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Assume the Best


“We must never assume that which is incapable of proof.” ~Unknown

You can never truly know someone else’s intentions.

If a coworker offers to cover your shift, she may be trying to ease your stress—or she could be vying for your job. If your sister-in-law offers to pay for your meal, she may want to help you out during tough times—of she could be trying to remind you that you’re inferior.

You can always find a negative assumption that allows you to believe the worst in people. Or you can give that person the benefit of the doubt and believe they have your best interests at heart.

When you assume someone is being kind and not selfish, you may occasionally be wrong, but for the most part you’ll feel appreciative and peaceful with the people in your life. The alternative is to believe people are bad, seek and find proof everywhere, and walk around feeling bitter and critical.

When you have no proof, it’s a judgment call: assume the best and feel good and grateful, or assume the worst and feel bad and suspicious.

Choosing to see and feel good does more than ease your sense of doubt; it also expands your awareness.

Barbara Frederickson, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, explains that positive emotions allow us to see more, whereas negative emotions literally narrow our thinking.

When you feel more positive emotions, you form closer bonds with people, increase your resilience, and become more satisfied with life.

You can’t always feel good. But you can choose to feel good more often, starting with the way you interpret the things people do.

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About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. To strengthen your relationships, get her new book, Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Tired of feeling stuck? Let go of the past and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!