to pretend contrition where none exists. That itself would just require another apology.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)Don’t give the things and people you dislike a lot of energy. Ignore them. Think of how counterproductive it is when, say, conservative Christian groups blacklist a book or movie—their actions only cause it, ironically, to become more popular as people wonder, “What’s all the fuss about?” Even if all you’re doing is complaining or talking about all the things you see that are wrong, you’re still spending an awful lot of time and energy on something you don’t really want to play a big part of your life. Focus instead on all the wonderful things you’ve got going on, and when that negative stuff pops up, just do your best not to spare it more than a thought.Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)People expect things of you all the time, and it’s in your nature to at least try to deliver—so much so that you don’t always (or even often) consider whether or not their expectations are the least bit fair. Sometimes they’re simply not, and you’re really screwing yourself over by assuming otherwise and trying to live up to the ridiculous things being asked of you. Get a reality check. Is your accommodating personality causing you to bend over backwards for someone who really doesn’t deserve it (and should be ashamed to have asked)? Obviously, if the answer’s yes, stop—immediately.Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)Training people to notice their oversized senses of entitlement is a hard bit of work, but it eventually pays off. Just think how much more pleasant the world’s become now that most smokers realize how filthy, offensive, and shameful their habit is, and go out of their way to shield the rest of us from it. This week, it’s your duty to point out to someone how often they’re stepping on others’ toes, and help them find a more accommodating way to navigate life without inconveniencing or hurting people. They will not thank you for it—but we will. Thanks!
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)Being put on the spot sucks. If you get asked a question in a situation where it would be hard to say “No,” it could be because the asker feared what you’d answer in a more private, lower-pressure situation. That’s potentially a sneaky, devious move. Of course, there are other, more innocuous reasons to place someone in such an awkward position. Perhaps the asker’s socially inept, or genuinely thinks this is what you’d want, for some reason. It’s your job to figure out which category this situation falls into—and if it’s because they’re cowardly or manipulative, it’s also your job to call them on it.Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)People change. Their desires change, and this evolution is rarely guided by logic or reason. Imagining that your relationship with someone is essentially “set in stone” is pretty foolish, because any interesting person’s needs, wants, and goals will transform over time. You must learn to love whom they’re becoming, not just who they once were. Sadly, that’s not always possible (thus the high rate of divorce). However, in this case I think it might be quite likely—provided you’re flexible enough to notice all the wonderful ways someone’s evolved, rather than just paying attention to the stuff that’s not like it once was. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)Taking the high road isn’t especially fun. In fact, it often robs you of the sweet satisfaction of revenge, or simply knocking someone off their high horse. Nevertheless, despite losing out on those delicious moments in the short term, being gracious, patient, generous, and forgiving with those who don’t exactly deserve it will pay better dividends in the long run. Go ahead and fantasize all you want about what you wish you could do or say, but leave it all in your head while out here in the real world you demonstrate the patience of a saint. People will notice and admire you for firstname.lastname@example.org