(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 5)

The Paradox of Trying to Make Someone Else the Center of Your Life

There is a way another person can be the center of your life: You can choose to obey the person no matter what. But, even if you do this, you are still the center of your own life, and the other person is outside you.

Another person can be Number One in your life, but only if you make him (or hers) Number One. But to make someone Number One implies you have the power to make or not make the other person Number One. This, in turn, implies that, in your own eyes, you are more powerful than the other person. It is like a king who tries to make another person king, but he can only make him a future king.

"You are everything to me!" suggests another form of this same paradox. If someone is everything to you than you are nothing, but, if you are nothing, you don't exist, and no one can be everything to something that doesn't exist.