It’s amazing how much stress and conflict in my life actually stems from someone’s perception being different from reality. Most of the time, it is someone’s intentions that are perceived incorrectly, and usually it is assumed the intentions are far worse than what they really were. For example, a suggestion I make will get interpreted as me trying to control things or have things my way, when in reality I am just trying to be helpful. I catch myself making assumptions about intentions too sometimes, but it is usually because the other person has established a pattern of behavior demonstrating they can’t be trusted, make promises they have no intention of keeping, or other not so great behaviors.
It’s very easy to assume the worst and not give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, it is important to act in such a way that demonstrates that one can be trusted and has integrity and good intentions. Trust and respect are both qualities that are easy to lose and difficult to regain, and we need to keep that in mind both with our own behavior and being willing to allow others to redeem themselves. Not being so quick to judge their intentions is important too.
Sometimes two people can perceive the same situation differently and both be correct … or perhaps neither be correct. Continue reading