Monday, July 16, 2012

The Benefit of the Doubt

What a great quote from http://www.piercedhands.com/learning-to-love-not-judge/: "Instead of looking down on you, I’m going to try to assume the best, to see how hard you’re trying. Because I want you to see my efforts, not my failures, I’ll try to do the same for you. I’m doing the best I can. I think most of us are."

When I was a child and teenager I tried really hard to be like the above quote. I was cheerful, helpful, and generous with my time. My parents worried people were taking advantage of me, and at school they most definitely were. I found that thinking nice thoughts of others was easier and easier every time I tried.

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this. I found out when I was living on my own for the first time just how much some people hated this attitude. I was called fake and at the time I couldn't fathom what they were seeing. In the end I was ostracized from my peers and they tried to beat me up. I did realize that something was wrong after the first negative encounter and my vigilance prevented them from doing worse damage than was already done.

After such negative feedback for my attempts at being understanding of others situations and behaviors I tried to be less overt in my thoughts. While I never again was physically assaulted I was told by my "friends" that I expected too much from them. Since I never asked them to physically do anything, I guess they felt like I thought they weren't living up to their potential.

People are odd and fitting in with others can be very hard. I think I still need to be more understanding of the situation others are in. Giving them the benefit of the doubt.

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