Assume The Best Intentions Whenever Possible

Try to assume the best intentions from individuals until you have repetitive attestations that they have other plans. I have encountered even the most unfriendly people, (even through my own actions) are typically not trying to harm others. Instead, they generally want to defend or protect themselves and to meet their own ideals.

The most aggressive individuals are often people who have suffered a lot of cruelty and criticism and are incredibly hypersensitive to it. That understanding helps dispel anger. That awareness does not inevitably mean that we should cease from using consequences to discourage unfavourable behaviour. But it does mean that we can deal with the individual more serenely and efficiently. How does the awareness that people are generally aggressive to guard themselves pertain to less unsympathetic individuals, including me? If a person who generally appreciates you is annoyed or knowingly upsets you, then he (or she) is possibly doing it out of a defensive attitude or fair-mindedness!

He (or she) possibly assumes that you did something to him/her first, and they are just defending themself, getting even, or trying to teach a lesson so you won’t harm them again. In short, they are undoubtedly operating under the same reasons that you are when you perpetuate the cycle of conflict! They are assuming the worst intentions of you — that you don’t care about them or that you tried to hurt them intentionally.

Does this make it right? No! Did I learn something? Yes!

—Brian Nadon

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  1. There’s a lot of wisdom here. It’s interesting when we look at the how differently people react to the same comments or actions. Over time you come to see that it really does say more about them than you. That can help when we feel hurt, attacked or treated badly by others.


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