I assume the best in the frustrated driver who passes by quickly. I assume the best in my child as they holler about fairness, and the umpire who just called my kid out when he was clearly safe.
But sometimes it gets a little harder. How do I assume the best in the junkies who leave needles in front of my office, or in my ex-husband? How do you assume the best in the boss that dumped work on your desk on friday afternoon?
It’s a skill just like any other that we have to develop, similar to tying your shoes or brushing your teeth, it is good for your wellness.
I knew someone once who did not assume the best in people. Instead many situations caused displeasure. Not many people enjoyed hearing about it. It came to a point where change was needed.
Starting with a gratitude practice, this person decided to change. Slowly beginning by sharing grateful with people throughout the day, the result was incredible. Instead of people walking away, they now wanted to come closer, to be near. Eventually, after practicing gratitude for sometime, it became like second nature. And then instead of seeing what was wrong with the situation, there was an automatic draw to the positive side of the situation. By assuming the best in people, they would prove the assumption right. It’s amazing how that works.
Sometimes no matter how much you assume the best, challenging things can happen. I read once about how forgiveness offers freedom to the person who has been “wronged”. That if you walk around with the feeling of being a victim, you are actually emotionally attached to the person who you are trying to remove yourself from. When you forgive, you become disentangled. Easier said than done, trust me, I know. But it’s possible. And for me it starts with gratitude.
Everything is better when we start with gratitude. From there, it becomes much easier to assume that everyone has the best intentions, know we are all a work in progress and assume the best.
Give it a try, it can’t hurt right?