Do you ever wonder what people are really thinking but just not saying? I do that all the time, and really, I should stop it, because I'm talking myself into all kinds of silly things that just aren't true.
When someone gives you a compliment, do you ever second guess it? I call that compliment squashing, and it goes a little like this...
Me: You have done such an amazing job with this party! I'm so impressed by your crafty skills!
Them: Oh no, I just stole all these ideas from so-and-so and it's really nothing much. I'm not good at throwing parties.
Me: Oh, well I still think it looks great. (Thought in my head) I actually meant that! You just squashed my compliment.
I mean, isn't that kind of insulting to assume that someone doesn't mean what they say? Because aren't you assuming that that person is stupid and doesn't know what they're talking about? Aren't you essentially calling them a big fat liar? Or how about this...
Them: You are looking so great, Michelle. You're so tiny for being this far along in your pregnancy.
Me: Oh thanks! I sure don't feel like that, but that's so nice of you to say. (thought in my head) They can't really think that. I'm fatter than a jumbo marshmallow that's been cooked over the campfire too long.
See! I'm a compliment squasher too!
I've been a little squelched of joy in my own mind lately. Why? I realized not too long ago that I've allowed certain people to shape my view of real intentions. You know that person, that tells someone something, and turns to you and says something completely different? That kind of sickens me. Sure, I've been guilty of it myself at times too, and yes, THAT sickens me way more. Why do we do that?
But, I have to say that I've realized that it's only about 10% of the people I know that continue to live in this I-only-tell-you-nice-things-to-your-face-but-don't-really-mean-them mentality, and it's certainly not fair to punish the other 90% that do mean all those honest kind words. Even if that 10% doesn't mean a word they say, should I really punish myself for not believing them? Shouldn't I always believe the best in others? That would be super-huge-major YES. This is something I struggle with every day. Maybe it's my own insecurity, or maybe I've been a little burned in the past, but either way, I'm going to start believing the best in all people's words, and I believe it's going to change my life. I'm not going to waste another moment worrying that people don't mean what they say. If they say it, I'm going to believe them. End of story. Life is too short for these games, and choosing to see the best really is the difference between harbored worry, and joy. I choose joy.