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Assume The Worst

[Podcast is available at the bottom of this post, and, well, I got a wee bit excited over this one, so I might be shouting at parts – turn the volume down!!]

Have you ever noticed that when a friend or romantic partner doesn’t call when they said they would, you assume it’s your fault?  We assume, and figure it’s obvious that the reason they didn’t call is because they’re mad at us, so we have to analyze every moment of time between our last interaction with them and today to figure out what it could be.  And, if we can’t figure out the reason, then we make one up.  You know, like, maybe you shouldn’t have agreed their boss is a complete idiot because now they have to go to work feeling even worse about their job and that’s all because of you. Or no, it must be that when they showed you the new shirt they bought, and you said you thought they looked better in blue then yellow, they figured you meant they need to wear darker colors to hide their huge gut, and they don’t even have a gut, and oh, geez, now you’ve called them fat, no wonder they haven’t called, so you better call them NOW and apologize for even insinuating that they are obese at 5 foot 5 and 110 pounds…. 

What a waste of mental energy!  All this time you’re trying to find fault with yourself, and blame yourself for someone else’s behavior, you could have been enjoying a book, getting work done, or not boring your friend with all the anxiety this over-analysis is causing you.  (Or, you could have enjoyed that bottle of wine you just polished off, rather than using it to drown your shame and guilt ….) 

Let’s consider the other side – when you don’t call someone right back, for example, don’t you usually have a reason?  Maybe you got an unexpected phone call that lasted so long it was too late to call your friend back.  Maybe your kids came in and needed dinner early so you had to cook and then you were exhausted, or, you just plain forgot?  

Isn’t it possible that the reason for this other person’s behavior has absolutely nothing to do with you?  (Sorry to burst your bubble on that one!) 

Today’s Call to Action is – if you find yourself stressing over someone else’s behavior, assume the BEST.  Replace your negative thinking, with thoughts like,

“She got so inspired from our last conversation that she through out all her crap and is now enjoying the clean uncluttered space of her apartment” (that would be me, lol!)

or “He got that job offer and now he’s so busy doing work he loves that he hasn’t had a minute to call me back.”

and if that doesn’t work, how about “maybe they were walking down the street, walked right through a movie set, and offered a leading role in a tv show and said yes!”

Hopefully, by switching your thinking, you will find a renewed sense of energy, and, when you do speak to that person again, you will be excited to talk to them, instead of resentful.

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2 Comments

  1. Guilty as charged!

    • LOL – I think we all are! ;-)

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