Do you always think that people are doing the best they can? It is not easy to answer this question especially if we have gone through instances when people clearly did a shitty job. It is easier to say no when you have been disappointed time and time again, when people did not give you any reason to trust that they will deliver as they say. I hesitated when I came across this question. I thought of the numerous times I felt that I was not giving the best that I could. I remembered the times too when I just lost interest in someone because he or she was unreliable.
But I’d like to be guided by the simple reply I saw in the book Rising Strong:
“I don’t know. I really don’t. All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.”
Having this in mind stengthens our belief in others and ultimately our belief in ourselves too. It is accepting that everyone tries to give it their best shot and that yes we are all capable of doing this. It is a call to be gentle with others since we really do not know what they are going through and that they are trying based on their context and realities.
It is however not a blind acceptance of what others can only give and offer but also being very clear about what you need from them and out of the situation. It is clarifying your ask and not taking anything less. It may seem that it is being high maintenance and feeling entitled but actually it is just setting your boundaries so you can continue to trust in people’s drive to do their utmost. So yes, let us tell others what we need and clarify what we really mean as we strive to give our all in what we we set our focus on.