Don’t Assume Another Intends to Offend

Conflict is inevitable when there are multiple different interests at play.
The best thing we can do is try to look beyond the current persuasion and think kindly of others.

How often does something happen and your first instinct is that the other person sucks. It can be something so trivial as being cut off in line at the store; or a passing comment made by a stranger, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t understand their situation as clearly as you think. There might be some very justifiable explanation for their actions, something you can’t even think of- maybe because your mind is clouded from your own busy day. It could be a bigger deal, like working with an uncooperative neighbor to pay for a fence, something that consumes hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. Are they really just trying to get the best out of you? Resource sharing is a consistent conflict, we all want to make sure we have enough for our own personal security.

We can’t live our lives taking things so personal, assuming another person intends to offend us. How miserable to think poorly of others on a regular basis. To judge them as if they are judging you poorly. We will never fully understand other humans, only ourselves. It is up to us to assume there is no offense intended, unless of course, they make it clear that is the intent (which is not the topic here).

People get offended easily and it is much easier to blame someone else. Take ownership, be the better person, and try to understand where they are coming from. We have to each reach further than half way across the aisle to cooperate fully, leaving some wiggle room for those who aren’t quite there yet.

Be the example by choosing to see others, and their intentions, positively.

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One thought on “Don’t Assume Another Intends to Offend

  1. I’m with you on this one. Sometimes you actually hear why someone was acting badly, and it just blows you away what they are going through – a family member has just been diagnosed with cancer, or is in the hospital, or they just lost their home. It’s so easy to assume that people are just jerks. When in reality we know nothing about their situation. Who knows what they had to go through to get here.

    And even when the other person is just average, just not thinking, doesn’t really intend anything. We could make the world so much better by trying to consider what they really do intend and helping them get it. Rather than getting mad, we could take on a study in human nature and helping people meet their needs all at once. 🙂

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