EXPLAIN, DON'T EXCUSE
one of the primary principles i learned in psychology was to explain human behaviour, not excuse it. understanding why humans behave the way they do offers us insight that can potentially help us predict future situations.
i’ve found within my own life, i have fully adopted this principle. i try my best to understand and explain others’ behaviours as i believe this a necessary component to eliciting compassion towards these individuals. i also believe no one ever does anything wrong intentionally - we are all good in nature, it’s only when our needs aren’t met that we act in ways that challenge that premise.
just recently however, i’ve had two very respectful figures in my life alert me to the fact that i make excuses for people. naturally, when someone makes a statement that i might not agree with, i reflect and i consider what message they’re sending me.
although i feel i don’t make excuses for people, i still allow them in my life. when someone “hurts” me, in their words or actions, i try to understand why. once i come to an understanding, i forgive them. but the problem is, i also keep them around.
having compassion for others doesn’t mean you have to accept ill-treatment. what i’m presently learning is how to still have love in my heart for these individuals, but enough respect for myself to say i will not engage in their behaviours. their healing is independent of anything i do / say. it’s their journey, not mine.
“we teach others how to treat us by what we allow, what we stop, and what we reinforce.” - tony gaskins