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
With some people, there doesn’t ever seem to be a middle ground. Everything is black or white, all or nothing. Either you’re on their side or completely against them. I definitely know more than one person who fits this description, and it makes communication quite difficult sometimes.
One of the things that is difficult is trying to get a point across without them over-interpreting things as I sometimes call it, is the fact that they tend to interpret things as being one extreme or the other. And unfortunately, the worst possible interpretation seems to be the one of choice most of the time. Continue reading
This is a topic that has bothered me for many years now …. the notion that men and women can’t be friends unless at least one of them is attracted to the other romantically and/or physically. This is what some people I know believe to be true. This might be the case for some people, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily true for everyone. In addition, it seems like there is often an automatic assumption when people of the opposite sex (assuming we are talking about heterosexuals) are seen together that they must somehow be involved in a relationship, legitimate or not, rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are friends or relatives. I’m sure this happens though as well when two people of the same gender who are known to be gay or lesbian are seen together.
I grew up surrounded by boys and have always had plenty of guy friends, some of whom I have been more than friends with at some point. Others I did have a little crush on or I knew they liked me, but it remained a friendship in spite of the fact that one of us was interested in something more with the other person. I have also had numerous other guy friends over the years with whom I only wanted to be friends and vice versa. The problem is that I keep having to explain that we’re just friends, especially if it is someone I have remained friends with after being in a relationship with them previously. I should be able to say that we’re friends, period, and not have to say “just friends”. I really wish that some people wouldn’t have that automatic suspicion just because we’re of the opposite sex. Continue reading