giving others the benefit of the doubt

When we experience other people’s screwed-up and skewed-up behaviors and actions and their awfulness and rudeness, we easily get hurt, offended and defensive. We are quick towards judging others and take things personally. We stew, we shower them with expletives, we gossip about them.

Instead of taking things to heart and feeling wounded, we need to give others the benefit of the doubt. As Richelle E. Goodrich points out in her book Smile Anyway, “When it comes to the crusty behavior of some people, give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be drowning right before your eyes, but you can’t see it. And you would never ask someone to drown with a smile on his face.”

If there’s something that has pissed you off and you’re constantly ruminating about it, let it go. We are not perfect beings either. We are not Gods or accomplished sages, we’re humans after all and it’s in our nature to make mistakes and errors.

We’ve all jay-walked, we’ve all cut in line, we’ve all spoken with disrespect and fluffy attitude, we’ve all been petty, we’ve all been jealous. Then, why do we get mad when other people do the same thing?

So, forgive others in the same way you forgive yourself. Like we are lenient and patient with our own misaligned behaviors and actions, we need to be the same with other people’s too. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt as well, both in good times and bad.