Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Look For the Innocence-Not the Blame!

How often do you feel misunderstood, or as if someone isn't giving you the benefit of the doubt? I just read a really great chapter from the book, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens" by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Dr. Carlson has some really good thoughts in his book and this chapter really caught my eye, because, unfortunately, I am really bad about not always giving the benefit of the doubt to other people.

Dr. Carlson says, "Sometimes we do something and someone takes it wrong. Or we feel like someone is being too hard on us, or too judgemental. Sometimes we do something wrong or mean, but we really didn't mean it. Other times we're exhausted and don't respond in a friendly enough way or with enough gratitude or patience."

Well, if we ourselves have days when we feel like no one is understanding us, it goes to figure that other people have days like that too. We should show them the benefit of the doubt. Meaning, cut them some slack.

My husband is very good at doing this. And he has to remind me to do it more often. I get offended by people who snap at me and wonder why they can't be more kind. He is quick to reply to my caustic crabbiness about them with, "Well, maybe they are having a bad day."

Now, when I am still being crabby myself, I reply, "Well, we all have bad days, that's not an excuse."

He gently smiles and replies, "Of course it's not, but won't it make your day go better if you go ahead and give them that benefit of the doubt instead of letting it make you mad?"

He got me there. So, while I'm still not very good at this, I try. Sometimes it really hurts if it's a family member, co-worker or friend who does the hurting, but I guess that's all the more reason to let it go and say a prayer.

I'm going to try that this month! And make it a happy month of November by Looking for the Innocence! Want to join me? Send me your thoughts or better yet, what do you do when someone treats you rudely for no good reason?

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