What the “*#%\” is this person doing, why are they acting this way, how selfish, what an idiot/ child…
So many times these thoughts, questions and frustrations come up for us with other people. We feel unheard, unseen, not validated, angry, irritated, annoyed etc…. But I’m here today to let you in on a big secret that could change the way you view everything, everyone and yourself. Everyone, yes everyone, is doing the best that they possibly can.
What about that person that just flipped you off in traffic, or the friend that screamed at you, or the partner that is shutting you out- yup, they are doing the best that they can. When we are feeling scared, insecure, or judgmental we can be quite critical of other people. And these judgements honestly don’t get us anywhere- they actually leave us feeling worse, stalled, playing the victim and feeling walled off.
Pause now and think of someone you’ve been struggling or frustrated with or angry at… Picture them/the situation in your mind and just say out loud, ” they are doing the best that they can, if they could do better they would”. Whether you believe that or not that statement alone gives you a different lens to see the situation. Now check back in to what you feel about them or the situation.
Now picture a situation you wish you handled differently and placing your hand over your heart say out loud, “at the time I was doing the best that I could”. How does this feel? How does it feel to be gentle with yourself and alter your viewpoint of yourself.
Now this perspective isn’t a cop-out or a free pass for consistent poor behavior, or an entitled narcissistic view point. Believing you and others are doing the best that they can doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for responsibility and accountability. But it does allow the space and forward moving momentum to transform the perception and energy of the situation.
Some steps to help you get to perspective that everyone is doing the best that they can:
1. Alter how you relate to yourself “We don’t see people how they are, we see them how we are”. So if your seeing something in someone else you don’t like, pause and ask how that thing you don’t like, or that makes you feel uncomfortable relates to you. Alter how you relate to yourself and the shifts around you will be profound.
2. Be gentle with others and yourself. Gentle means being moderate with action, effort or degree-being kind and tender.
3. What we look for we will find. If your expecting someone to not step up, to not take responsibility then that is most certainly what they will do. When will allow someone to rise to the occasion you will be surprised what can be fulfilled.
4. See the other persons point of view. You have no idea the other persons perspective, intentions, background, patterning… You yourself have perspectives, backgrounds and patterning that form your Lens of perception.
5. Be the straight shooter, Honest communication. All this nice nice pacifying and vague conversation has to stop- it’s not helping anyone or anything grow, evolve or feel safe. I often find when someone is being vague or nice nice in conversation, it’s bc of two things- they either aren’t clear what they are feeling/what their needs are- or they feel anxiety over expressing their actual truth. Pause, own your perspective and communicate your experience, needs, and feelings. Honest communication provides movement forward rather than riding the middle.
6. Acceptance. “Happiness can only exist in acceptance” George Orwell.
Really accepting everyone is truly doing the best that they can can change everything. Try to start incorporating this mindset into your life, do this step by step- bit by bit until its comfortable. It will relieve a lot of stress and unnecessary thought process by lightening the mental and emotional load between human interactions.
Today all day with every interaction try to hear yourself exclaim, Everyone is truly doing the best that they can, I am doing the best that I can!