Have you ever tried to do something kind for someone, only to have it backfire on you? Ever since we got married my husband has wanted a dog. When we moved into our own home he was finally able to get his beloved Bosco. I am not really a dog person but tried to love on the dog because it was important to my husband. Last summer I was going for a walk and decided to take the dog with me. We got about a mile into our walk and Bosco found the neighbor’s chickens. He terrorized them and ultimately ended up killing one. I felt terrible. I had been trying to show an act of love and instead had caused more problems.The end result of me taking Bosco on a walk ended up being more negative than positive. But my actions had been out of love.
In our daily interactions with others it is very easy to get focused on the end result. How come my kids don’t ever listen to me? Why does my husband get to do that? Why won’t my sister help me? If we always focus on the end result we are more likely to get upset with the people around us. Its easy to feel like our feelings are being neglected. If, on the other hand, we focus on the intent or emotion of the people around us, it is much easier for us to give them benefit of the doubt.
I had a hard day today. I think I will text my friend.
Hey what are you doing?
Not much hanging out with the fam.
I had a really hard day. Do you wanna go grab something to eat and chat?
If I look at this interaction on the surface level my insecurities are going to start messing with my reality. I am going to start telling myself the story that my friend didn’t want to hear about my problems. Why did’t she want to help me? I always help her? I am going to be prone to create a false narrative. If on the other hand, I think about the relationship we have, and realize the fact that she has never ignored me on purpose, and assume that she didn’t see my text, it wont feel personal. People are typically good. Assume the good and doubt the bad.