Hippo Challenge #3 (read the challenge here)
Today I was at a movie, sitting next to my friend. About halfway through the movie, I pulled out a piece of gum to chew. I considered offering her a piece, but a sudden fear of rejection ensued so I kept the gum to myself. Later, when I found more courage, (yes... I know... my life is so thrilling that I conquer the great fears such as offering pieces of gum) I leaned over and whispered, "Want some gum?"
"Yes," she whispered, paused a moment, then changed her mind and said, "no, I'm okay." I figured she was being polite - she did say yes at first.
I calculated how many times she's turned me down for a piece of gum. Never. Odds are she wants it. No big, I'll just hand it over. I pulled out a piece and set it on her lap, "There you go."
"No no, I'm okay." She held out her palm, gesturing she really didn't want it. "I'm okay."
Already prepared for rejection, I swiped it back and shoved it in my pocket, feeling embarrassed and rejected, and my eyes began to well. Yes. Over a piece of gum. For the record, I was already feeling extra sensitive today - this happens when I don't get enough sleep, much like a three-year-old without their nap.
Then the invasion of negative assumptions. She must be so annoyed by me, trying to offer gum. She's probably trying to be more polite and adult by not chewing gum, and she probably thinks I'm super immature. She's probably looking at me in disgrace, sitting here chawin' my gum like some cow. Okay so those may not have been my real assumptions, but they were fairly similar.
I told myself to let it go, forget about it, it's not a big deal, it's gum. Just focus on the movie, Gin. Focuuus. I was semi-successful.
Later as we were leaving the movie, she said, "By the way, I'm sorry I turned you down when you offered me some gum. I forgot that chewing gum on an empty stomach makes me nauseous. So, I'm sorry. Thanks for offering though!"
"Oh it's not a big deal at all," I said, playing it cool. Inside I bust up laughing at myself. Oh, Ginny! Really? lol
When will I learn to just assume the best? How much energy could have been saved if I had just been like, "She probably has a tooth that hurts," or something like that, and moved on. Really. Why not assume the best? I have no good reason not to.
Almost 100% of the time, people's behavior isn't what we think, and it definitely hardly ever, if ever, has anything to do with us. Everyone has a billion things going on in their lives which we have no idea about. Might as well assume the best of people, in every situation, because odds are that our most imaginative positive assumptions are much closer to the truth. Even if a positive assumption might actually be wrong - life is so much smoother, happier, and far less stressful when assuming the best. So why not??
By dismissing the worrisome and destructive assumptions about what others are thinking, and minding our own business, we allow our confidence and self-worth a chance to grow without distraction or hindrance and give ourselves more freedom to develop and become our unique individual selves, with the courage to be who we are.
To be the kind of person who stands tall and strong as they offer pieces of gum, without fear!! Yeah!
So remember - always assume the best. :)