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Friday, December 9, 2011

Benefit of the Doubt

Good morning everyone! It’s…. wait for it…. FRIDAY!!! Despite the fact that I am exhausted and could fall asleep at any moment, it’s my favorite day of the week and I plan on making the best of it. The reason I am so tired is that I had two office Christmas Parties in a row and have been in the office early all week. I know I said in my post last week that I wouldn’t overdo it on the Christmas parties, but that was before I realized I had two this week and that I had to be at both of them. I almost didn’t make it to the one last night, but thanks to my sister and D, I made it there and actually had a really good time. The food was better than I thought it would be, and the company wasn’t all that bad either ;) There was no reason for me to think it wouldn’t be a good time, I was just being a Christmas party Grinch since I was lacking sleep. I guess I should have gone in to it with an open mind and a more positive attitude but, sometimes when I’m tired, it’s easier said than done. Anyway, I stayed longer than I thought I would considering my energy level and had a great time.

 



Delicious cheesecake pops :)

Speaking of making wrongful assumptions, I have been thinking a lot recently about first impressions and how strongly we believe in the saying ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’. Though it’s true that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, the saying leads us to believe that making judgments is ok and that we should base our opinion of others on what perceive of them at first. This, however, is no way to live and if we all abided by this saying it could mean missing out on getting to know some great people. We all have our bad days, our ‘off days’ and sometimes, you’re just not yourself. I, for one, am not perfect, nor do I pretend to be, and I know that this is the case for many people. We are quick to judge, quick to criticize, but most of all… quick to hate. I am just as guilty of this as the next person, but it is a behavior I am trying to phase out. Though I have to keep reminding myself to remain calm, be patient, and stop rolling my eyes, I’m trying my best and that’s what matters. Over the years I have learnt that it is so very important to give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to be understanding and compassionate towards others. I hope that, in return, others can do the same for me. I think that we, as people, need to be directly affected by something for it to truly sink in. For me, it was a few years ago when my family was going through a very tough time that these lessons truly got to me. I would have days where I was on the verge of tears and literally all of my energy and focus was spent on not crying in front of clients, co-workers, cashiers at the pharmacy…  Then, on one of these days, it was pouring rain and I was crossing the street (to a walking sign) to meet T, when a guy waiting to turn puts down his window and yells ‘could you walk any f****ing slower?’. Now, I think I was walking at a normal pace, maybe even quickly since it was raining, but that’s beside the point.  I stopped, shocked and startled, and proceeded to apologize. Why I apologized, I don’t know, but as soon as I got to the other side of the street I started to cry. Despite the fact that it was terribly rude, this man didn’t know I was having an awful day and didn’t know that his actions would make me cry. Instead of yelling and swearing and getting mad, I assumed that he too was having a terrible day and took it out on me. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and it actually made me feel better. Thinking that maybe he was sad and his way of making himself feel better was to yell, where mine was to cry, made me feel better about the whole thing. You might be thinking “she’s crazy”, but try it. Try giving people the benefit of the doubt instead of automatically choosing to see them in a negative light. I promise, if you try it, you won’t get as angry/impatient/stressed and eventually, it will start to come naturally. I not only believe that it is important to do this with strangers, but also with the people in your life; your friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors…. I think that we all have our good moments and our bad ones, but if we can try and be a little bit more understanding, we would all be happier people. I have recently started to get closer with people in my life that I have known for a while, but may have been quick to judge, and it is turning out great. I am building new relationships that I may never have built had I based my opinion on first impressions. I can think of a few people in my life that I may not have gotten close to had I not made the effort to look deeper, tried harder, given them the benefit of the doubt. It even makes me sad to think that I had originally written these people off as people I could ‘never ever be close with’. So, with this, I challenge you to reevaluate that saying about first impressions, and replace it with this one: “First impressions are very important, but everyone deserves a second chance”. Everyone has a story and sometimes, all you have to do is ask about it. So happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend. I hope mine will be full of these :)



With Love,

S

PS. On a sadder note, we will be away this weekend for my aunt's memorial. Back on Monday.