I don’t know if you have ever been a victim of trying to give a different impression to someone who initially had a misconception about your personality or about an action you took. It took me 3 years to turn mine around.
A few years ago, a dear friend of mine in my undergrad days was victim to a particular scandal which I had happened to be privy to. The thing is, as much as I was aware, I had no idea how bad things had actually gotten until she opened up to me a few months later (sharing this story is harder than I thought because it’s obvious I’m trying to be careful because it is sensitive stuff).
I was heart wrenched to think that I could have actually protected her by just paying a little more attention; to think that I could have actually stood up for her. The deed was already done and my friend was scarred for life. As if I did not feel bad enough, a common friend had let me know that she had gotten the impression that I was blaming her for what had happened. Everything but that; I suddenly felt that I had the duty to let her know that that was not the case and that I actually cared about her and the last thing I wanted to do was blame her for what happened. If anything, I’d blame myself. This must have been the fruit of some miscommunication. If only she could see past her assumptions to understand that I actually meant well for her at the very core of who I am. Long story short, those misconceptions have finally been cleared up after 3 years of hard work but our relationship is not as good as it was before the incident.
Believe the best about people. Pray for their short comings. You are not the standard. We all need grace – Lecrae
Experiences like this always make me think of things in reverse. There are so many things that people may have done or said to to you that could be easily misconstrued as them not being caring enough or being just plain wicked. I know it could be difficult in a world where you could argue that there are some genuinely dark people on the inside. But in spite of that, I think it is healthier for us as individuals to always choose to believe the best of others. Because most times, at the core of their nature they are well-meaning and good people. I find that trying to make excuses for people’s actions or words towards me that at first could take me aback, helps my heart more than anything else. And most times I have been grateful I did because for 1, it helped release any kind of grudge that could have been taken and 2, along the line I realize that what must have caused them to do such a thing was actually legit and well-meaning; that or they were going through an emotional challenge that I was glad not to have reacted accordingly or else it could have compounded the issue both for me and them.
Just as you want others to believe the best about you, you also need to reverse that grace and believe the best about others – Rick Renner
I’m still at it though, and trust me it is slightly challenging because I think I am particularly sensitive sometimes even to body language but I have found that this one decision of believing the best of people has saved me a lot of heart ache, worry and unnecessary drama. Mostly also maintaining sound emotional health which is very important if you are going to go far in life.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a similar experience of being misunderstood or even misunderstanding others’ actions or words? Is believing the best of others something that has worked for you or is it just a concept that you don’t think is practicable? I’d love to hear from you! Post a comment on here or through my instagram contact: @i__b__k