History in the Making

Life Tip No. 5- Benefit of the Doubt

Everyone has good days and bad days, and sometimes things can get away from us faster than we could ever imagine. We have all had those days, weeks, or even months that are just total disasters and no matter what you try, you can’t do anything right. During these tough times, we often affect other people; we might ask for more help, inadvertently cause more work for someone, or just generally be in a terrible mood as a result of it. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we would like to have the benefit of the doubt given to us, and we need to be willing to show that in return!

Benefit of the Doubt

There are some people in your life who will always be flaky and undependable. They may be fun and interesting but you know that you can’t count on them for anything. This isn’t for them… If someone seems to be having an unusually rough go of things, and they aren’t as organised and put together as they normally are, give them the benefit of the doubt. No matter what happens in the immediate future as a result of their current actions/ lack of actions or attitude, in that moment, ask what you can do to help and don’t place blame. In the moment, giving someone the benefit of the doubt can usually help the situation by at least lifting their mood by showing someone is willing to help!

I am by no means saying that you should not address whatever the issue(s) are, but do it later, in private. And if it is happening repeatedly/ is a pattern, address that in private, as well. If someone is late day in and day out, the benefit of the doubt is lost because they aren’t changing their behaviour. But if someone is late once every 4 months, perhaps pull them aside after if it does need to be addressed instead of berating them on the spot for being late.

Do you find you often give the benefit of the doubt? Do you struggle with addressing conflict or do you feel comfortable facing it?

The Historian
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4 thoughts on “Life Tip No. 5- Benefit of the Doubt”

  • I give the benefit of the doubt to people if their “weird behavior” (e.g., flakiness, conceit, disregard for me/others) is abnormal for them. Like you said, people could be going through something, and it could be affecting their usual selves more than they know. I definitely am guilty of that right now, and I am trying to fix it. I’m usually on the ball when remembering events, dates, etc., but since I started blogging, I’ve definitely started to lose a little bit of touch with others. I’m taking steps to rectify that, but it’s hard. Luckily, those nearest and dearest to me know that behavior is unusual for me, so they’re giving me some free passes while I get my ish together. 😀

    However…there are — or, have been — plenty of people in my life who have either become people I don’t care to associate with anymore, or perhaps have always been that way but I’m now just seeing their true colors. I’ve cut those people from my life. Not meanly, not abruptly — but I’ve started phasing people out who have shown me time and time again that they are selfish, conceited people without regard for anyone else’s feelings, including mine. It’s improved my life dramatically not having these toxic people in my life. No drama, and no guilt, for the most part. I still cherish the memories I have of our good times together, and I wish these people well…but I wish them well far away from me. 😉

    • This is exactly it- with 99% of people, it is recognising whether or not it is a pattern of behaviour. I have myself been guilty of giving the benefit of the doubt for far too long and letting people take advantage of me, but I think we should all be shown it on those off days or weeks where everything is just a little crazy.

      Sidenote: blogging, depending on your approach, is such a difficult thing to balance and requires SO MUCH time management!! Thankfully most of my friends are understanding, but I need to be home X amount of time to be able to write, edit, shoot, share, and do whatever else for my blog, and that means I have to be very careful with what I commit to!

  • It is really understanding that when a person is in a bad mood or does things we don’t understand, it is not personal. When I meet someone having a bad day, I work hard to not take it personal by realizing everything is not about me. I am in a world of many different people and they are not here just to please me. We all face difficult situations in our lives. I work at being more understanding and doing little things for others, like just a smile with no expectations about their response.

    • That is something that is very important to remember, and I think is easier in those one off situations! If someone is quite out of character and something seems off, I certainly do recognise that there probably is outside things going on and that they also probably have nothing to do with me. I do find it frustrating though when people take advantage of it long-term; no matter what you are facing, you should always be civil and polite, on time and professional, and people can take advantage of the “benefit of the doubt” for months or even years. It is all about finding balance!

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