Ascribe to Malice

Robert Hanlon wrote “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence”.

I’d like to add to that thought…”or anxiety”.

We’ve all engaged with people and sometimes come away with less than stellar impressions. They were short, inconsiderate, distracted, aloof, not understanding…fill in the blank.

It’s incredible how quickly we can each become this way too. Add a family quarrel in with a few missed nights’ sleep, topped by a missed meal or two…and humans become anxious. Decision making and emotional intelligence degrade drastically.

99% of the people you meet this week won’t be malicious. They may not know everything about a topic that you do…or they may simply be anxious about something in their lives. And you’ve been in their shoes (and will be again).

Empathize with them. Ask them how they’re doing…how they’re really doing. Even if they choose not to share at that moment, it’s better than ascribing actions to malice.

You are heroes. Fly high this week.

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