Give them grace
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Have you heard this quote? While its source is in dispute, its power is not.
And that's why one of the things I've been working on - for years - is giving other people grace.
I learned this expression from a dear friend of mine, who was talking about a co-worker who had made several mistakes but who also was dealing with some tough situations outside of work. She said she kept trying to give this woman grace. The concept stuck with me, and I've thought about it countless times a week ever since.
In fact, this lesson keeps coming up for me, which probably means I need to keep working on it. I grabbed a slip of paper from a Random Acts of Kindness wall this spring, and what did it say? "Give them the benefit of the doubt. (You know who.)"
Yes, I know who. The person who passes me just before two lanes merge into one. The client who says they'll send me the information by Monday, but I still haven't heard from on Wednesday. The friend who hasn't responded to my text. My husband or kids when they don't greet me the way I might have hoped at the end of a long day. And myself, when I don't meet my own expectations.
This doesn't mean becoming a doormat or not expecting anyone to come through ever. For me, it's just about taking a pause before taking it personally.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Give them grace.