Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Beauty of the Benefit of the Doubt

posted by Michele Olson

What if you’re wrong about something you are thinking? What if you tried and convicted your spouse when it turns out not to be true, or at least not the way you thought it was?

If you have lived with a spouse that has let you down frequently, you may tend to jump to conclusions faster about something you are wondering about. The proof is in the pudding right?

If you have jumped to conclusions and not been happy with the outcome, ask yourself what a popular TV host tends to ask; “How is that working for you?”

Try these tips instead:
· Reinforce the positive. Instead of pointing out what is wrong, comment when something is done right…even if you are using the “benefit of the doubt” to get there. Notice the first time they do anything near what you were hoping for.
· Don’t let the negatives become more important than the positives. There’s that old adage about how many smiles it takes to wipe out even one frown, and it’s true when living with your spouse too. If you concentrate on the negative, that is what you will see.
· Write down the positives in your own journal. Then when you have a day where you can’t remember them, refer to your “I love my spouse” book…sometimes you need to be reminded why you are crazy about this person.
· Be kind. Give someone a break if they are having a rough time. If you can do that for each other as a couple, chances are you won’t both be on the “down” side of things on the same day, especially if lifting each other up is a habit in your relationship.

Here’s the definition of giving the benefit of the doubt to someone:

To believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either After hearing his explanation, I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Why not give that a try today? If you have tried it, let us know the outcomes!

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