I received a text this week from someone I love who is very important to me.
Based upon the nature of the text, I immediately came to the conclusion that this person was upset with me, disappointed in me, and didn’t like me. All sorts of negative stories were circulating in my head, when in truth, my friend was looking out for me and wanted to direct me to accomplish a goal I had previously mentioned which was important to me.
I had asked him why he couldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt, when I also wasn’t giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Based on my history, benefit of the doubt is not something I’m used to being given, yet I want it badly. If I want something badly, I’ve learned that the best way to receive it is to offer it to others.
My question is, how?! My natural inclination is to make up a negative story about myself and defend myself, which ultimately causes me further pain.
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions; when receiving information that can be perceived as critical, uncomfortable, and even judgmental, how do we give the person sending it and ourselves the benefit of the doubt?
One way is to check it out and do some investigation. Ask the person for clarification before jumping to conclusions, and then share with them the story you made up.
Second, I think we can benefit from asking the person to possibly share it differently in the future. In doing so, we exhibit vulnerability that creates a deeper connection.
Third, practice giving the benefit of the doubt as often as you are able to. The more we practice, the more others will as well.
This week, let’s work on seeing ourselves in a positive light. Let’s give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. The more we exercise that muscle, the more we will be able to offer it to others.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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