Sometimes we’re confronted with people and situations that make us immediately fume. We can’t possibly imagine how someone could bring themselves to do such despicable things. Don’t they have common sense? Are they that unaware? That selfish? What an incredibly evil, terrible person!
While all those things may be true to us, this way of thinking only propagates more blame towards that person. It makes us frame them as someone who is intentionally hurting us or others for the sake of being terrible. They relish wrong and love being evil!
Our brains have a habit of filling in knowledge voids with negative hypotheticals. Unfortunately, it’s then very easy to treat these hypotheticals as factual explanations. This is especially true when it’s a challenging relationship or situation. Some people even use this for their own gain – politics these days…
*Tough pill to swallow warning*
Ultimately, noone istryingto be a “bad guy.”
Most of the “bad” people we see portrayed in media blatantly say “I am bad! I do bad things! I want bad for everybody and everything because I am SO BAAADDD!” We may even hear people publicly declare things very similar to this, but there is always an underlying attempt at being “good” behind all of it.
Yes, even for politicians.
Maybe it’s not about hurting you or making your life harder. It may be about protecting their business, it’s employees and by connection their families. Perhaps there’s a vehement belief that the ends justify some despicable means. They may see a valuable experience or lesson by having you struggle, or maybe they’re just not aware of how their actions are affecting you.
Ultimately, they’re trying to do what’s right, or what they think is good.
Yes, this is true for even the most difficult and frustrating people and relationships we have. Someone may be hurtful towards you because they have been hurt by others and are trying to avoid being hurt again – to protect themselves. They may be untrustworthy because of a dependence or problem they’re personally struggling with and they’re coping with it the best way they know how. They may be pushing you away because of how they view themselves and this is their attempt to help protect you from them.
This way of thinking may not be the most digestible – especially with certain -ss-oles! But it can be incredibly valuable in business as well as our personal relationships.
If nothing else, it will help us to be a bit more understanding, forgiving, and patient, so we can place our attention where it’s most valuable.