Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steps to Connection: Assume the Best

It's too easy to get my panties in a wad.

I over think things. I go over conversations in my head and wonder what her words really meant. When I make a special effort to approach someone and she's short with me, seeming annoyed or preoccupied, I think she doesn't like me. If an individual doesn't return my phone calls, I wonder why she's mad at me. When I get a serious look in Bible study, I conclude the other party disagrees. If she avoids me at Walmart, she must hate me.

Sheesh. Why do I assume every response has something to do with me?

How does someone who wants to build relationships with others handle these sorts of situations?

A true friend gives the benefit of the doubt and doesn't take it personally. Maybe her head hurt or she had a hard day at work. Could she be struggling with hormones? Perhaps her kids have been especially taxing or she's having a problem with her mother. There's a thousand reasons the response is NOT about me. Really. I take myself too seriously. Brother.

People with strong ties assume the best about each other. They show grace and understanding even when they don't feel it. They draw others to themselves by withholding judgment. They allow others to have bad days without affecting the relationship. They put people at ease, thereby providing opportunities for real connection.

Assume the best. It sounds simple, yet takes practice to apply. I know. Old habits die hard. But I'm working on it. I've realized it's not just a matter of what we say either. Assuming the best must encompass our attitude as well or it shows. If we're not in it all the way, we're not in it at all.

What do you think? How could your relationships be enhanced by assuming the best?

More Steps to Connection:
Understand All Have Insecurities
Be Yourself
Take a Risk


dianne said...

Yesterday I threw out a comment on FB asking if anyone wanted to walk. A little while later I realized the one friend who usually walks with me has had a rough week and was probably not checking FB. I called her and we had a great walk and talk - so much better than my typical line of thinking when the response I seek doesn't come. You are so right about assumptions. Something I've been saying lately: in the absence of facts, our imaginations fill in the gap with stories that just might not be true!

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one who thought that way. My family tells me all the time that I worry too much or that I read too much into everything. I can truly relate to what you are saying. Looks like I could use a change in perspective too. :) Have a great -unassuming - day!! LOL :)

Denise R.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I start to turn too much to my inner thoughts because of someone else's reaction/lack of reaction, I take that as my cue to PRAY for them. It's a quick fix way to take the focus off me and keeps me from getting into my own head too much. My prayers are usually short and go like this:
Dear Lord, I pray for ________. May your grace and your love fill his/her needs right now. Thank you for letting me see You in others. I pray through Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen.