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Do you think the best of others or assume the worst?  This may sound like one of those – “do you see the glass half-empty or half-full?” 

Dr. Brene Brown, author, speaker and expert on vulnerability and empathy, recently talked about this idea.  How we can easily assume the worst of others – we easily questions others intentions as being bad or intentionally hurtful. She says one of the ways in which we can combat that and trying to think the best of others and their intentions, is to believe this:

That people are doing the best they can.

If the person serving you at a restaurant is doing what you think is a “lousy job” – say to yourself, “maybe they are doing the best they can?”  If that’s the case, then they aren’t intentionally or negligently serving you.

When we adopt this viewpoint, we’ll view people more compassionately and in some cases, look to possibly help someone if they are genuinely struggling or having a bad day. That doesn’t mean that some people don’t purposely act like jerks or don’t care, but rather than start there, believe the best of people until proven otherwise.


Photo Credit: Getty Images/JackF