Assume a Best Intent

 

Mistakes truly are teachers that should be learned from. And life brings them to us daily–always will. I recently heard a quote that was meaningful to me, “Life isn’t here to make you happy, it’s here to make you more conscious.” (Conscious meaning aware). One of the best ways for me to stop an ineffective behavior, learn a lesson, and adopt a new tactic is to get a “taste of my own medicine.” For example: sometimes I am too suspicious of people’s motives. I assume that their intent is selfish and somehow against me.
Recently someone flipped the script and did this to me in a too-frustrated way (seemed to assume that I had wasted their time purposefully and came at me sideways). I was pretty disappointed–more so than was necessary considering that I’ve done the same thing to others many times. OK… keepin’ it real: I was hella pissed and took it straight to the ego AKA butt-hurt with that “how-dare-they!” feeling. But eventually I accepted that it was a healthy experience. It made me realize how often I’ve made this same mistake, and how discouraging it must have been for the other person to realize that my initial reaction to them was to suspect that they were trying to screw me over. When I realize that I have done this, I always do damage control. I’ve read that this misjudgment is natural to humans and have taken my friend Raquel’s advice to try to practice “assuming a positive intent instead of a negative one,” especially with family, friends, and coworkers. I think that’s a good practice to do before we verbalize our suspicions, or react angrily when we realize someone misread us, is to use this THINK graph. Don’t get me wrong, I know that sometimes people are trying to “play me,” but the THINK graph would still help in my response to those people, as well. All in all, I’ve remembered once again to Be Kind. And I’m feeling grateful that I’m still learning.

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