People will not always act how we want them to, but they will act how they believe they should. Each person has a unique lens, which makes them believe the action they’re taking is the right one.
The better you understand their motivations, the better you will understand them. That understanding is a key step in creating empathy and reducing negative emotions. I hope that the realization everyone is just trying to do what they think is right helps temper some frustrations.
I wrote the above passage a week ago.
Today my integrity was questioned. My initial reaction was negative. How could someone possibly think I am lacking in integrity? That is something I pride myself on. I began trying to rationalize others' opinions in my head. I could feel my heart starting to beat faster, my palms getting sweaty and then I read the above passage again.
My heartbeat came back down and I realized that it is unfortunate they have that perception but the perception that matters is mine. Nobody knows my character better than I do so I will continue to trust my perception of things.
If we let everyone else dictate our emotions with their perceptions and opinions we will be constantly controlled by them. Take control and don't let this happen.
"If an action or utterance is appropriate, then it is appropriate for you. Don't be put off by other people's comments and criticism. If it's right to say or do it, then it is the right thing for you to do or say." -Marcus Aurelius