I love this way of thinking. Assume good will. It means to see the good in someone and believe that what the person said or did was done with good intentions. I find it hard to always assume good will, especially when from my perspective, it’s a challenge to see it another way or that the person could have been coming from a good place. I find this approach to be a humbling one because it provides me the opportunity to learn from others, hear their stories, and accept the fact that my way of thinking is not the only way. A simple example to share was when my friend cancelled on our get together last minute as I was driving to her place. She shared something had come up and that she couldn’t make it anymore. (This person was more of an acquaintance so I didn’t push further). I just said okay and hung up. Naturally, I thought it was peculiar and rude to have something come up that last minute. What could it possibly be? I assumed bad will. Had I assumed good will, I believe I would have spent less time judging her actions and more time having grace in the situation and hoping that truly she was okay. It turns out that she was expecting and it wasn’t public news yet! Again, who would have thought?! I encourage you to assume good will of others because we don’t know where they are coming from. We each meet each other 1-on-1 from different upbringings, life experiences, educational backgrounds, and personalities. If we inquire and acknowledge that we do not have all the information at the time, it may save us time and energy from thinking ill of someone. However, do keep in mind that there are exceptions and not everyone is coming from a place of good will, but rather has ill intentions and an unkind heart. You will need to use discernment in those cases.
Have you heard about this approach before? Have you employed this perspective and were glad you did?