Assume the Best in Relationships

Relationships are work, hard work even.

We enjoy a few that are extraordinary to be sure…but even these will take effort some days. Days when you don’t have the capacity to look beyond self, either due to feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, or possibly irritated or anxious due to a past wound or fear.

Whatever the reason, it’s difficult to hold some relationships from flying apart. Especially when so much of our communication is not face to face. We miss the 80% of communication that is non-verbal…body language, etc.

With all of this going on…capacity / energy / challenge / fatigue / medium deficiency (just invented that)…its a wonder ANY of our relationships survive…and well they would not but for the times when we assume the best of others in the absence of complete understanding.

Herein lies a simple and effective 1st base for healthier relationships: assume the best.

Kind of an “innocent until proven guilty” basis. We get an email that feels black and white…a bit strong to digest, and we feel our blood pressure begin to rise, our face flushes, our temple throbs…as we begin to formulate a harsh opinion followed by a defensive…or possibly even all-out front assault…as a response.

This starts the crazy cycle. We respond harshly…they receive our attack, assume the worst, and respond harshly in turn…and so on, until it builds to epic proportion with all of its collateral damage…kids, friends…dog…

Much of this can be averted…if we simply begin to assume the best. Assume that there is no critical / fatal / harmful intent in the communication…or possibly that the other person is having an “off” day at worst.

Working within this assumption delivers the power for us to “respond” from a healthy posture perspective…rather than reacting / overreacting from imbalance.

Assume the best of others.