Our family has a simple rule in how we deal with people; we always choose to believe the best. This practice has changed my life and massively reduced my stress. I have also applied this method to work, making it less stressful as well.
Here are three ways to reduce stress by believing the best.
- Assume the best intentions. Imagine that you get an email from a client that seems manipulative, you can assume that they are an evil, awful person and fire off an angry email. Or, you can assume that they have good intentions. You may be misreading the intent of their email so you give them a call to talk things over. I can’t tell you how many times this method has saved me from stress and from making a fool of myself.
- Create a plausible narrative. Sometimes people are short, frustrated or angry, and the message is explicitly clear. In these situations create a narrative that explains their behavior and has little to do with you. For example, you are dealing with an angry person. Take a moment to consider what might have made them upset today. Maybe their dog ran away this morning sending their day into a tailspin. Perhaps they were up all night with a sick child. There are a lot of reasons that someone might be upset that have nothing to do with you directly, so don’t take it personally too quickly.
These methods might seem simple, but when put into practice believing the best will improve your life. It has made a huge difference in mine.
photo credit: Cabo Santa Maria shipwreck via photopin (license)