What is the third reason why someone does something?
The first reason is almost instinctive. It is generally about us.
The second reason is a mirror. We often make it about them.
The third reason might open up some empathy, as it has the power to be about the context.
This is how it goes.
A colleague does not answer your email requesting help.
The first reason: they do not want to help me.
The second reason: they are selfish and only care about their work.
The third reason: it is the end of the quarter, they might be busy.
A company is not coming back to you regarding your application.
The first reason: they have rejected me.
The second reason: their HR is lazy and unprofessional.
The third reason: they have a recruitment policy in place and they are simply following it.
Thinking through the third reason makes two things possible: it moves us from a natural tendency to look at the world as if we were at the centre of it, and it builds some rules that are actually applicable to everyone. It allows more compassion for others and for ourselves. It unloads us of a burden.
Make an effort to get to the third reason. After a while, that will become your new nature.