Is it totally stupid to give people the benefit of the doubt?
Have you ever given someone the benefit of the doubt or the credit that he or she did not deserve in the first place? You knew that there was something really odd about this person, and yet you chose to be in a relationship or create a friendship with this individual, before coming to the painful realization that he or she was not all that in the end. How did that make you feel? Did it fill you with anger, shame and resentment? And toward whom did you choose to direct your anger? Was it really about the other one for having supposedly disappointed you? Or did you bluntly acknowledge that it was you, the sole responsible for the entire fiasco? More importantly, today when you reflect on this past experience, do you think that it taught you something? Or is giving others way too much credit a pattern that is still very much in existence? If the latter sounds somewhat true to you, what seems to be perpetuating the habit?
Most people are pretty good at supplying a never-ending list of reasons to justify every single one of their decisions, especially the poor ones. Why is that? The answer lies in the way society functions. Individuals are programmed and trained to constantly construct cop-outs, so they can find excuses to their own behaviors, even the most outrageous ones. If this inclination does not work for you anymore, may I invite you to assess what is still triggering this insatiable desire to give other people the benefit of the doubt?
::: Is the need to please others an aversion to honoring yourself first?
Only a very small minority of people have had the chance to be taught that putting themselves first in the equation of their respective life was indeed a possibility. Based on that premise, what do all the others instinctively choose to do? They elect to please everyone else but themselves. Furthermore, they measure their personal success based on the number of individuals that they are able to please, regardless of the consequences such actions have on their own existence. The consequences are horrendous though. Compulsive pleasers allow themselves to become the preys of all those emotional predators who seek to push their destructive ulterior motives at all costs. As soon as the pleaser starts the pleasing process, he or she automatically begins renouncing who he or she intrinsically is. It is solely about everybody else. And the pressure to maintain this dynamic increases when demands become more and more extravagant. If those demands are not met, the pleaser is at risk of finding himself or herself alone. And he or she does not see such eventuality as a viable option.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Is this not a wonderful invitation to annihilate all forms of awareness, under the assumption that your kindness to others should mechanically generate some level of reciprocity? How many times has your choice to embrace this mantra (excerpt from the scriptures) created pain, resentment, sadness, disgust and anger in your life? By assuming those words today, do you become vulnerable to anyone who is going to use and abuse you repeatedly, until you (hopefully) choose to wake up one day? The problem is that “one day” may be way too late. So, how about deconstructing and eliminating right now all those decisions that you have made, and that pertain to how magnificent this world is? It is definitely a jungle out there, and the fittest is not the one who will survive. The ones who choose to be aware and conscious all the time will predominate.
Do you think that systematically placing others before you hides in reality a much greater and certainly more toxic agenda? The pleaser’s life is entirely ruled by the need to constantly please anyone but himself or herself. If you think about it for a minute, isn't that the perfect reason for not having to look at oneself? How convenient, right? When you do not create time for you, you cannot evaluate the pertinence of your choices. You are utterly unable to value where you stand in your life. This is an open door to embracing successions of unconscious demeanors that create dreadful outcomes. Why is it so difficult to acknowledge? Per this society, if you do not rush to please someone else before you dare starting to think about you, you are instantly labeled as selfish, disrespectful and unkind. As a result, so many men and women choose to deliberately divorce themselves, so they can appear favorable to others while occulting their own behaviors.
::: Can anyone ever take advantage of you?
Fatality does not exist. You are empowered to make the right choices for you and your loved ones at any time. But if you persist in taking unconscious decision, to say “I did not know” is not receivable. To rather say “I did not want to know” sounds more like it because it is honest. Are you ready to abandon once for all this false idea that it is indeed easier to close your eyes, so you can cruise through life as smoothly as possible? Every single time you elect to discount what you know is best for you, it always comes back to bite you pretty hard. And the consequences become harder to undo. Should you rush to blame those people you had initially trusted for the consequences of your choices? Even though it may be a reflex, since it is so much more comfortable to make it someone else’s fault, this is counter-productive because it contributes to obstruct your view even more. Now it is true that blaming others for your poor choices may be a pattern that you have continually observed all around you growing up. Therefore, to perpetuate the pattern feels quite easy and satisfying. But if such an option keeps you and your life stuck inside a tiny and hermetic black box, it is certainly worth reconsidering. To open your eyes and fight this utter refusal to be accountable for some of your choices is unpleasant, but it is also a necessity. This has the potential to change everything, so life can never be mediocre again.
This world is full of men and women who do not have your best interest at heart. They are only concerned about taking from you, until there is nothing left to take. When that finally happens, they move on to another prey. You may think that you have nothing tangible to offer, and still they are here, surrounding you and ready to take advantage of you. Money, emotions, it does not matter, because everything is worth grabbing. But do they really take advantage of you, or do you allow them to do so? Most people thrive on receiving compassion. They even sabotage themselves for the sake of triggering compassion from their peers. They meticulously create situations, so they can fail. They set themselves up! What agenda do you intend to push every time you allow someone to take advantage of you? What is it that you need so badly and that ultimately forces you to create such a precarious situation? Is it a thirst for attention? The best intention that you can receive is the one that you give yourself. No one else can provide that for you. Is it the need to self-destruct, so you can get compassion? To self-destruct obviously leads to your destruction. Then what more of you remains?
You cannot be angry at those individuals who take advantage of a situation that you have originally created and that has now ceased to accommodate you. To put the responsibility of your actions on anyone else but yourself is the weakest alternative possible. One precept that has been deeply entrenched for ages stipulates that you cannot be wrong. If you believe that, therefore blaming someone else for your mistakes is unfortunately your only choice. However, is it truly potent and pertinent? Does it give you the possibility to learn, grow, expand, thrive and prosper? Or is it nothing more than a perpetual mechanism that creates disappointment, resentment, mediocrity and regression, as well as a pathetic way to hide a deep state of desperation? The refusal to be accountable is an emotional epidemic that has been transmitted for centuries, from one generation to the next. It is present in all spheres of society. It does not generate progress, consciousness, momentum, awareness, or prosperity. Like most epidemics, it can be deadly. What differentiates this epidemic from others is the rapidity with which it spreads, simply because no resources are allocated to find a cure. Why produce efforts to discover a cure that would go against one of the laws that rules this world, anyway? Remember, you have to be right, no matter what! But what is the price to pay?
Emotional predators are everywhere, and they know how to choose their preys wisely. And you do not have to be one of those preys. If you choose to be honest with yourself and consequently remain fully aware at all times, you cannot be forced into any fraudulent interactions. The constant willingness to look at yourself in the mirror is certainly the one habit that you want to embrace. It may be painful at first but it is necessary if you desire to thrive in all areas of your life.