Many interactions these days have a bumper-car quality to them. At work, at home, on the phone, email; we sort of bounce off of each other while we exchange information, smile or frown, and we move on. People, even those who are closest to us, will always be a mystery. Everyone has a unique personal story. At the same time, there are people who are more like us than we know and recognize; all infinitely precious and wonderfully flawed. We cannot know the thoughts of others, but we will assume anyways. This is exactly why it is so important to give people the benefit of the doubt. Every interaction with another human being is important. It is an opportunity to learn about someone who, like you, is trying to make the most out of life. We’re all crazily unique beings. I know how hard it can be to find the good in certain people, but I try anyways just for a peace of mind. Some people are just difficult [ and you might even be one of those people; I sure as hell am, and I will be the first to admit it ]; some situations are downright challenging but when you strive to find the good in others, you’ll not only improve your relationships with them, but you’ll strengthen yourself emotionally as well. The more you focus on the good, the easier it becomes to enjoy time spent with others [ even if they aren’t people you particularly enjoy even the slightest but you’ll get by during that time]. Seeking out the good in others won’t make every person seem wonderful, but it’s definitely going to help you make the most of each and every one of your relationships you create.
Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is ALMOST always a good decision. It is easy to jump to label a person based on too little or too much information. If we hear someone yelling, we may see them as an ‘angry person’. If a friend rejects an invitation or disagrees with your point of view, we may think that they ‘don’t like us’. Once we form an opinion about someone, it is difficult to change our minds and see them in a new refreshed light; good and bad. Holding back judgment is a difficult, yet critical step to seeing good within others, but it’s often one of life’s greatest challenges. Even when it comes to those we love and choose to have in our lives, finding the good in them can sometimes be difficult. [ And it goes without saying that it’s extremely challenging to find the good in those you don’t like very much! ]
Don’t compare; one of the quickest ways to find fault in others is to compare them to someone else [ or to yourself for that matter ]. Everyone is unique and if you’re looking for someone to be just like you or someone else, you’re going to have a difficult time finding the good in that individual and appreciating who they are. This is especially important when it comes to significant others. If you’re constantly comparing someone to someone else; how are you ever going to find the most true and honest version of them? [ hint: you won’t ] The less you compare, the easier it is to find the good or to get the answers you want. Dwelling on what someone has done in the past can make it difficult to focus on who they are now. [ PREACH!! ] But this doesn’t mean you should forget what someone has done; if someone has made progress or made up for any offenses committed against you, it does no good for the relationship [ or you ] to continue holding a grudge in the present. People change and one way to find the good in them is to pay attention to how they act right now, not to harp on how they’ve behaved in the past, and using that against them. If they mean what they say, it will show.
When you make assumptions [ particularly about someone you don’t know ], finding the good can be a challenge. The best way to stop making assumptions is to keep your mind and heart open to what people are actually doing and saying. [ actions speak louder than words ] Try your hardest not to label people into “good” or “bad” categories, just because someone has behaved badly once doesn’t mean they’ll behave that way again. If you label someone, it can be hard to mentally shake that label. [ For example, when you think your co-worker is annoying; you’re going to be looking for the ways they annoy you, which will make it really hard to see their good traits ]. Keep an open mind. When you focus on the bad in people, they are going to become really ugly in your eyes. You will change how you act towards them and you may even end what connections you have with them because of the ugly lens you wear. When focusing on the good in people, you are going to look past their shortcomings and interact with them in a caring way, which will benefit you and them in the long run. The fact is that everyone has some bad in them. You are never going to find someone that doesn’t have those qualities that are less-than-attractive. You don’t need to be blind to the bad in order to see the good in other people. In fact, you should acknowledge the bad in other people because it can give you a lot of insight into yourself and who you do or don’t want to be.
Keep your mind [ and ears and eyes ] open and you’ll be surprised by what you might discover. Listening is an art. It is remarkably difficult to really listen closely to what people are trying to say. Usually we are waiting for a chance to voice our own opinion. When we seek to understand first and be understood second, we cannot help but see the good in others. When you listen with all your heart, you will be repaid many times over with understanding and respect. [ if you preach respect, you’ll most likely to receive the same ] This ties in with dropping your assumptions, don’t listen to what you have been told. Follow your gut. Instead of guessing what someone else is thinking or how they feel about something, ASK; be upfront. One of the best ways to find goodness in others is to ask lots and lots of questions. The more you know about others [ especially personal details; the facts and the quirky uniqueness it brings ], the easier it is to connect with them and notice the positive aspects. A great way to find the good in others is to imagine that every single person is looking out for your best interest. This is very hard to do when someone cuts you off in traffic or your partner says something that enrages you, but the more you focus on how people might be looking out for you, the easier it becomes to find the good in them. More often than not, people do have the best of intentions [ even if it might not always seem that way and we jump to conclusions ] and, even if they aren’t specifically looking out for you, they’re not likely looking to hurt you intentionally. [ try to keep this in mind when dealing with difficult people; and when we struggle to see past negativity ]
Each and every one of us is flawed in some way. We all have emotional baggage that we drag around with us. We’ve all been hurt by someone. We’ve all been born with unique personality traits that are sometimes less-than-ideal. Appreciating flaws might sound negative, but it’s actually a very positive thing to do when it comes to finding the good in others. Keeping in mind that we all [ including our own self ] have our stuff [ emotions, personalities, etc. ] making it easier to be compassionate and empathetic when others aren’t showing their best sides, allowing us to find the good even when things aren’t great.
People who teach themselves to see the good in others tend to be more positive and experience happiness more deeply. Seeing the good in others requires us to question our assumptions, but, it is in the end worth the effort. Learning to see the good in others is a habit that we should all be building. To look at other people and see the good not only benefits our lives but their lives and the overall happiness of the world. If you seek good, you’ll find it, but if you seek bad, you’ll find that too. Whatever you focus on, you will draw into your life. Sometimes we need to recognize that the good you see in others is also in you. You couldn’t see that good if you did not have an inkling of what it was. You, too, have positive intentions and real abilities. Those qualities are a fact, as much a fact as the chair you’re sitting on. Take a moment to let that fact sink in. You don’t need a halo to be a truly good person. You are a truly good person.
So, the next time you see someone being a jerk or meet a mean and evil person, remember that the good is in there somewhere. You may not be able to see it, but it’s there. Try not to label them as the one quality you are seeing right now or have seen in them, and you will find that you will be much more forgiving, caring and respectable towards them. You just need to be willing to look past the bad and see the truth behind people’s anger, depression, frustration, and misery. You need to be willing to talk to someone, work with them, and be patient as they learn to trust you and open up with you.