On the first of the month, I sent an email to Jeanne, letting her know I would be speaking in her town on the 23rd if she wanted to connect.

On the 24th I had not received a response, the event came and went and I did not see Jeanne.

On the 8th of the following month, I received this note from Jeanne:

Hi Stephanie
This (email) just dropped into my email box when I switched some settings. Don’t know why my email gremlin was holding off a chance for me to go for a drink with you!!!!  Sorry, keep me in mind when you are out this way next!  Jeanne

Things like that happen sometimes, that’s why I never assume people are ignoring me, rather something happened like this.

Although, sometimes they are just ignoring me!  

And while this is just about an inconsequential email (and I easily could have sent a follow up email to her to check if she was free or picked up the phone), the concept of giving people the benefit of the doubt is a good one.


  • the message didn’t get through
  • they were lost in their own thoughts and didn’t notice you saying hi
  • they are going through something in their own life that is taking their attention
  • they didn’t realize what the effect would be or what your intentions were or what was expected of them
  •  they didn’t have the resources they needed - maybe, maybe, maybe.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt will likely not only reduce your stress (no, not everyone is out to get you) but may lead to better, stronger, happier relationships. I know that I sure appreciate it when people give me the benefit of the doubt.

So…the next time someone:

  • drops the ball
  • slips up
  • doesn’t live up to your expectations
  • disappoints you
  • doesn’t reply
  • ___________

    Consider starting to train your first thought to be gentle, kind and compassionate instead of negative, judgmental or angry.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt, it’s just one more way to live Your Life, Unlimited.

Stephanie  Staples

Stephanie Staples

Your Revitalization Specialist

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