23 February 2014

Two sides to every story

I know we all know that there are two sides to every story, but where we all come up short sometimes is remembering this when we're attempting to sift through stories to ascertain the truth....and where we really seem to fail is remembering this when the story is our own story.

Every single person comes into each situation with their own ideas, perceptions, past experiences, personal bias, fears, insecurities, etc. All of these combine to color our memory of conversations, past events, present events, etc. When we fail to recognize, acknowledge and even sometimes challenge these things, we do ourselves injustice, but most importantly we can fail the people we are interacting with.

We are sometimes so quick to assume or draw conclusions about the motivations, behavior, or words of someone else, often without asking simple questions that could enlighten us to what is actually going on in the minds of the people we are drawing conclusions about.

For example, we may assume someone has ignored a text or an email and they may not have received it, may not have noticed it, or may not be anywhere near the device that receives these things. This can lead to assumptions and drawn conclusions that are completely off base, just because we didn't call and ask that person "did you get my email" or "did you get my text".

This weekend, I've encountered this twice. Assumptions made about me or something I may or may not have said, done, thought...without the courtesy of a question allowing me to state my case, make my side of the story known, or explain whatever it was that is being assumed.

One incident will likely resolve itself and if it doesn't, then so be it. The other situation is impossible to fix because the people involved quite simply don't want to fix it. A story has been told, and believed, without the opportunity for me to even know what the story is in the first place.

It is frustrating...to have been judged unworthy without so much as a trial. Without being able to testify on my behalf. Without even the courtesy of a question "did you do this?"

Rather than spin my wheels in frustration, I am choosing to take this situation and remind myself that I have done this very thing to others in the past and remind myself that this does damage, sometimes permanent damage.

I will use this to remind myself not to be guilty of this in the future. To always seek an answer to the question why even if I don't like the response. Conversely, to always allow myself to be questioned if nothing more than to determine what my motivations are.

I vow to always remember, there is more than meets the eye, there are a plethora of factors that are being applied to each and every single situation and it is seldom what you think since you (and by you I mean me) are bringing your own crap into every situation.

Be gentle! Be kind! Be open! Be honest! Be fair.