Till recently, I’ve always been overly cautious about my relationships with people. In turn, whenever I attempt to speak up or raise my hand in class, I oftentimes have to overcome a big lump in my throat. I believe I’ve gotten better at this, with my demeanor around 60–40 outspoken to quiet — it changes.
Owing to the fact that we are products of our upbringing, I processed that this is because I grew up while assuming the worst in people. Raise hand in class and get it wrong? The teacher might get mad! Ask the driver about directions to where you’re going? He’s busy; he might get annoyed! Blurt out my opinion out loud which appears wrong? Everyone might hate me!
It’s always been a cycle of coming up with an idea or intuition and foregoing it due to fear that something might go wrong.
At what cost?
Honestly? A lot more than I want to account for. I honestly can’t start at how much opportunities I could have grabbed, questions I have left unanswered, or recitation points I couldn’t have had (lol).
In allowing my fear to get the best of me, I deprived myself of so much growth.
It took time, philosophy, and a fortunate incident to make me digest this.
Early this year, I left my cellphone at a vaccination site (careless, yes). I realized it when coming home and my first thought was to give up because I was too shy to talk to the people there and admit that “Hey, I kinda lost my phone here.”
Despite that, when I told my mom, we want back to the site. I was nervous. I didn’t want to hear the judgment of people about my clumsiness. At some point, I might have been more nervous about dealing with the people there than actually losing my phone.
When I arrived, everyone was surprisingly accommodating. They assured me that we could find it. We received the help of multiple people around the site. In a span of seconds, majority of the people knew about a cellphone that was lost. Through collaborative help, we found the phone around the site.
Contrary to what I expected where I’d be met with rash opinion, what I received were kindness and assurance. It completely contradicted my presumption. From this experience, I learned that people will try to give their best foot forward, even if you assume them not to.
People are nicer than we think.
Humans are wired to be accepted, affirmed, loved, and praised. I realized that when we assume the worst in people, we forget that each person has their own thing to occupy themselves of.
Another thing is that humans usually have a grasp of humanity.
Assuming for the best in people has honestly granted me so much freedom in expressing myself and asking for help. Since I ingrained this mindset, I’ve grown to be more open and accepting — even towards myself.
However, humans as we are, we still can make mistakes that actually count as mistakes — as much as other people.
With our diversity, it’s inevitable to have misunderstandings with people. With how vast the world of knowledge is, we’re bound to lack knowledge with some things, if not most.
The things is — they’re inevitable.
If you made the “mistake” of actually annoying someone, really blurting out a misguided opinion, or whatnot, you’re human. Instead of obsessing over than one detail, I learned that it’s best to process it, learn from it, and move forward.
Pass on the same amount of kindness to yourself as much as you give to others. We’re all humans here. We’re bound to trial and error.
Just go ahead and jump in.
Raise hand in class while unsure of the answer? Go ahead and say it! Ask the driver about directions? Just ask to ease your anxiety, and let it go if he lets you down! Blurt out opinion which appears wrong? Learn from it, accept the comments, and move forward!
Again, we’re all human here.
Still — always do this while also considering the circumstance, context, and interaction. Stay mindful.
Grow through every mistake and every opportunity. Seize every stepping stone and make the most out of it. More often than not, people will be there to support you
I hope you’re nicer than what you’re given credit for.
My insight exists from my perspective, but one thing I can ascertain is that kindness truly is a must. The best way to cultivate the spirit of kindness is to embody it.