And now for the final post in our series for how to become a Master of Love in your relationships. [Check out this article to find out where it all began.]
In parts 1 and 2 of practical tools for becoming a Love Master, I covered how to become master listeners and master givers in your relationships. In this last installment I am going to tell you more about how to become a Master Giver of the Benefit of the Doubt.
Let’s start with a discussion about what it means to give another the benefit of the doubt. What does it mean to give someone the benefit of the doubt? This is one definition I found on the web:
Okay, this seems nice and simple, but often in practice it can be very hard to judge someone favorably or take that extra step to consider what that person’s real intention might be. Often we are quick to react and judge someone unfavorably instead.
Why is that?
I believe it’s because of a few reasons.
- We are stuck in our own minds and thoughts about how we think things should be and what people should be doing for us, instead of being present and focusing on our partners and who they are.
- We are quicker to see the faults of others, and
- We are not completely at peace with who we are. (Yes, I know this last one is a bit deep. Hang in with me to see how it all plays out.)
If the above is the case, how can we get to a place where we are able to give our partners the benefit of the doubt (so that we, too, can be Masters of Love in our relationships)?
Let’s break it down. I am going to give you a solution for each of the three problems (read: three items mentioned above that might be getting in the way of you being able to give another the benefit of the doubt.)
Step 1: Get out of your head and focus on your partner instead! Stop and clear your mind of the clutter of thoughts that are telling you how you think things should be. Instead, get present and focus on the person in front of you (you can do this in person or envision this person in your mind.) Get
the focus off of you, and instead focus on them. [This is very similar to the listening skills I suggest in Part 1 of this series.] Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Think about and connect with their experience. Hang out in their world a bit and see what it might feel like to be them. Doing this will open your mind and give you a new perspective so that you can judge your partner more favorably. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
Step 2: Focus on your partner’s positive qualities. It is easy to get into a cycle of only noticing our loved one’s faults. Once we have these lenses on, it’s hard not to look through them at our partners unless we take these lenses off altogether and put a whole new pair of glasses on. [Click here for more tips on how to reconnect with your loved ones using this tool.] If you want to break the negative judging cycle in your relationship, retrain yourself and start focusing on your partner’s positive qualities. Take some time to yourself and sit down with a cup of tea. Take out a pad and start making a list of all of the qualities you admire about your partner. Look at this list twice a day for two weeks and tell your partner the qualities you admire about him or her. Doing this will not only change your perspective and remind you of the love and admiration you have for your partner, but will also leave your partner feeling great about him or herself.
Step 3: Turn it around to You. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson was one of my favorite songs as a kid! I think it’s because I instinctively knew even way back then that the faults we see in others are the faults we feel that we have in ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we are more open and inclined to judging others favorably and giving them the benefit of the doubt. If you are finding that you are having a hard time breaking your negative judgment cycle, I suggest you start focusing on you. Take the judgment you have for your partner and (gently!) turn it around to you. Ask yourself if you, too, have the same “fault.” Be honest with yourself. If you do find that you have that same fault (and perhaps it is expressing itself differently than it is for your partner), ask yourself what you want to do or change about it. When we consistently recognize that judgment of others may actually be good information for us and our own personal growth and make changes in ourselves for the better, we become creators of change in our relationships too. This will allow us to become the true Masters of Love we aim to be.
For a bit more about this concept of changing the focus onto you in order to create the changes you want to see in your relationship, check out this short video:
Well that was enough deep thinking for now! I think it’s time to get myself that cup of tea!
Blessing you with success and greatness as you continue along your journey of building a better relationship with yourself and your loved ones.
I would love to hear your feedback! Did you find this post relevant? Are the tools I suggest practical for you?
I want to provide content that is relevant for you. Please share your feedback, comments or questions in the comments below. You can also reach me anytime by email at: Jenny@BuildBetterRelationships.com.
I look forward to hearing from you! Have an incredible day and week!
In support and admiration,
Until next time… 😉