There is another side to this though that is a bit less helpful. When you understand what makes people act the way they do, you also tend to understand what you really are to those people. I feel like other people have a certain level of blissful ignorance when it comes to what others really feel about them. That's not the case for me. I know who I am to the people around me. I know what makes me valuable (or not valuable) to them.
I think people in general have this tendency to pick out certain aspects of a person and let those things represent the whole person. That's not really how people are though. We are complex creatures and can not be defined by just a few characteristics. I'm not going to get specific here, because I don't want to create any unnecessary conflict, but I think that nearly everyone I know (or ever have know) sees me as something very specific. They see me as whatever role it is that I play in their lives, or whatever trait seems most salient to them, or (sometimes) as a symbol of something that they think I represent.
I mean, I understand why this happens. We try to make sense of the things around us, even people, and I think I probably make even less sense than the average person. Because of this, the people around me just pick and choose what they want to see in me. To them, I am whatever they want me to be, and I usually play along.
Whenever I think about this topic (which is probably more often than it's healthy to think about such things) I generally find myself humming this song.