Own My Growth

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Don’t Ascribe Bad Intent Behind Wrong Actions

Bad Intent

Many of us often struggle with a bad habit of interpreting others’ actions as their intent. Here’s how this bad habit plays out many times. We don’t do something well, or we do something wrong, we say it’s not us, it’s the circumstance. The market is bad, the client is not responsive, the budget is not there, etc. But, when we see other people not do something well or do something wrong, we think there is something wrong with the person. The person is lazy, has bad intentions, is not interested, etc.

We need to notice this bad habit and guard ourselves against it.

Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt. When someone is acting stubborn or is sharp with you, or is not being responsive, don’t assume bad intent and build conspiracy theories. It might just be that the other person is having a bad day or dealing with some challenges that you may not be aware of.

Someone wise is supposed to have said- Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you have heard their story.

This is so true. Many times, we become cynical about the motives and intentions of others. We see them through tinted lenses of misplaced judgment and faulty assumptions.

When you come across actions of others that you do not like, don’t attribute intention without first clarifying.  

  • “You never respond to my emails..Is there some problem?”
  • ” You challenged my position in the meeting even though you had agreed earlier that you would support it. Why did you change your position?”

Not all actions come from a position of bad intent. This is where empathy comes in. Empathy is the ability to see the situation from the other person’s vantage, being able to put yourself in the other persons shoes. We need to have the wisdom to not judge others for their actions without knowing if there is something else that is happening in the background. We need to show empathy.

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