Thursday, April 8, 2010

Malignant Mayhem

In my schooling days, I learned many a family/marriage-therapy theory/concept.

The one that stuck w/ me the most: The Benign Assumption.

In short: Giving people the benefit of the doubt. Assuming that other people (spouses/family/friends etc) have your best interest at heart.


The driver in front of you cuts you off.

But maybe he’s on his way to the hospital because his baby is sick.

Someone says something thoughtless/unkind to you.

Maybe their heart is breaking (for whatever reason) and they didn’t sleep at all last night.

That mom at the grocery store temporarily loses her cool and yells at her kid.

Maybe her mom only ever yelled at her, too. Maybe she's a single mom, trying her best.

This mode of thinking RESONATES and CLICKS with me like nothing else. I want to live my life this way. And the more I practice, the more it becomes habit. The more it becomes habit, the more it becomes second nature. Or first nature, hopefully.

It kind of becomes a little game, when I see something that rubs me the wrong way, to make up a story (sometimes elaborate and silly) that explains away the behavior and casts the offender in a positive light.

What, the entire world hasn’t been faithfully reading my blog? I bet it’s because my writing is so beautiful it makes them weep…and who has time to cry and get your makeup all in a mess?

So I invite you: Be Benign. At least for a week. Let’s make T-shirts. (In tie dye, yes?)

Because we all deserve a little leeway. Why even bother thinking else-wise?


The Ballard Family said...

First - I love The Four Seasons. So glad you have their song playing.
Second - I love the title of this post. I feel like this has been the title of my life during some phases...unfortunately!
So, it's funny, as soon as I read the definition of the benign assumption I thought to myself...that reminds me of Katie. You are the queen of this way of thinking. So many times I have specifically thought of you when trying to see the best in someone else. Like, 'what would Katie do?'
We should make bracelets.
So, anyway, good post, good thinking, humorous references.
In all seriousness, people in my life who have been willing to think this way toward me during the last few years are the reason I have any level of decent relationships left.
I shall take your challenge...
Oh,and I faithfully read your blog by the way. :) Though I took a hiatus from commenting because the computers in my home don't like your blog for some reason and keep me from pulling it up. So I have been reading from my phone..but it's hard to comment from a phone...when you're anyway, add technological incompetence to your list of benign assumptions about your (faithful) readers. :)

FlyingSquirrel said...

Nice way of putting it, thanks for the reminder. I try to do that regularly, but that's an easier way to wrap my brain around it, and an easier way to explain it to others. You've just been bookmarked, keep up the interesting and uplifting writing :)

Molli loves Tyler said...

You amaze and inspire me. Also, I love you. Also, I just found your blog! I was so excited!

Abigail said...

Haha, you do do that! (do do...haha) And I appreciate it :)

Adam and Emily said...

I love this thought. I read all the bad things that happen 40 hours a week, and it really tends to make you think negatively of the world. I will try this for a week, it'll probably make my blood pressure go down! HAHA!!