In an earlier post, I spoke about the ease at which I can be made to feel guilty. Someones unexpected reaction to something I do or say immediately causes me to assume I did something wrong. While I am no stranger to making mistakes, there are times where I later come to realize that the reaction the other person is the wrong behavior and I assumed guilt when I did not earn it.
I have adopted a new strategy to help combat my tendency to be the guilty one. I now treat my guilt like a proposal. A proposal is a suggestion presented for approval or denial. It gives the recipient the choice to evaluate and decide before taking action. When a situation causes me to feel like I was wrong, I view it as a proposal. Before I assume, I evaluate my actions and the resulting behavior from others which leads me to decide: approved or denied?
If approved, I find myself guilty, allow myself to learn and immediately look to make amends. If denied, I accept that the person who reacted unexpectedly is as human and I which leads me to one of two actions: forgive or forgive and confront. With either conclusion, I win. Best of all, I carry much less guilt these days!