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Are People Doing The Best That They Can? This Might Change Your Life!

Brene Brown, compassion, boundaries, People suck, People are not doing the best they can, respect for yourself, hard to be compassionate toward people when they're hurting you, toxic relationships,

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to ask are people doing the best that they can and share a perspective that might change your life.

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What do you say: Are people doing the best that they can?

You will probably say, “No. They’re not!”

Why not?

Because you likely believe that everyone can do better and they should be doing better.

You were probably taught that belief as a child.

Your parents might have communicated that belief to you about you  – you can do better. And therefore, you also probably believe at a subconscious level: ‘I’m not good enough.’

Based on my decades of work with clients, I believe most of us were raised with perfectionism. Thus, we grow up believing that no one around us measures up or is good enough. Therefore, we judge ourselves the same way, believing that we’re not good enough and we don’t measure up because we’re simply not perfect.

And so, we reject ourselves for failing to be perfect, and we judge and reject others the same way.

But that still doesn’t answer the question, are people doing the best that they can?

Human researcher, scholar and author, Brene Brown set out to explore that question.

Do you believe that people are doing the best they can? Do you believe in general that when people wake up every day that they’re doing the best they can?

Brene Brown’s work reveals the answer to be split – over half of the people say, “Hell no! People are not doing that! People suck. People are not doing the best they can.”

Brene asked a follow-up question to a group of priests:

If you don’t believe it, I want you to picture someone in your life who you believe is not doing the best they can – someone who really irritates you, and just makes you crazy.

What if God came down to you and said, ‘This person that you wrote down on your napkin, he or she is doing the very best they can right now’?”

Shockingly, half the people in the room fell over, slumped over in their chairs, and they just started sobbing.

One couple are both married deacons in the Episcopal Church. Brene Brown asked them to share their reaction.

“We wrote down the same person! And this person lives in a trailer in the desert. They’ve had their children removed several times; every time we remove children for abuse or neglect, they have another child. Every time we bring money, they don’t use it for formula; they split the formula with water and they gambled the money. And the kids get removed for failure to thrive because the formula has been split with water; and we kind of hate them.”

And how did they responds when Brown made the suggestion that God told them that the father in the family is doing the best he can?

“Continue to help with a loving, non-judgmental heart, or we need to stop helping. But helping through hatred is not helping, and we are outside of our integrity, and outside of our faith.”

Another woman shared her reaction:

“I didn’t pick someone that I serve as a clergy; I picked my sister. And my sister was a dancer growing up, and now she’s a stripper. And I have two young nephews who are subjected to who she brings home at night from her job. And if God told me that she was doing the very best she could, I would have to stop being angry and start grieving the loss of a sister that I needed in my life, and I would try to love her but, I’d have to have some boundaries about what’s okay in front of my kids.”

Isn’t it the case: It’s very hard to be compassionate toward people when they’re hurting you? However, when you chose to believe and feel in your heart those words, “They are doing the best they can”, then you change your relationship with them. You see them differently – and you, too, change!

That does not imply that you lose boundaries or respect for yourself. If the relationship is toxic, then you end it to protect yourself. You don’t subject yourself to the abuse of other people! However, when you believe they are doing the best you can, even as you walk away from an abusive or bad relationship or marriage, you lose the anger, bitterness and resentment towards that person. You also lose the self-destructive desire to make them change or punish them for being flawed and not changing or living up to your expectations.

Finally, I found this to be inspiring: Brene Brown asked her husband, Steve, for his response to the same question, Are people doing the best that they can?

Steve thought about it and said, “I have no idea if people are doing the best that they can. But what I do know, is my life is better when I assume they are.”

If you would like to accept yourself, set boundaries, resolve the pain and experiences of your childhood, or release trauma or some other painful event, do it now gently, easily, and quickly with my SRTT process. Book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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