The Benefit of the Doubt

Often when I’m coaching clients and ask them what feeling they would like to have towards another person, their answer is “compassion.” To show compassion for someone is to treat them with kindness. It can be shown by giving a hug, holding the door open for someone, showing gratitude, or by giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is believing that someone has good intentions, despite things that might make us think otherwise. It is the opposite of assuming the worst of someone. It’s assuming that maybe you got it wrong. Maybe you don’t fully understand their motives and you’re willing to believe in and trust in them, and give them another chance.

When we give the gift of the benefit of the doubt, we are giving ourselves the ability to think thoughts that serve us better. When we think kinder, more understanding thoughts, our feelings will also be more loving and compassionate. From those feelings, our actions will be kinder, which will result in a happier life.

I’ve been reading Loving What Is by Byron Katie. She talks a lot about questioning our thoughts. She recommends asking ourselves, “Is that thought really true?” and other questions that help us get to the truth of what really is, instead of what we want or fear it is. The mind is an amazing organ, and it looks for patterns. If we have a belief about someone or something, we automatically look for evidence that our belief is correct. For example, if I believe I’m having a bad day, my mind will look for all the evidence that it’s a bad day, overlooking plenty of evidence to the contrary, because that’s not what my belief is.

The same is true in our relationships. We find what we look for, and believe is true. If, however, we are willing to give the benefit of the doubt, it can turn things around and our troubled relationships can take on a new, positive direction.

Book a free mini-session with me and I’ll share with you a tool that can help you direct your brain to think thoughts that serve you better, and can improve your relationships. It can change your life.

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