No one likes a negative attitude, and that’s exactly what you’re putting into your life if all you do is assume the worst.
I was recently at a marriage retreat, and one of the topics of conversation was around the gap that exists between the expectations we have of people, and the reality of that person’s behavior. Obviously, because this was a marriage retreat we were talking specifically about the relationship with a spouse or partner. But after leaving I started thinking about how this really applies to every relationship we have.
One of the things that the leaders of the retreat pointed out is that the power lies in the gap between the expectations we have, and the actual real-world behaviors of whoever the person is that you are placing your expectations on. What do I mean by that? Well, here’s an example:
Let’s say your spouse has told you they would be home from work at 5:30, but then something comes up and 5:30 rolls around and they still aren’t home, and you haven’t heard from them. So they get home around six, and when they walk in the door you have two choices. You can believe the best, that they got busy and just didn’t think to call and let you know, or you can believe the worst. You can assume that they just didn’t care and were being inconsiderate by not telling you that they were going to be late.
That is where the power lies. Because there is very real power in being able to choose how you are going to respond to a situation. You can greet them with a kiss and hug, trusting that they weren’t intentionally trying to upset you, or you can go in the other direction and greet them with wounded silence, assuming that they were being inconsiderate and weren’t taking your feelings into consideration. Or even worse, you can take that all the way and assume that they did it on purpose to upset you.
So, do you: A) believe in the best, or, B) assume the worst. I know that I have often seen option B as the go-to reaction from a lot of people. Especially in relationships that have been hardened by time and hurt and unmet expectations. But what we were learning in this retreat, and what I think is important for everyone reading this to learn, especially if you’re trying to build an epic relationship to be a part of your Legacy Lifestyle, is that assuming the worst before even giving the other person a chance just ends up causing more problems.
And like I said, this isn’t just about your relationship with your spouse or partner, this applies to every single relationship in your life. It truly is a choice. Do you want to go through life constantly being negative and assuming the worst in people? Or would you rather choose to believe in the best?
Now, of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and if you’re in an abusive relationship with somebody and you just continue to ignore it and believe in the best, that’s not healthy. I’m not talking about that kind of relationship, and if that’s where you find yourself, please get help. You should never stay in an abusive relationship because you hope that someday it will get better.
I’m talking about the majority of the other relationships out there, where we are choosing to assume the worst versus choosing to believe in the best. If you believe in the best, you have no other way to respond but positively. And I guarantee, if you respond positively, you will get that kind of response in return.
I challenge you to take a look into some of the relationships that you have in your life, and figure out if you normally believe in the best on a regular basis, or do you choose to assume the worst? I know that I can raise my hand. I’m guilty that I have, in the past, chosen to assume the worst and that does not do anything but usually get reciprocated in my wife choosing to assume the worst as well. Someone has to choose to break that cycle to believe in the best, to be the first person up to raise your hand, to truly want to make a change and to make that choice to be the positive change inside your life and your relationships.
Figure out if you’re one of those people that have been assuming the worst. Break the chain. Be the better person. Believe in the best and commit to doing that, and see what changes occur in your life and in those closest to you. They have no choice but to respond positively if you commit to doing that on a daily basis. It may take a little bit for them to see that you really mean it, especially if they’re used to you assuming the worst, but if you just keep at it, you will see that that positive attitude will spread to the people around you.